As another celebrity couple, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux (click HELLO MAG), seem to be heading to a tropical paradise for their long anticipated wedding, it reminds me of a beautiful wedding that I planned under the palm trees of Barbados many years ago. Tropical it was…especially when the torrential showers forced us inside! Good job I had a Plan B in the wings!
Well, not to rain on the parade of paparazzi that will follow Ms A to Hawaii, I hope all goes well for the couple where ever they get married. If you’re thinking of a wedding abroad, here’s a few tips once again to keep your plans on track:
-‘Off the self’ tropical wedding packages can mean there may be several weddings in any one day at the venue, making you feel as though you’re on a conveyor belt of brides! Plus a different language can be tricky to deal with, especially in countries such as Italy where all the documentation and the ceremony will be spoken in Italian.
-Official photographs and videos may not be of the same quality that you’d expect in the UK, so be sure you know what you are booking or take your own photographer along!
-Research your venue thoroughly – as you would in the UK. Get advice not only from booking agents, but also from tourist boards, embassy websites, wedding websites and other independent sources.
-Use a wedding planner, particularly in a country where there could be legal, cultural or language issues. A good wedding planner can deal with all the local logistics for you, and booking directly with the wedding planner can save you time and money. They can usually get you the best deal on all aspects of the wedding. Plus they may well know your venue and what works, and doesn’t.
-Make sure you have all the visas and paperwork you need at least 12 weeks before the wedding day. Sometimes it can take several months to obtain the correct documentation from the relevant authorities so plan early.
-Make sure you buy a wedding dress which is appropriate for the weather in which you are getting married. A full skirted dress may be too warm if you get married in the tropics. If marrying in a hot climate, aim for a cooler time of day and protect yourself from sunburn or insect bites beforehand. Please don’t get sunburnt the day before your wedding…strap mark hell!
-Check the fine logistics for the wedding day. What happens if it rains? Can you choose flowers once there? Can you play your own CDs or I-pod collection? What food & drink is included? Are hair and beauty services included in the wedding package? Is there space to dine and dance?
-Avoid that ‘bridal conveyor-belt’ feeling! When choosing your venue make sure you ask how many couples could also marry there on the same day.
-Send out “save the date” cards to your guests well in advance of the wedding date. The more notice they have the more likely they are to be able to join you. People need to get time off work and save.
-Check the weather for the time of year and country in which you wish to get married. You don’t want the big day to be about battling a hurricane. Also check the time of the ceremony – when is the sun at its hottest, when does the sun set, when does it go dark – all important to know in advance.
-Relax and enjoy your big day! (but just in case the celebrations are enjoyed rather too much, make sure everyone takes out some good travel insurance).