5 Pro Tips from a Destination Wedding Planner

Unlocking the secrets of love celebrations with Maria Tripaldi, a seasoned wedding planner based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I sat down with her to get you the best advice and pro tips from a destination wedding planner.

With over two decades of expertise and a remarkable portfolio of 500+ weddings, Maria is the go-to wedding coordinator for couples seeking the perfect celebration in paradise. Join me as we delve into her wealth of insights and discover what it truly means to be a destination wedding planner. 😀

Here’s what we will cover in this blog:

pro tips from a destination wedding planner, maria tripaldi headshot with colorful piñata
Photo by FineArtStudio

Destination Wedding Planner vs All-Inclusive Hotels

How is working with an outside wedding coordinator different than the ones at the all-inclusive resorts?

Hotels sell rooms, not weddings. Their priority is to fill the hotel, not necessarily to have your vows at heart.

If you book a wedding at an all-inclusive resort, the planner is part of the package. That is not to say that they don’t have experience in all the planning and execution, but there is less room for customizing it to your needs and vision.

Hotels are amazing for some people, but we thrive with off-resort weddings, as our clients look for more personal service. An off-resort wedding is built from scratch and can truly reflect who you are as a couple with a unique wedding day.

If you want to use our services and still get married in an all-inclusive resort, that is an option.

Related: The Complete Guide to Destination Weddings

The Couple is the BOSS

What is the most important thing to you when working with your couples?

It’s important to consider your client’s needs and understand what the couple wants. Gone are the days with a JLo-like planner who directs the show.

The real boss is the couple and they call in all the shots. That power is very important because a wedding is a milestone in our lives and will generate some stress, so knowing that you are in charge and that your wedding coordinator’s goal is to make sure what you want happens, alleviates some of that wedding planning pressure.

wedding couple in white with wedding planner
Photo courtesy of Photo Studio AB

What to Look for in a Destination Wedding Planning Service…

What would you advise couples to consider when hiring a wedding planner?

Hire a planner that you can talk to. Many planners spend a lot of time talking and do not listen.

I love to hear all that my clients want and then ask questions. It is basic, but too many forget that our job is to invite the clients to create their own dream wedding. Listening invites them to open up and become enthusiastic.

wedding planner cradling bride's face with affection
Hiring a wedding planning service will make you enjoy the entire wedding planning process, and can be a real last-minute lifesaver!

Top Tips to Plan Your Wedding

What are the top 3 tips you have for couples hosting a destination wedding?

  1. PINTEREST: Use Pinterest and your life will be easier. By organizing your inspiration and ideas in one place, it is easier to narrow down options and organize what colors or themes are the ones for you.
  2. WEDDING WEBSITE: A wedding website is a great tool as it will make sure your guests have all the travel, hotel, and wedding information handy. You can put there everything they need to be aware of, and it will prevent them from contacting you to check every little detail and stressing you out with questions that can be easily answered.
  3. RELAX: Put more energy into the relationship than into the big day and you are set. The wedding is 1 day but your relationship is FOR LIFE!

Fave Hotels or Wedding Venues

Do you have a favorite venue or hotel (s) and why?

I love the Blue Venado wedding venue and the Sandos hotels. There are a lot of great all-inclusive wedding resorts in Cancun and Tulum as well that would fit any taste and wedding budget.

If you are planning on choosing accommodation options for your guests, get help. The wedding is the main event, but where they stay and how satisfied they are with their accommodation will play a big part in their wedding experience. Offer an unforgettable experience for your guests by selecting the best location and wedding resort for your group!

More About Maria Tripaldi, Pro Destination Wedding Planner

How long have you been a professional planner?

I started in 2001 almost 20 years ago, Playa was a way smaller place then. We wanted to get out of the restaurant biz for different reasons and with a friend started planning weddings.

The first one was a discovery, we were good! Since then, we have planned over 500 destination weddings and we still love what we do and being part of the wedding industry. Things change, but the joy of having family and friends on a tropical beach to celebrate your love in joy (and tequila) is priceless….

How long have you been in the Playa del Carmen area and how did you end up here?

I have lived in Playa since 1996. I was on a tour around the world and Mexico was my last country, having started in Thailand. I was supposed to go back to Venice, where I am from, but I chose to stretch my stay.

Long story short, I am still enjoying the beauty of this amazing, crazy country. Mexico has a vibrant heart and you will feel it. All my clients have come back or dream of.

About Professional Wedding Planners

In conclusion, when searching for the ideal planner, remember that there’s only so much you can handle on your own. A pro planner is everything you need to create a truly unforgettable destination wedding. 

This guide to planning your special day should emphasize the importance of selecting someone with the right experience and passion for creating the wedding of your dreams. As my friend, a seasoned wedding planner would advise, start your search as early as possible to ensure a seamless and stress-free journey towards your perfect day.

Happy planning! 

Want more information about planning a destination wedding in the Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Costa Rica, or the Caribbean?

Get in touch, we love to help!
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