Destination weddings are without a doubt the flavour of the season and why not?! You get to tie the knot in a beautiful location amongst a few select guests who genuinely want to be there, and you get to have a holiday at the same time. It’s practically a win-win. While many brides and grooms may fantasize about a wedding abroad, they sometimes forget to factor in the practicalities when making their decision. If you’re at the start of your wedding planning journey, then this article is a must-read for you!
If you’re looking to get married abroad then this is the first thing you need to consider, as it will determine everything else; your theme, cost, time-frame and travel options. When choosing a location, try and pick somewhere that reflects your personal style or means something to you both as a couple, or as a family. Remember, your guests will be making a special trip to be part of your big day so think about any extra activities they can participate in and how comfortable they will be in your selected area.
This is perhaps the trickiest part. You need to choose a time when the majority of your friends and family are free; think Easter, summer or Christmas. But, you also need to ensure this time coincides with your chosen location. You don’t want to get married during peak season when there will be crowds of tourists everywhere you go, meaning fewer hotel availability and higher prices. Yet, you also don’t want to go when it’s completely off-peak and the weather takes a dip – not to mention a lot of local vendors will shut shop to take a holiday.
Make sure you have the time to head out to your chosen location at least once before your wedding to secure and source venues and accomodation, and visit local suppliers. Don’t just trust the Internet when it comes to booking suppliers for your wedding, as you never really know what something or someone is like until you see them face to face. If time is an issue for you, then see number 4.
4. Hire a wedding planner
If you can’t make it down to your country before the big day or feel overwhelmed with all the planning then get help. Planning a destination wedding is twice as hard as planning a normal wedding as there are so many factors to consider. There are many local planners who specialise in destination weddings, who have great ties with suppliers abroad and will be able to do all the legwork for you. It’s worth investing in someone if you can.
5. Vet vendors
If you’re hiring a wedding planner then they will be able to meet with potential vendors on your behalf and brief you with all the details. If you don’t have a planner, you should arrange video chats with your suppliers so you can physically see what they have to offer – and it gives you a chance to get a sense of their personality and demeanor before you sign any contracts. The best option is of course to head out to your chosen area and meet local suppliers – try and take a few samples of local items you like if you want something specific. The more costlier option is to fly out local suppliers to your location however, we tend to ask clients to avoid this.
6. Budget from the word go
You need to have a clear budget in place from the word go. Make sure you are aware of the exchange rate but do be weary that this may change, so put an agreement in place with your suppliers which highlights if you are working to a fixed exchange rate or not. You also need to think about the smaller expenses you will incur on behalf of your guests such as welcome packs, their travel arrangements, any activities and food and drink (if you’re paying for this). Some local vendors may also require travel expenses.
You need to just get out there or get on Google and do as much research as you possibly can. Brides and grooms planning their wedding now are quite lucky as there is a lot of information accessible online (Tripadvisor is great for things like this). Look at local wedding blogs, magazines and try and find out as much about the area as you can. Ring friends and family or travel agents if you have to. And MAKE SURE you know everything you need to about local marriage requirements. These vary from country to country and you don’t want to end up breaking the law.
If you’d like any further information or assistance with planning your destination wedding then give us a call on 0116 268 8804 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy wedding planning!