The Benefits Of Hiring Local Vendors For Your Destination Wedding

If you’re planning on getting married overseas, finding the right team of vendors can be overwhelming. You might find yourself weighing up the benefits of hiring local vendors versus bringing in an international team to help bring your wedding in to reality. So where do you start? Today I want to highlight some of the benefits of hiring local vendors (as in vendors local to the destination) versus bringing in an international team.

The Benefits Of Hiring Local Vendors

There is no denying that we live in a very international society these days and as destination weddings and elopements become increasingly popular, so does the number of vendors offering to travel half-way around the globe in order to be a part of a couple’s big day. In fact, there are so many vendors out there who would give their right arm to work a destination wedding, that some of them are willing to do it just for the cost of travel in order to get the booking. So why would you hire a local vendor?

Dramatic Isle of Skye elopement in Scotland by Lynne Kennedy Photography
Isle of Skye Elopement by local photographer Lynne Kennedy Photography

1. Local Knowledge

Whilst I don’t believe that a vendor needs to have worked at a particular location before in order to do a great job, having local knowledge is definitely a bonus. Local vendors love acting as tour guides for their couples and sharing their insider knowledge for their home turf. Local vendors often know some of the best locations and will know about any special permissions or permits that might be required to go there. They are proud of where they live and do their best to make sure the couple has an amazing experience whilst also respecting the local community, landscape and customs. Unfortunately there are increasing numbers of incidents where people from out of town simply aren’t respecting these areas, and don’t know about the local customs, which is resulting in awesome locations like Iceland’s famous plane wreck, to be closed off to the public.

2. Local Contacts

Hiring local vendors, you’ll get the benefit of all of their local contacts. Destination wedding planners who work with local suppliers on a regular basis will often be able to get better deals, and should something unfortunate happen leading up to the event, they’ll probably have a number of people they can call on to help out.

Adventure Wedding Collective member Nadia from Amulet Weddings & Events said “As a European Wedding Planner I only work with local and reputable suppliers in the destination my couples are hosting their wedding. Using local suppliers ensures their wedding is a reflection of the local cultures, traditions and environment, it gives back to the local community and most importantly ensures they are receiving the very best service from those that are experts in the area.”

3. Speaking The Local Language

Of course this isn’t limited to just local vendors, as you don’t need to be local to somewhere to speak the language. But having vendors that speak both English and the local language can be a big help, both running up to you wedding and on the day.

4. The Legal Side

Did you know that a lot of people who work on destination weddings do so illegally? Hiring someone who is not local and who doesn’t have a permit to work in your destination can be a massive risk, even if no money is changing hands overseas. For photographers and videographers especially, this can be a very dangerous game, and unfortunately too many vendors are not upfront about the fact that they will be travelling on a tourist visa when accepting bookings. And while on many occasions the risk pays off, in the worst cases they can be refused entry, arrested, fined or deported if they don’t have the correct work permits. Whoever you hire, it’s so important to make sure that everything is legal – including whether their contract and insurance (especially liability insurance) covers them for working in your destination.

5. Environmental Impacts

2018 has been a terrible year for our planet with the devastating effects of climate change. And for most individuals their largest carbon footprint comes from air travel. It might be your dream to fly across the world to get married, but by sourcing as much as you can locally, you are helping to reduce your wedding’s environmental impact.

Yana from Peach Perfect Weddings told me “Couples seldom consider is the environmental cost. Do we really need to be putting unnecessary CO2 emissions into the atmosphere to fly in a photographer from NYC for your Tuscan elopement, when there’s a perfectly talented army of local photographers waiting for your call?”

A tall rock face with a bride and groom standing at the bottom by Caroline Hancox Photography
Switzerland Pre-Wedding Shoot by local photographer Caroline Hancox Photography


We Are The Wanderers has it’s own wonderful group of wedding vendors from across Europe, so if you are looking for the perfect team for your destination wedding in Europe, check out the Adventure Wedding Collective.

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Editor of We Are The Wanderers Cat Ekkelboom-White at Lake Prags in the Dolomites in Winter

Author: Cat Ekkelboom-White

Cat is the founder of We Are The Wanderers as well as a photographer for Wild Connections Photography and mentor at the Adventure Wedding Academy.