You know Whitney Bischoff as the newest member of our SMP Blogger Bride Squad, and today this gorgeous bride-to-be is dishing a few details of her Cape Cod wedding. Based in Chicago, Whitney is planning a wedding across the country, but pulling off destination nuptials its no small task. She’s sharing two MAJOR tips – from one bride to another – to save your sanity and make the wedding planning journey one to remember.
From Whitney… Hello again! I hope everyone had a very Happy New Year and is getting back into the swing of things following the holidays. As I mentioned in my introductory post, Ricky and I got engaged the middle of July and almost immediately the questions started flooding in…”When are you getting married? Are you getting married in Chicago? Are you getting married in Kentucky?” Brides, I know y’all understand the feeling, am I right?! In today’s post, I’m hoping I can share some tips with couples who are hosting a destination wedding which have served us well since we made the decision to have a domestic destination wedding!
Ricky’s family has ties to Cape Cod, and so it was suggested we consider the Cape as a potential wedding location. Something in my heart told me I would not be disappointed and this is the place I should marry the love of my life. When Ricky and I traveled to Cape Cod in September 2016, I knew immediately this was the perfect location. We toured the area, looked at venues and by the end of the weekend, we had decided the Cape is where we would say “I do.”
With a date and a venue, we both took a huge sigh of relief, looked at one another, and thought “What in the world do we do now?!” If we were going to get married on the Cape, how in the world would I plan this wedding from so far away without having minor panic attacks on the regular? I would have to choose my vendors from afar and trust I’m making the right decisions through phone calls and pictures. For all the destination brides reading, I know you understand this feeling well! To say we were overwhelmed was an understatement. I started collecting wedding planning books and began my online research.
I soon realized there were two very important things I had to do in order for us to successfully plan a destination wedding from Chicago: I had to find local Northeast professional wedding vendors I could trust and connect with, as well as hire a wedding planner.
Tip #1: Connect With Local Vendors
The power of social media in this day in age is quite mesmerizing to me. I love connecting with people and following their stories, seeing their travels, fashion, families growing, the list goes on, but never did I think that social media would be where I found my very first vendor- I kid you not! I mentioned I started doing a lot of research – this included reading and browsing SMP, but also looking for inspiration through Instagram. While browsing one evening, I saw an insanely gorgeous picture that appeared to be on the Cape. I started following this photographer immediately so I could keep track of photos I hopefully could capture for my day. Not too long after, I started corresponding with Carly from Carly Michelle Photography.
Not only was I obsessed with her pictures, but I was equally obsessed with how kind she was. This is a girl that if I lived out east, we would 100% be friends. And that’s when it all started to click. Not only do I want vendors who are talented, I want professionals who are passionate, kind-hearted, hard-working and who I enjoy being around. Soon enough, Ricky and I signed on the dotted line. We officially had a location and a photographer- there was no stopping us now.
Tip #2: Hire a Wedding Planner, ASAP
A week or so later, Carly emailed she had just shot a wedding on the Cape with an incredibly talented wedding planner. Originally I was not going to hire a wedding planner. But I trusted Carly (trusting your vendors is KEY, I cannot reinforce that enough) so I decided to jump on a conference call just to get a feel for what this sweet gal, Keri Ketterer, owner of Always Yours Events, was all about. An hour later, I didn’t want to get off the phone. All of the anxiety and overwhelming feelings I mentioned previously were gone. She understood me and my vision, what I was looking for in a design and how personal I wanted my wedding day to feel.
For all of you planning a destination wedding, a wedding planner is mandatory! Trust me. Your fiancés can thank me later when they realize although it might add a bit to the budget, your sanity is worth every penny. Having someone who can represent you in person at vendor meetings when you cannot be present can relieve so much stress, and just having a professional and experienced planner by your side to guide you through the process is invaluable! From there, let the magic happen.
Until next month!
Photography: Carly Michelle Photography | Wedding Planner: Always Yours Events | Makeup: Gabrielle Raguso | Bride: Whitney Bischoff | Sunkissed Skin: Glo Airbrush Tan | Wedding Gown Salon: Belle Vie Bridal