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Rebecca
Just Said Yes May 2023

Greece Destination Wedding

Rebecca, on November 17, 2021 at 1:07 AM Posted in Planning 0 10
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Hi All,

Literally looking for any words or advice, wisdom, insight, N-E-THING:

Okay, so I am at the stage of: "I don't even know what I don't know" about weddings in general, let alone a *~destination~* wedding.

My partner and I's dream is to have a wedding in Greece, in the Athens Riviera for roughly 50 people in September of 2020, second option May of 2023- I have about 15 guests who may be traveling from the US and the rest are his Greek residing friends and family.

I have been spending some time googling and looking up wedding planners and we have made about 5 or so inquiries to wedding and event planners. SOME of the responses we have gotten back so far seem to indicate that they would charge around **** USD flate rate JUST for wedding planning services and they seem to cater to a more lux/high end clientele with large weddings of 150-300 guests. That is out of our budget and I am assuming this does not include costs of actual catering, music, decor, floral vendors, etc.

We did reply and asked all of the companies for more information and if they are interested in coordinating a small wedding, so not sure what kind of response we will get back yet..some are offering to video conference which is nice.

ANYWHO, my initial thoughts were that since we both live in the US, the benefit of a planner would be that they would have knowledge of the local area's vendors. I think it's possible that I could research these things myself IF I have a venue selected but I would still need help to coordinate on the day of the ceremony. My partner is also Greek and he can help as an interpreter if ever needed.

Also, we are both inexperienced and have no idea what a realistic budget is? We are hoping like... 15-20k and we both have no idea what we can get for that.

My questions are:

  1. Should I stop looking for a wedding planner and put my energy into finding an ideal venue and see if such venues have an in-house coordinator or events planner?

  2. Do I actually need a wedding planner?!

  3. Do I just need a wedding coordinator if I find the venue on my own?

  4. Is there any other method or strategy to go about this process??

IF you read this far, thank you SO MUCH!

Any help is appreciated!

10 Comments

Latest activity by Rebecca, on November 26, 2021 at 9:07 PM
  • Rachel
    Dedicated October 2023
    Rachel ·
    • Flag
    I'm very little help as we're eloping in Santorini. Different area of Greece and not a full wedding.


    I would definitely recommend a planner for a destination wedding unless you're able to take a planning trip for a couple of weeks and book everything then!
    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Rockstar August 2022
    Samantha ·
    • Flag

    I think a venue with a coordinator in the package could actually be the right happy medium here. You could also try to find partial planning services? You do the research and reach out to vendors, but they can maybe go to in person meetings for you and do the set up?

    Mine isn't a destination wedding on a different continent, but it is in a location that I can't travel to. I hired a DOC and settled on low maintenance venues for both our ceremony and reception, and focused on walkability between the two. That's another thing to think about!

    • Reply
  • E
    Just Said Yes March 2022
    Emaline ·
    • Flag

    I would highly recommend a wedding planner or at least venue DOC, especially since you physically can't be there to pick out florals, linens, place settings, etc... Pictures from vendors are great, but every vendor will always send their best stuff, so having eyes and ears on ground with your interests in mind would be ideal. A planner also may be able to get deals or hire vendors who since you are on a bit of a tight schedule for a September 2022 wedding considering a lot of venues are booked over a year out.

    As for budget, you may have to make a few compromises, but I found this link which might be helpful on industry standards over there. Another thing to consider is the foreign transaction fee that a debit or credit card might charge. Just double check your current cards and pick the one with no foreign transaction fee.Smiley smile

    https://weddingingreece.com/wedding-in-greece-cost/

    • Reply
  • Lynnie
    WeddingWire Administrator October 2016
    Lynnie ·
    • Flag

    I agree with Samantha! Finding a great all-inclusive venue or a venue with an awesome coordinator might make more sense for you!!

    I'd also suggest checking out WeddingWire's Cost Guide - it's a great tool that shows you the average spend for different wedding services and gives detail about what goes into those costs:

    WeddingWire Cost Guide

    For example, the first big cost I'd ballpark is catering (which is sometimes included with the venue cost, and is sometimes a separate vendor) - but food & drinks alone can easily run $100-$200 per person! (So that's 5-10k right there!!)

    There are also a few good articles with planning tips advice you should check out:

    How to Plan a Destination Wedding

    How to Plan a Destination Wedding on a Budget

    10 Destination Wedding Etiquette Tips You Need To Know

    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Just Said Yes May 2023
    Rebecca ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I agree!! I think I am starting to focus more on venue researching and see what coordinating services are offered in-house! Thank you for the links! I definitely am hoping to find more dedicated "research/planning/googling time" this weekend!

    I was able to send off an inquiry to two hotel-based venues last night and one sent me a very detailed price list which reflected that 100-200 amount per person pricing so that gives me a better idea of how far budget could go.

    The one thing I am also wondering about is; is it common for the larger hotel venues to upcharge for a smaller event? I saw terms on the pricing list above such as "for this option you must have a 50 or 100 person minimum, or smaller events will have a percentage upcharge per person" but I guess this all depends on the venue I am contacting and their preferences?! I am worried about the turn out.

    It did at one point cross my mind to just rent a villa out, stay there for a few nights and host the actual wedding there lol for simplicity sake, but I need to gather more information on that end too lol.

    So I guess I have a lot of information gather and details that I also need to sort out like the final number of guests and budget!!


    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Just Said Yes May 2023
    Rebecca ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    This is very helpful! Thank you! I will look this over. And great point about the foreign transaction fee!! That is something I did not even think of! Definitely agree, the appeal of having someone who knows "what is what" over there! Yes 9/2020 seems too close to me but also wonderful if we can pull it off; but I do wonder if 2023 would be more realistic. We are also trying to factor in the peak/best weather months to make it worthwhile for guests to travel to Greece!

    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Just Said Yes May 2023
    Rebecca ·
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    I really like the idea of partial planning because I don't mind doing this kind of stuff as long as I have a general idea of what to do. I did read something recently that some wedding planners can end up becoming wedding "cheerleaders" because their client realizes they actually love to do the planning hahaha. I also like the idea of low-maintenance venues! Our respective friends and families are both very low key and we really just want to give an opportunity to celebrate with some natural scenery, does not have to be glamorous! It just happens that many of the ocean-view places happen to be very luxe!!

    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Just Said Yes May 2023
    Rebecca ·
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    That is amazing, Santorini is gorgeous and so romantic!

    I don't think we would be able to do a planning trip so definitely having a contact/coordinator/planner there is very appealing.

    • Reply
  • Lynnie
    WeddingWire Administrator October 2016
    Lynnie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Hey Rebecca! Guest minimums like that can be common everywhere, so I'd definitely continue to look at venues like hotels that have multiple event spaces (so hopefully one space is better suited and priced for a 50 person event!)

    If you're just a few people shy of their minimum you can always ask about adding on upgrades for your guest list so that it raises the overall spend (which is what the venue is trying to achieve!) For example if your RSVPs come in for 40 people, you can ask to upgrade the liquor package or add another desert option.

    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Just Said Yes May 2023
    Rebecca ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    That is a great tip about negotiating other upgrades! I've made some headway since I posted this and we were able to dial in on a venue with a range of options for different event sizes and have met with a few wedding planners. We found one that matched our needs and are preparing to commit to working with her so that is a huge relief!

    • Reply

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