Destination Wedding Inspiration | Q&A with Lana Wedding Planner

We had the pleasure to catch up with the talented destination wedding planner Lana.  With all that experience and we can’t wait to find out more about her top tips for planning a destination wedding!


Tell me a bit about your company?

We established Lana Wedding Planner 2 years ago in Dubai and we are a wedding planning service.  We started with only planning weddings in Dubai but little by little we have expanded our services to including destination wedding planning too!  We have worked with lots of different nationalities of couples: European, American, British, Arabic, Iranian and Indian which is amazing.  Our list of destinations includes: UAE, Italy, Spain, Monaco, Ireland, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, Malaysia, Maldives, Bali and Cyprus.  We add more and more destinations to our list with every trip, whether it’s an international forum, workshop or just a familiaristion visit to a country.

What do you find so special about planning a destination wedding?

I love the experience and culture from all the different destinations.  We aim to deliver not just the event itself but also the extraordinary and the smoothest experience for the couple and their guests.  We want the couple to enjoy their wedding planning and remember it as the best time in their life; like a great journey.  Therefore we offer an all-inclusive service. What does it mean?  We do all the wedding planning, styling and decor, designing and production for the event itself but also flight and hotel booking, visa support, city tours, transportation, meet and greet in the airport and wedding dress stores, basically any service that is related to the word ‘wedding’.  You name it, we do it for you!
I also find it extra special adding the cultural touch from the destination where the wedding is taking place, we believe this is exactly why the couple has chosen that destination – to experience the culture and traditions of it.

What are your favourite destination wedding locations?

I love Italy, Malaysia (Sabah region) and Dubai.

Marmorata Hotel, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Malaysia

Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai

If you were to plan your dream destination wedding  where would it be?

In Malaysia! Recently I visited the stunning and not widely known about region of Malaysia, called Sabah. It’s on the north western edge of the Island of Borneo and it’s an unbelievable combination of beach, sea, greenery and mountains.  My dream wedding would be in the Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa in Kota Kinabalu where we can plan an abundant variety of activities for the couple and guests: welcome party or dinner on the beach with traditional Sabah dances who interact with the guests and encourage them to participate, a breathtaking wedding breakfast on the top of a jungle clad mountain, wedding ceremony and dinner in the garden, sporty brunch with a golf lesson, thank you party near the swimming pool.  There are no limits to our imagination…

Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa

What’s the on-trend destination at the moment?

That’s a really tricky question as there are so many amazing places.  Being a regular participant in international professional workshops, conferences and forums all over the world the list of top 5 destinations changes all the time and differs based on location and nationality of the couple.  Personally I would add one more factor that is their age.
We work with couples from all over the world.  At the moment we are planning a wedding for an Arabic couple based in Dubai to Italy, an American couple from in Los Angeles to the Maldives, a British couple based in UK to Greece and a Saudi based couple to Dubai!

Marmorata Hotel, Amalfi Coast, Italy

What are your top 3 handy hints for couples about to plan a destination wedding?

 1.  The couple should choose the destination from their hearts!  We can help and guide them but they need to feel the country and feel a real connection.  For this reason we recommend that they visit the country/ies before making a final decision.

Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu

2.  Choose and book your wedding planner before you start making any reservations – it will save you a lot of effort and money!  A destination wedding planner has wedding specific knowledge and will know more than even an experienced traveler.  A destination wedding is not just your next holiday but it is your dream life event.  In every country the wedding industry works slightly differently and we’re here to help guide you though all its peculiarities!

3.  Leave the wedding planning to your wedding professional and just enjoy!  Not all couples realize that by choosing to make their wedding in another destination it’s their inner desire to have not only a wedding dinner or party but to create an experience and new journey for themselves and their guests.  Let’s remember our vacation trips: they’re all about the journey, excitement, thrilled emotions, discovering new places and culture.  Start planning your wedding journey now!

Do you advise brides to plan a preliminary visit?

Yes, as I mentioned earlier we advise on a visit to the country or countries before making the final decision on the destination.  Moreover, when we finalize the 3 destination venues we always recommend that the couple travels for a site inspection. You can see all the venues in one visit and it’s well worth it to experience them all first hand.

Are there any hidden gems out there for brides looking for somewhere different?

Of course! Every country or even every region of the country is has lots of hidden gems and this is where your destination wedding planner can be of the help to you.  We have a huge amount of knowledge and experience and talk regularly with venue managers to discover much more than you can find on the internet.

If you want to find out more about Lana Wedding Planner and if she’s available to plan your wedding pop over to her profile page now.

All images are courtesy of Lana Wedding Planner and Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort & Spa.

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The girls at weddingsonline

The girls at weddingsonline

The girls from the UAE's newest wedding community with real weddings and lots of gorgeous inspiration!

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