Destination Site Visit: One site visit? Or two?
Site visits can be exhausting (even when you've got a wedding planner like me there to hold your hand!) and the best thing you can do for yourself is be organized and allow plenty of time.
In a perfect world, you’d be able to visit your destination twice before the wedding: once to scout sites and a second time to finalize contracts. Breaking your site visit into two trips can save you lots of stress. You can enjoy a more leisurely pace and make sure every last detail is attended to. You’ll also see things and smell things and experience things differently on a second visit.
However, if you’ve been there before, already have a venue chosen, and have each vendor narrowed down to just a couple of choices, one visit could suffice. And if you don’t have the time or budget for two separate visits, just make sure your one trip counts by allowing enough time to pack everything in.
The important thing is to not end up feeling rushed. When you’re tired, frazzled, and short on time, you’re more likely to make a rash decision just to get it over with. And if you can afford to allow extra time to explore and let things happen organically, all the better. You can plan all day long, but you can’t plan making a wrong turn only to discover the most amazing sushi restaurant ever.
You should allow at least four full days (not including travel) to work everything in—whether it’s all in one trip or broken into two trips.
Allow extra time if:
... you’re traveling abroad.
... you’ve never been there before.
... you don’t speak the language.
... a lot of travel time will be required between vendors and venues.
... you have an extensive list of vendors to check out.
You can cut corners if:
... it’s a location you’re well familiar with.
... you already have your venue chosen.
... you have everything narrowed down to one or two choices.
... it’s a tiny village where you can easily walk to everything.
... you’re absolutely willing to be happy no matter what.