Determine Whether or Not You Need to Take a Planning Trip
If you are paying attention to details, and/or planning a wedding attended by a large group of people, you will probably need to make a planning trip. A planning trip lets you meet the service providers you want to hire, and negotiate the contracts in person. You'll feel more confident about your decisions and choices, and you'll begin to forge professional relationships with your service providers.
Sometimes you have to make more than one planning trip. It may be that the wedding is quite complicated and simply necessitates multiple visits and meetings. We did a wedding in England that involved multiple tours, a large variety of favors, three elegant receptions in three different venues and close to 50 serviced providers! Sometimes you have to return to the destination if the first planning trip is not totally successful or as complete as it should have been. Finally, if you change your minds about important details, you may also have to return to make the necessary changes.
A planning trip is not necessary if you are planning to elope by yourselves or with a couple of friends. It would almost seem silly and would probably spoil the romance if everything was staged and experienced in advance during the planning trip.