It can be super scary taking the plunge and paying your first deposit to an overseas account for your destination wedding. Even if that planner or vendor has amazing reviews from other couples or they come highly recommended by way of vendor suggestions, there’s always that niggling feeling that you will be the one that something goes wrong for.
So here are five things to look out for when making your booking, and yes, a lot of these are based on visuals because I've found most people will book a planner or vendor based on their previous work, and you see this first on social media and websites.
So let’s break it down.
Have you noticed the amount of AI generated wedding images bombarding your feed? I sure have.
I think there is a time and place for AI generated images when it comes to weddings. They’re great for creating mood boards, sending through inspo and getting creative with ideas.
They are not, however, realistic.
So many times, what is in the images is physically not feasible or the locations are completely made up. Setting your expectations to get what is in these images will only let you down.
A good vendor or planner will outline in the caption that it is an AI generated image, or it’ll be in the hashtags.
If the image does not have anywhere written that it is AI generated, you are absolutely well within your right to speak to the vendor or planner and ask if it is in fact a real wedding, and if so, if you can have more images of it with the associated vendors to verify.
This one gets to me so much - when planners post pictures pretending that they planned them.
I’m all for supporting one another in this industry, and think it’s an absolutely beautiful thing to see other planners post weddings they are inspired by, provided they give the proper credit where credit is due.
So many planners here in Bali do not mention who is involved in the process, and worse still, blatantly steal images for their websites and social media that don't even belong to them.
They don’t credit the original planner so it comes across like the work is theirs, when in reality, it's the sweat and tears of someone else.
An easy way to check the authenticity is get a screen grab of the photo and do a Google image search.
I know planners here who use all my work as their own, without credit, and trust me. Not only is it frustrating for your planner, but it means the customer is being duped because they may end up with someone who doesn’t actually have the experience to create the work they posted.
They say the camera doesn’t lie….but it does. And this is a good thing in the case of your wedding.
A talented photographer will capture the best parts of your day, and with their skill and eye for detail, the photos will come up better than you can imagine. But remember, they are photos, often edited, so when you walk into your big day, remember there’s no filter on it.
You WILL see staff moving around, you WILL see parts of the grass that haven’t been watered or empty spaces that are needed for movement but look misplaced because there’s nothing to fill it.
This is NORMAL.
Photos should be used as inspo only, and this is a main reason I like Plan A to do highlight reels on the day of each wedding we do so our clients can see a more “real life” representation of what the day will look like and how it gets set up.
It manages expectations better and while you’ll still get those epic photos, I think it’s important to realise that those romantic, whimsical shots are carefully curated.
Whoever you choose as your planner or vendor, you should feel 100% comfortable with how they charge, how they communicate and you should feel free to bring up anything that’s on your mind.
If you need further clarification on how they operate, just ask.
Want to question the cost of something on your invoice, just ask.
A good wedding planner and/or vendor will be completely transparent about what their costs include, and on the planner’s side, you should know which vendors they’re using.
I’ve seen too many brides online wondering if they can ask for specifics. YOU CAN. And you SHOULD.
If they’re just putting “hair and makeup” down without saying who it’s by, you have every right to ask who they’re suggesting because if you don’t like it, you should choose someone you do like. After all, it’s your day and your money. Don’t forget that.
Is your planner and/or vendors even legally allowed to work in Bali?
You'd be surprised by just how many don't have the right paper work.
If something feels off, it usually is, so don't forget that you can ask at any time for paperwork and proof pertaining to their legal ability to work and operate in Bali.
They should have locally registered company, and any foreign workers should not only have what's called a KITAS (that's the stay permit that allows a foreigner to stay in Bali for an extended period of time), but more importantly, that they have an IMTA. An IMTA is the actual work permit that allows them to work in the first place.
Why does their legality have anything to do with you? Because if it's found out they're operating illegally, and it gets discovered by immigration, not only will you most likely loose any payments made to them, but they'll be forced to shut down and deported. If it happens on your wedding day, your whole day will be shut down so yes, it's very, very important for you to have this information.