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Oklahoma destination wedding plannerIf you’re planning to wing your way to a destination wedding locale, find out why you should plan your dream destination wedding with local Oklahoma vendors! We sat down with destination wedding experts Michelle Carbone of Michelle’s Destinations Unlimited and Amanda Sikich of Planned 2 Perfection to find out why hiring local for a destination wedding makes planning from afar a breeze and got an inside look into Sara and Joshua’s gorgeous destination wedding perfectly planned with the help of these local experts.

Destination wedding oklahoma bride

Oklahoma destination wedding expert

359color“Working with our local wedding planner, Amanda, was key to creating the wedding of my dreams. I didn’t simply want the resort’s “wedding package” type of wedding, and I wanted to spend time with our guests once we arrived in Mexico instead of rushing to plan everything last minute with the resort’s planner.” – Sara Gore

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Photos by Tammy Odell Photography

GET A PLAN, GET A PLANNER!
Planned 2 Perfection’s team meets with brides face to face monthly or bi-monthly to plan every outing, activity, cocktail party and of course the ceremony and wedding reception. When the big day arrives, their team is on site to make sure everything happens as promised and planned!

TRAVEL TIPS
When picking a date, check the calendar…and the weather! Make sure you’re aware of school/holiday schedules and the weather at your desired location. It may be an entirely different season at your desired location!

SAVE THE DATE
Give your guests plenty of time to save money and to book! Send out Save the Dates at least six to nine months in advance!

BE THE PRIORITY
Get the one-on-one attention you deserve with a local planner. Your resort of choice may be working with hundreds of brides, some with multiple weddings on the same day. “Usually resorts only recommend services directly from their resort ie: photography, DJ, videography, lighting, floral, etc. but it’s not always the best or most professional services. We do the research to find the best event professionals, check their references, have Skype meetings with them to discuss products and expectations, basically the same service we provide our local brides,” Amanda says.

WORK WITH A SEASONED TRAVEL AGENT
Find your dream destination that has everything you’re looking for and fits within your budget. Then leave the travel arrangements to the experts at Michelle’s Destinations Unlimited! Their team can arrange group spaces at the resort, get a special promo code for your party and even set up a wedding website to keep your guests in the loop.

“Michelle’s Destinations Unlimited gave us first-hand knowledge about the resorts, helping us to select our dream destination. We had a large number of guests, especially for a destination wedding, but Michelle made everyone’s booking a breeze. When one of my bridesmaids from Michigan missed two of her flights due to a snowstorm, she called Michelle who worked after hours to re-route her to Mexico.” – Sara Gore

LOCAL VS. ON-SITE VENDORS
It may be necessary to source some services, like catering and cakes on-site, but taking a planner, photographer, videographer and even a florist is the perfect way to get exactly what you want. Developing a relationship with vendors before the big day allows them to get to know you and your hubby-to-be, making a more meaningful finished product.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR GUESTS
Michelle’s Destinations Unlimited works directly with guests, saving the couple hours of time answering questions. They make sure guests are staying at the right place on the right dates, especially when resort names can be similar! They can even make special requests for the guests, such as room location, bedding requests and special needs.

TAKE NOTE
“Some brides struggle with not having all of their guests at the actual ceremony. Our advice is to plan a wedding reception within two weeks of returning and treat it just like the real wedding! Show the video of the actual ceremony and then make a grand entrance at the end with a party following. It’s a great way to have your cake and eat it too!” Amanda says.

We also set up a private dinner on the beach along with a couple’s massage. We greeted all the guests with “Welcome Cocktails” the night before the wedding and then added in a little extra time with the photographer the morning after the wedding for those casual beach photos.

See more from Sara and Joshua’s dream destination wedding on page A-97 of the Spring/Summer issue on newsstands now!

Other vendor credits:
Planned 2 Perfection Weddings