Getting Married Abroad Tips
Kim and Kanye West chose romantic Paris for their wedding, and an increasing number of UK couples are also looking follow suit; taking to foreign cities and tropical islands for their big day. I have planned many elegant weddings abroad. From tropical beaches to boutique hotels on sun-drenched Barbados. Romantic Paris to the popular destinations of Venice and Rome. But is a wedding abroad right for you? Our ‘Getting Married Abroad Tips’ should help you assess if this is a romantic option that will work for you and your family. Or whether it will end in disaster!
Although it may seem to be an expensive option initially – tropical wedding day – you tend to have a smaller wedding and so in the long run it can be a less expensive option than first assumed. My clients lean towards bespoke wedding days in exclusive locations. Low cost airlines mean we can transport families to most destinations across the globe, without blowing the budget! Allowing us to invest in the best locations and finest entertainment. For those on a more modest budget. There are also lots of options for ‘off the shelf’ wedding packages that also save you a lot of time and planning stress, which some couples love. More than that though. A wedding abroad if often a real dream come true, ultra-romantic and avoids the headaches of bad British weather!
On the other side – it’s likely that many of your friends and family won’t be able to afford the time or money to attend. This may mean they become upset that you have opted to be married abroad. (Consider a blessing in the UK, so that they can still feel a part of things).
So to help you decide if a wedding abroad is right for you, here’s some our ‘Getting Married Abroad Tips’ to help:
-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!
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-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 for a wedding abroad 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 for a wedding abroad. 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).
I hope our ‘Getting Married Abroad Tips’ have helped you. Wherever you decide to get married, the important thing is to ensure the big day is designed around the happy couple. Make it personal