So you have made the big decision to choose Douro Weddings as your wedding planner – first of all, thank you so much – but now we have to get down to business. We will take you through your venue options and with a bit of luck you will find the perfect Douro location for your wedding (but more about that another time). However, we often find that some of the most difficult decisions are about the vendors – the flowers, photos & video, hair & make-up, DJ, band, celebrant, catering and so on.

These decisions about vendors are made so much harder for a destination wedding, because they are not on your doorstep for you to easily visit and from a country that you are not so familiar with, so how on earth should you come to the right decision? Our best advice is to follow our specific recommendations and  go with the vendors that we suggest, built on our years of working with them. We know our vendors inside out and our experience means that we can guarantee a professional service – they will turn up on time, they won’t rip you off, their product will be exactly as shown on the tin; in short they will not mess up! We will generally have alternatives available if there is a good reason to not go with our first recommendation, but with a destination wedding, you can be taking a real risk going with a vendor that does not have a stamp of approval from a trusted source.

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Of course we understand that our clients have a vision of their perfect wedding and to get the perfect wedding, you need the perfect vendors, so the temptation is to get online and start your research. Perhaps hop on instagram and find an amazing flower arranger or hair-stylist, or check out some show reels to find an inspirational videographer. But buyer beware, you are dealing with suppliers you do not know and what appears so perfect online, might not match the reality on the ground. Having a great website does not necessarily mean that their product in the real world will match it. And even if they are as talented as their instagram posts suggest, in Portugal in particular there can be a real problem with reliability (arriving late, not following instructions, cutting corners, not sticking to budget and so on).

Our view is that by choosing Douro Weddings as your wedding planner, you have made a great leap of faith and we will repay that trust by guaranteeing you all the services that we recommend. Once you start going outside our recommendations for vendors, you will be taking another leap of faith with every decision you make, in a country you do not necessarily know very well, where there are almost certainly different ways of doing business than you are used to. We want to be your guide for every decision you take for your wedding, because we never want the smallest detail to go wrong at your wedding.

Having a destination wedding is completely different from having one in your home country – things will just work differently on all sorts of levels: think about the tourists you see in your own country wrestling with public transport or ordering in a restaurant for example. We will of course always respect our clients’ choices of vendors and will always do our very best to work with any vendor (which more often than not work out fine!). However if things do go wrong, you only have one shot at a wedding day (!), so we always feel so much more comfortable as your wedding planner working with the team we trust!

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