Organising a Fiji Destination Wedding can be trying at times. The majority of it is done online – from the initial research, to finding inspiration and contacting suppliers, vendors and resorts. Unless you do a trip over there to see the venues and speak one on one with the suppliers & vendors then it can be a little stressful getting the correct information about what you are after; with the hopes that it all magically comes together on the day. Most of the time it does, but sometimes expectations can put a damper on the day.
So I thought I’d write a few tips about communicating with your suppliers, vendors & planners.
A little note: These tips are from my personal experience.
1. GET ON FIJI TIME
As the saying goes – get onto Fiji Time is your first step. Some resort planners and suppliers are great in returning your emails within 1 or 2 days. Some take 1 or 2 weeks.
You have to remember that some resorts have 1 or 2 weddings a day – up to 3! So not only are they responding to your emails but they are responding to the other 365 brides as well as making sure weddings go smoothly each day. As for suppliers – they to aren’t always on the computer and sometimes internet connections over there can be very slow. So be patient. They will get back to you. And if its more than a week or two – then simply send them a friendly reminder or give them a call.
Same goes with planners and specialists. They normally get responses quicker, but they are working direct with Fiji.
2. LIST YOUR QUESTIONS
Listing your questions in one email makes communication for you and your planner/ supplier so much easier and ends up with a better result. Instead of emailing one question at a time or in multiple emails – sit down, work out a list of questions & number them (1 to 10 for example) and under sections – Day, Ceremony, Reception, Accommodation etc. The supplier/ planner can then respond to each question and send it all back in one go. This helped me immensely, especially in the short time frame we had to re-plan. I think I only ended up with 4 emails to my planner to get all and confirm the information I needed.
If you need to respond or ask for further clarification, write your response in a different colour (eg/ blue) next to the question and their answer and mention to refer to your response in ‘blue’ at the beginning of the email. This way it acts as a running conversation for each question instead or writing a new email and having to refer back to the question.
3. BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE AFTER
Communicating what you are after over email can be difficult. It’s easier if you pick from examples the resort or supplier has sent you. But if you are tailoring your day it maybe hard for the planner/supplier to envisage what you have in mind. Again list each item with a detailed description. I found it best to set it out out in a table – with a picture next to each description. The planner can then tell you if it is achievable or not.
This helped a lot in seeing what the resort could achieve and what was available. To my surprise it was pretty close!
4. FINALISING DETAILS
Unlike planning a wedding in Australia, your details for your wedding don’t need to be finalised until 4 to 6 weeks before your big day. Why? As mentioned above resorts have multiple weddings to look after each year, so it’s easier for them to lock everything in closer to the date. To be honest, I don’t see this as a bad thing. By then you should have final number of guests, you should be able to see what flowers are available (as they are weather dependent), set with the style of your wedding.
We ment with our planner the day before the wedding, we were taken around to all the locations and picked there and then. We ran through all the details and the schedule. Being the day before my mother was in a panic! But the whole day went down hitch free! Trust them, they know what they are doing. They have done it 360 times already!
A few extra tips:
If the resort can offer the services you are after always feel free to outsource. Flowers, Cake, Hair & Makeup, Photography and Styling are the key services outsourced. Yes it’s cheaper to go with the resort as part of the package – but if you want to ensure quality and you want to lock it all in earlier… OUTSOURCE!
When communication with these services refer to the above. Show examples of what you might be after or inspiration – keep emails listed with questions and don’t send multiple.
If you have a date you heart set on, lock it as soon as you know then venue/ location. This is normally locked in with a deposit. Remember! Nothing is confirmed unless a deposit is paid – first in best dressed.
Same goes with suppliers. Lock it in as soon as you know with a deposit. “penciling it in” does not guarantee your date. Photographer and Hair & Makeup should be the first two on your list after venue.
If you are finding it difficult or stressful to plan your wedding one on one with the resort – find a planner, specialist or agent that can help! Some have a fee and others don’t. They can pickup from where you have started or help you from the very beginning. To be honest, I wish I knew to do this for my wedding. Means less time on the emails and phone calls for you and less stress! BUT always communicate the same with your Planner or Specialist. Be clear and concise in your communication – send as minimal emails as possible with all your thought out questions.
If you have any tips that has worked for you or any questions, comment below.