Benjamin Martin Photography

Planning an out-of-town wedding can be daunting, but we have a few tips from Hot Springs wedding planner Randi Slick of Signature Events to ease your fears.

1. Hire a local wedding planner.

“Face-to-face meetings are the best, but they’re not always feasible,” Slick says, so “it’s important to find a planner you can trust.” A planner will meet with vendors throughout the process on your behalf.

2. Be efficient.

There are quite a few things you’ll need to do in-person, so try to plan multiple vendor appointments during the same trip. This will help cut down on the number of times you need to visit before the big day.

3. Hire vendors in person.

Don’t feel comfortable letting your planner choose your vendors? That’s OK, Slick says. “Once you do your research [online], make appointments with highly recommended vendors.” It’s important that you get along with each other and that they grasp your vision.

4. Make It Easy for Guests

Be sure to pick a hotel that is conveniently located within 15 minutes of the venue — something within walking distance is even better. Guests will be on different budgets, so consider affordability. It’s also polite to offer transportation if able.

5. Keep your cell phone handy.

Slick recommends frequent check-in calls and picture texts with vendors to keep you in the loop as the pieces come together. Inspiration boards that can be shared electronically are a big help too.

6. Set an early RSVP date.

Slick recommends out-of-town brides put an earlier RSVP date than usual on the reply card, so there will be more time for any last-minute changes. Save-the-dates are especially handy when planning destination weddings too, as they allow guests more time to make travel arrangements.

Randi Slick has been in the wedding industry for 15 years. Her business, Signature Events launched in 2012 and is now a successful event planning company along with a full-service rental department.

See more in the 2019-2020 Hot Springs Wedding Planner.