Ep. 17 Planning a Destination Wedding w/Zohe Felici, Destination Wedding Expert

Hi, friends! In today's episode we're talking through all things destination weddings!
If you're thinking that a destination wedding might be the way to go on your big day (whether it's in a different part of your state, in a different country, or even on the other side of the world) this episode is going to inspire you and equip you with tons of helpful advice. As always, I brought in a subject-matter expert to chat with and today's guest is the fabulous, Zohe Felici.

First, I answer a question from @pattipechan77 about her destination wedding. Then I introduce today's expert guest, Zohe Felici @felicievents. Based in Santa Barbara, CA (a very popular city for destination weddings) Zohe plans weddings both locally and internationally, fundraisers, corporate events, mitzvahs and large international festivals with over 20,000 attendees.
She has served as the President of the Board of ILEA-VSB (International Live Events Association, Ventura Santa Barbara Chapter) and was the Immediate Past President of ISES (International Special Events Society).
Zohe also owns and blogs for SantaBarbaraWedding.com She is recognized as THE wedding and special event venue expert for Santa Barbara.
Exciting Side Note: Zohe was a part of the coordination team on Sophie Turner and Joe Jona’s beautiful wedding in France.


  • Does having a destination wedding mean having a smaller guest count?
  • How could we incorporate the local flavor?
  • How could we coordinate our destination wedding plans with honeymoon travel plans?
  • What costs would we be responsible for covering (for our guests and for wedding party)?
  • What other events should we host over our wedding weekend?
  • Will our guests expect a welcome gift?
  • When should we send out our save the dates and invitations? How much time should we request for RSVP returns?
  • Should we provide transportation for our guests?
  • Would guests bring gifts to our destination wedding? How would we manage the logistics of getting those gifts back home?
  • What types of gifts would be specifically relevant to our destination wedding?
  • What is the etiquette for requesting that guests send our gifts to a certain place or in a certain way?
  • How can we learn about and work the cultural differences and local customs into our destination wedding (especially if it's international)?
  • How can we learn about the laws of the country we’ll be married in?
  • Should we hire a wedding coordinator based where we live or based one where we’ll be getting married?
  • What are the best reasons to have a destination wedding?
  • We chose a special place for our destination wedding because it's a part of our love story. How can we work that into the theme of our day?
  • How often should we visit your wedding location?
  • How can we learn about local availability of items such as foods and flowers?
  • How can we book the right vendors for us?
  • Are there any concerns we should be thinking about? Maybe a word of warning that we haven’t considered yet?
Why it really makes sense to book a wedding coordinator and not just rely on the venue’s site manager.
How differences in work ethics and just general business operations between you and the vendors you’ve contracted for your big day (especially if the vendors are international) could impact you in your planning process
Tips and tricks for communicating well and defining expectations with your vendors.
The best time to take engagement photos.


ABOUT MY GUEST, Zohe Felici:

Zohe Felici episode title

Zohe Felici episode title

Italian-born, and raised and bred to entertain, Zohe Felici’s rich heritage flows through everything she does, particularly her event-planning career. “That’s the nature of being Italian–we plan out and celebrate every meal, and before we finish dessert, we're planning breakfast. Imagine what we do for a special occasion!” 

Immersed in foreign cultures, Zohe lived around the world growing up and developed strong foreign language skills. As a teen she cultivated her party planning mastery, orchestrating friendly gatherings with her peers. Her natural abilities became legendary, in turn coining the appropriate phrase "Another Felici Event." (Felici means "we are happy" in Italian, therefore, “we are happy events”.)

Zohe's career has included stints overseeing all aspects of special events as the Wedding and Special Events Manager for some of the top luxury resorts in the world and event management companies in the country. She has fearlessly produced over 400 flawless and memorable experiences for her clients, infusingZohe’s special brand of creativity into everything she touches through her culture-centric, full-service event production company.  

Zohe added to her business portfolio beyond event production by acquiring Santa Barbara Wedding Style in 2015. This wedding blog is dedicated to providing engaged couples resources and inspiration for planning their wedding in and around Santa Barbara.  Zohe is delighted to showcase her knowledge and experience in special events, serving both engaged couples and the local wedding professionals she respects. “I care deeply about our community and I love sharing what I’ve learned. I get excited about mentoring the next generation and co-creating with my exceptional peers.”

You can see more of Zohe's wedding and event passions by visiting www.FeliciEvents.com and www.SantaBarbaraWedding.com



Essential Wedding Podcast @essentialweddingpodcast
Essential Planner Co. @essentialplannerco

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