How to Choose a Destination Wedding Planner

by Zac Campbell

How to Choose a Destination Wedding Planner, and Why

So, you’ve decided to get married in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico… Now what?

As the old adage goes, one decision leads to another. The first and most important aspect to ensuring that your wedding in Puerto Vallarta is everything you imagined is to begin the process of finding that perfect person or company that is going to guide you through the numerous stages… aka The Wedding Planner.

You may ask yourself, “Why do I need a wedding planner? I’ve read every Martha Stewart Wedding Book, Modern Bride Magazine and I even planned my high school prom! How hard can it be?”

This is no time to explore your inner party planner! You go to your doctor to find out if you are healthy. You go to your lawyer to make sure you have all your ducks in a row. You hire financial professionals to manage your money – so why, oh why, would you spend all the time and money you are going to spend on the most important day of your lives, and not hire someone who knows all of the ins and outs of planning a wedding in Puerto Vallarta?

Prior to becoming an event and wedding planner, the biggest regrets I had ever heard from brides and grooms is that their families and friends had too many responsibilities. They couldn’t enjoy the festivities because they were too tired and worn out from running around and dealing with all the months and months of details leading up to the big day.

You want everyone that has taken the time to fly down here to enjoy every moment of their time in Puerto Vallarta – not running around making sure that every candle at the wedding ceremony or reception is in the perfect position. Honor them as they have honored you by making the time to spend with you on your wedding day.

The second biggest consideration is that while you are a very well-traveled couple who has trekked Mt. Kilimanjaro and spent night after night wandering the Left Bank in search of the perfect cabaret, you’ve probably never planned a special event in Mexico.

Your idea of a dinner party is calling the Orchid Garden and having the party platter for 10 delivered. You’ve never created an itinerary for 75 people all arriving in a foreign country at different times from different locations – let alone planned a rehearsal dinner, menus, specialty cocktails, cake flavors, hotels or villas, ground transportation, etc. Did I mention the additional factor that you have never planned a wedding in Mexico?

Be Smart. Make a Wise Investment. Hire a Wedding Planner.

Now that you have come to your senses, you ask, “How do I know whom to hire?” Years ago, there was only one choice for wedding coordination in Puerto Vallarta. Times have changed, and as one of the world’s top wedding destinations, today Vallarta has attracted some great wedding and event planners… as well as some duds.

Your wedding planner needs to a person [or team] that is keenly aware of what your individual needs are, someone who listens to your dreams and desires for the perfect wedding celebration. Someone who is going to provide you with the level of service you are accustomed to. Someone you can trust to have a conversation with your mother and father – or better yet, someone who can deal with the inter-family politics, including, of course, The Monster-in-Law!

You need someone who you can trust to guide you down the aisle to marital bliss. And, most importantly, someone who has the resources to handle the scope of your event. This includes staff, reliable vendors, a solid business… and above all happy clients!

Ask the right questions. You are going to be spending a lot of time with your planner. Choosing a wedding planner is like choosing a lawyer or any other kind of professional. The reality is you need someone who can get the job done, on time, on budget and they need to be on page with you.

Your wedding coordinator needs to be accessible, and not just on Fridays because that is the day they send out emails! It is also key that you trust this person. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and there will be a lot of money, time and responsibilities being given to this person. Do your homework. Choose wisely.

Check References. Check References. Check References!

Listen to what their past clients have to say about them. What were their strengths? Weaknesses? How do the bride and groom look back on their big day? If someone has the huevos not to honor your request for references, or just refers you to their website “praises” page, MOVE ON! They are not worth the salt on the table next to the empty Tequila glass!

Bottom Line:

I’ve never known anyone who walked away from their wedding experience and said, “WOW, you know what? I really didn’t need a planner. I sooooooo could have done that on my own.” Now go ahead, start searching. You will regret not doing so.

About the Author: Zac Campbell is the owner of Eventful Moments Vallarta, a full service event planning and gourmet catering company specializing in Puerto Vallarta destination weddings and commitment ceremonies. For more information, visit Zac’s website at, or send an email to