Happy Fall Y’all! Not only is today the start of the colorful foliage season in the Lowcountry, it’s also a popular time for brides and grooms to come into town for planning their 2016 weddings. If you’re not sure how many trips to take or what should be accomplished in each trip, I’ve provided a guide for you right here on the blog.

Q: How many trips should I plan to take during the course of my destination wedding planning process?

Ideally, you should plan to make 3 trips to your town before the Big Day, whether it’s Hilton Head, Beaufort, Savannah or Charleston, SC.

  • Trip 1: Find your ceremony and reception venue
  • Trip 2: Design Planning
  • Trip 3: Tastings, Logistics and Planning

Tip: You should hire a wedding planner prior to scheduling trip one. This way you can save valuable time by having your planner do the legwork of recommending places that fall within your vision and budget, and setting up the site visits. I enjoy joining my clients for their site visits. It allows me to ensure they’re asking the right questions and also take notes on their behalf.

Trip 1: Venue Search

Prior to your first visit, your wedding planner will provide you with a shortened list of venues to research online. Once you’ve selected your top 3 or 4 venues and have the dates for your trip in place (airlines booked), your planner will setup an itinerary at the various locations. You should be able to accomplish this in one weekend (arriving Friday and departing Sunday).

Trip 2: Design Planning

Your second trip should take place 6-8 months prior to your wedding date and should include 2 full days of meetings, preferably during the week. During this visit, you’ll focus solely on the design aspects of your wedding, or as I call it, “painting the picture.” This visit will consist of several meetings with vendors and an in-depth meeting with your wedding planner. Your itinerary could consist of:


  • Site Visit at Venue – discuss layout and flow, brainstorm ideas, find out what needs to be rented vs. what is provided
  • Event Rental Showroom – see/fee/select the items being rented for your wedding
  • Meet with Planner – draw room diagram, select linens, discuss draping and lighting


  • Flowers – bring the room diagram so your florist can count tables and have a visual. Also bring inspiration photos. Your florist will want to see a picture of your gown when discussing bouquet.
  • Lighting Company – plan functional and aesthetic lighting for reception and rehearsal dinner (if needed)
  • Hair/Makeup Trials – you can postpone this to trip 3 if needed

Trip 3: Tastings, Timelines and Logistics

Your final trip can take place 2-4 months prior to your wedding. Two months is cutting it close in my opinion, but definitely feasible if work/personal life is busy prior to that. Like trip 2, this one can also take place over the course of two full days, preferably during the early week.


  • Meeting with Planner – Logistics Planning, Timeline Creation, Finalize design details…and so much more
  • Reception Menu Tasting – check with your caterer to find out policies on quantity of menu items you may select as well as the number of guests who may attend
  • Cake Tasting (my favorite!) – bring photos of inspiration…and your sweet tooth!


  • Final Meeting with Florist – revise quantities and update designs as needed
  • Meet with Officiant/Pastor to Plan Ceremony Service – this can also be done over the phone, but it’s always nice to meet in person if time allows
  • Rehearsal Dinner Planning & Tasting, if needed
  • Hair & Makeup Trial, if needed

Planning a destination wedding from hundreds of miles away may sound daunting, but with proper scheduling and direction from your planner, it is actually much easier than one may think.

If you’re recently engaged and planning a destination wedding in Hilton Head, Savannah, Beaufort or Charleston, SC, please do send us a note to tell us about your vision and inquire about our planning services.

Happy Planning!

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Embellished Events | Jen Leiti
Wedding Planner & Coordinator + Luxury Design Services
Serving Hilton Head, Savannah, Beaufort and Charleston, SC
(843) 757-7762