I am recently engaged and am beginning to plan my wedding and honeymoon. (But I've been a longtime lurker!) We are having a somewhat long engagement - our wedding is in Oct. 2016 - but I have already started looking into honeymoon ideas. I am considering using a travel agent to book, but having never used an agent before, I have some questions for those of you out there with experience.
1) I am considering using a larger agency that is not local to the area where I live. (There are not many highly-recommended agencies in my area.) Has anyone used an agency that is not local to them? If so, how did it work - did you still feel as though you got the personal touch of having an agent even though you didn't meet them in person?
2) Do travel agencies generally have a minimum amount that you must spend on the trip in order to engage their services?
3) How far in advance do you need to contact the travel agency? I am guessing that I probably have some time before I need to contact them, but just am not sure how much lead time they need.
4) Any other thoughts or recommendations on travel agents would be much appreciated. I typically book my vacations on my own online after lots of research, but I was thinking for the honeymoon it might be nice to have someone with experience with the destination finesse the arrangements. (We are considering doing approximately 12 nights in Italy, but neither of us has ever been.)
Thank you in advance for your help. I'm looking forward to using these boards as I plan!