A Talk with Wedding Planner Lydia Ross
Saying ‘I do’ on the bluffs in Greece could be in your reach.
photograph courtesy of JB Reed
Location, location, location. Whether it’s a backyard wedding or an ocean-side affair, location is everything. Some argue it’s the most important decision when planning a wedding, but are destination weddings only for the rich and famous?
Wedding and event planner, Lydia Ross has planned her fair share of weddings. Ross began her career as a wedding planner as a young girl when she enlisted her little sister as her first client. With experience in marketing, Ross followed her passion and launched her own company in 2009, after working at a New York City firm.
With a passion for creating events that truly represent her clients, Ross often finds herself planning weddings across the globe. I had the pleasure of speaking with Ross about the reality of planning a wedding abroad.
When you hear the words “destination wedding” it often summons the feeling of sand between your toes and the warm sun on your back. Weather is an important element to consider when planning a wedding. Décor is typically designed around a particular season. Mexico, northern Italy, Greece and France are just a few of the most popular warm-weathered countries to say, “I do”. Imagine toasting your guests on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic or dancing the night way under the stars in Greece.
Ross suggests these particular locations because economic conditions allow for attractive travel and accommodation packages and weather is often predictable.
Think a destination is out of your budget? Although, there are additional “hidden” costs involved, strategic planning and budgeting can help make your dream a reality. Ross typically works with a guest list ranging from 40-100+ people. Destination weddings tend to have a small response rate. While a 100-person guest list seems like a small wedding in the U.S., abroad it is considered quite large. Although Ross is not a travel agent, she coordinates with clients to find affordable travel and accommodation packages. She suggests choosing a resort where all guests can stay, this way travel to and from the airport and venue can be easily planned and budgeted.
Now that you have the travel accommodations crossed off your wedding to-do list, it’s time for the fun part to begin. Having a destination wedding gives you a wealth of unique and eclectic food, entertainment and décor options. It’s one of the reasons why you chose to have a destination wedding, right? Ross suggests using local vendors for specific things like food, drink, music, flowers, linens, and gifts. Somehow eating Cuban cuisine at a wedding in northern Italy doesn’t quite add up? Give your guests the ultimate experience - after all they did travel across the globe to experience something new. Using local vendors will not only ensure quality and flexibility, but a sense of ambiance and authenticity.
Although using local vendors is best for certain things, Ross suggests transporting more personal vendors to the location, like the photographer, videographer and wedding official. Using these vendors from the U.S. will ensure that the bride and groom can easily access photographs and videos.
Planning a destination wedding isn’t easy, but having a wedding planner, like Ross, who knows the ins and outs of planning an extraordinary event abroad is essential. “My favorite part of planning destination weddings is the chance to experience a different city or country. It also fun and exciting to go to a wedding, but even better when it’s at a fabulous location,” says Ross.
For more questions visit Lydia's website at www.lydiarossevents.com