Nia’s Travel Diaries: Destination Wedding Edition
In this special entry, Nia takes flight to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, where she planned and produced a destination wedding for a client. Here, read her insights and learn what a destination wedding with Notiq Agency looks like.
If you’ve been following along in my new blog post series called “Nia’s Travel Diaries,” this diary entry may look a little different—but it’s an experience I just had to share. For those that didn’t already know, Notiq Agency is known for more than just its group travel experts; we plan and produce destination weddings too!
For a recent wedding on June 24, 2021, my team and I traveled to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, leaving on June 23. Insider tip: Airlines do have seasonal flights that take you directly to Martha’s Vineyard from Boston, Washington, D.C., and a few other spots along the East Coast, but I actually traveled the vineyard via bus and ferry, because I wanted the full ground transportation experience—as well as become more knowledgeable and well-versed for future clients that may be traveling to Martha’s Vineyard via bus as well.
After landing at Logan International Airport in Boston from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, we tapped Peter Pan Bus Lines for 2.5-hour ride to Woods Hole, Mass., where we switched from land to sea with a 1-hour ferry ride thanks to The Steamship Authority. And yes, we took the same route back!
If you were ever wondering what it looks like to have our Notiq Agency team on-site for your big day, here’s what went down:
- As soon as we checked into the resort, we checked in with the bride and groom, all vendors involved in the wedding, and hosted a rehearsal for the wedding ceremony.
We stayed at Harborview Hotel, where the wedding was also held. Situated 7 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, the four-star property offers couples a charming, picturesque spot to exchange vows, with stunning views of Edgartown Harbor to top it all off. The 130-year-old hotel underwent a huge renovation last year, bringing an updated coastal-chic vibe to guest rooms, with nautical nods and cozy neutral hues mixed with subtle patterns throughout.
- During the rehearsal, our team made sure everything was going to be set up perfectly for the ceremony the next day.
Following the rehearsal, we went out to dinner at Atlantic Fish & Chophouse—it was delicious! For those traveling to Martha’s Vineyard, even if just for fun and not nuptials, I would highly recommend it. However, when we’re on-site for a wedding, our nights can’t be too late! Our team’s days are so long, so we definitely have to get our beauty rest.
- We kicked off the day of the wedding by offering wakeup calls to the wedding party to make sure everyone is where they need to be.
From the crack of dawn, we’re working! We woke up at 4am to ensure the first bridesmaid was ready for hair and makeup in time. The bride had a large bridal party, and we had to ensure everyone had hair and makeup completed by noon, since the ceremony’s start-time was 3pm. We also ensured the bridal and groom suites were stocked with food and drinks they had ordered (while we don’t order these items for wedding parties, we ensure it arrives on time!).
- While the wedding party was getting ready, we made our rounds to vendors—photographer, videographer, etc.—to answer any last-minute questions, and facilitated the decor, design, and setup for the ceremony and reception.
During pre-setup, we’re taking care of everything—down to placing the number signage on the tables. We’ll even bring the bride a steamer for her dress! There isn’t a detail we won’t cover for our couples when we’re on-site.
- We ensured the wedding party and guests were following the timeline of the afternoon, so that everyone remained on schedule.
While “first looks” have become very popular at weddings, this couple, particularly, did not want to see each other prior to the ceremony. So, my team ensured the bride and groom did not accidentally bump into each other between photo shoots!
- After photos and pre-setup were complete, our team began to greet guests arriving for the ceremony.
As guests arrived, our team verified their COVID-19 negative test results and then directed guests to available seating.
- We gathered and lined up everyone for the ceremony.
And while the ceremony is happening, if vendors arrive, such as to deliver the cake, we meet with them to get everything ready for the reception following the ceremony.
- Following the cocktail hour post-ceremony, our team kept the wedding party on-schedule for their entrance into the venue, helped execute the champagne toast and cutting the cake, as well as the couple’s special dances, bouquet and garter toss, and departure.
- Post-reception, our team stuck around to ensure vendors executed post-event cleanup/breakdown, and ensured the couple received any wedding gifts brought on-site.
While we offer services for couples that don’t require the Notiq team to be on-site, we prefer that couples hire us for in-destination coordination (Platinum Package), because it really allows us to see the vision all the way through, and ultimately helps everything run smoothly. Because hotels and resorts host hundreds of weddings each year, they don’t have the same level of attentiveness and perfectionism as we do. To them, you’re just another wedding, but for us, we go over and beyond for our destination wedding couples.
Starting to plan your own destination wedding? Book a consultation and let us take the stress of planning off your plate!