Planning a Destination Wedding: In Prince Edward County
You’re getting married! Congrats!
This is an exceptionally exciting time, one that will likely unfold over anywhere from a few months to a few years. Of course, there is the actual wedding to plan, but along the way there may be engagement celebrations, bridal showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties and whatever other ways you may come up with to celebrate!
If you’re considering Prince Edward County for your wedding destination, I say “excellent choice!” I grew up near “the county” and the area provides both a small town feel and world class offerings in terms of food, wine, accommodation and natural beauty.
If the idea of a country wedding in Prince Edward County brings to mind images of tranquility, simplicity and intimacy- you would be spot on.
As romantic as it all seems, and most certainly will be, there are some things to consider when planning a wedding from a distance. To make that journey a bit easier, here are some things to consider when planning a wedding away from home, and more specifically in Prince Edward County.
1. Who are Your Guests?
I believe that your event whether a large wedding, a birthday party or an intimate dinner party is all about your guest. Sure, it’s your big day, but for instance a wedding, is a truly public event meant to honour all the people who you love and who support you and your partner. Therefore, there are some things that you ought to consider prior to planning your county wedding.
If the majority of guests are from out of town, you will need to think about location, distance from accommodations, ease of directions, providing transportation at the end of the evening, parking. When my husband and I got married, there were so many things we needed to consider, as our guests were predominantly travelling from out of town. While we found a number of locations that would have been perfect for our party, we made our selection based on our guests and what would give them the best experience.
Making the travel to your event venue and guest accommodation as easy as possible will make for much happier and less anxious guests.
Consider each and every guest. Are there any guests with limitations in mobility, guests with children? How does your chosen location and venue cater to their needs?
Giving your guests very precise directions regarding directions, parking, accommodation and entertainment recommendations can turn your wedding into not only a great celebration but a great getaway for your guests.
2. Local Vendors
In future posts I will be highlighting some well-known, and some up and coming vendors you really need to check out in the PEC region. There is so much happening right now, it’s almost hard to keep up!
Hiring local vendors is imperative to planning a wedding in the county. Not only will it save so much of your time, it will also give you much more ease of mind as your event approaches.
Why? Let me count the ways! Local vendors will;
a) Be familiar with the area
b) Offer suggestions and recommendations based on the area
c) Are based locally and so will avoid any traffic hiccups on the day of (Toronto traffic-need I say more)
d) Have likely worked with each other and so will be familiar with each other and have worked together.
You DO NOT want to have to deal with vendors arriving late, getting lost or being unfamiliar with the location. It doesn’t matter how talented they are, I would recommend that local will almost always be better and much likelier stress free. Your venue and/or planner (more on that coming up!) may also be able to provide you with vendor recommendations or have preferred vendors for their site.
3. Learn the Area and Incorporate into Your Event
If you are going to host an event in PEC it makes wonderful sense to utilize what the area has to offer! The area is known for its produce and its wine. Therefore, it would be highly advisable to work with a local catering company to bring together the most county meal for your guests.
if you are fortunate to be in a wine region, and in the case of PEC, you are! than it makes sense to get out to the wineries, sample and incorporate into your wedding.
Perhaps you are hosting your wedding or event at one of the area’s wineries in which case you will be lucky to use the wine that that winery has to offer. Don’t let that hinder you from getting out and exploring other wineries before or after your event, and providing information for your guests as well.
Outside of food and beverage think of all the ways in which you can incorporate the locale into your celebration. There are many wonderful products or activities that could be provided as favours or guest gifts or as a part of welcome baskets. Some ideas that come to mind quickly are beach passes, wine, pottery, restaurant gift certificates,
If many of your guests are coming from out of town, an excellent idea would be to put together welcome packages for them. Considering including a list of area restaurants, music venues, natural sites, shops, accommodations and other unique things to see and do. If you have hired a planner who is familiar with the area, they or the venue you have chosen will likely be extremely helpful sources in compiling this list.
4. Ask for Help: Hire an Event or Wedding Planner
Last but not least, ask for help! If you have already committed to hiring a planner for your event this is going to make everything that much easier.
If this is something you have not yet considered: unless you have family living in the area, ease and ability to head up to the area whenever you like, a roster of people hired for the day itself, and hospitality and event experience-it will be extremely helpful to have someone hired who you know has your back, and will make things happen.
Speaking from experience, as an event planner with an extensive hospitality background, we benefited from having additional help on our day. Looking back (as a planner and as a bride) I would now have opted to hired someone for month-of-coordination.
Find someone who is familiar with the area and with local vendors. They will know the ins and outs of the companies, who would work well for your location and will have developed relationships with vendors already so that you do not have to forge yourself.
Make room in your budget for at minimum a month-of-planner. Trust me when I say it is going to save you A LOT of time and A LOT of money in the end.
With these tips in mind, get planning that wedding or event! If you or someone you know is looking to get married in 2019 or 2020, drop Gezellig Events + Design a message. I would love to discuss our various planning options and I always welcome an opportunity to gush a bit more about “the county.”
Until next time..