When you marry abroad you automatically up the odds of your wedding standing out from the crowd, but the tailoring doesn’t have to stop with the destination. Sarah Holt from Thomson Weddings explains how you can make your wedding abroad rarer than a red steak…

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The write stuff

Personalise your wedding right from the get go. Find a motif that represents the country you’ll tie the knot in, and have it printed on your invites – you could use a Divi Divi tree for Aruba, a chilli pepper for Mexico, or an elephant for Kenya.

Say it with flowers

Incorporating the national flower of your wedding destination is a beautiful way to personalise your day – you can add them into your button holes or bouquet. The Dominican Republic’s national bloom, for example, is the blush-coloured Bayahibe rose.


Let them eat cake

If the country you’re getting married in has a sweet speciality, why not customise your wedding cake according to local tradition? If you’re tying the knot in Malta, get a Baci cake made – this rich, squidgy dessert is made with cocoa, hazelnuts and vanilla, and it can be baked in tiers.

Face the music

Music is the easiest thing to tailor to your big day. You could have your first dance to the sound of a steel band in Aruba, reggae in Jamaica, or bouzouki in Greece.


Do me a favour

Your wedding favours don’t have to just be beautiful – they can be practical too!  If you’re making your promises in the sunshine, you could give each guest a fan with your names and wedding date printed on the stem. It’ll keep them cool during the ceremony and act as a memento when they get back home.

Food for thought

Shake up your wedding menu by theming it around local cuisine – you could share mezze in Cyprus or have a banquet of reindeer and cloudberries in Lapland. Canapés can be themed, too. In Jamaica, for example, your guests can nibble things like patties or fried plantain rings with mayo dip.


Top of the tables

You can go to town on table decorations when you’re abroad. From shell name holders to flip flop bottle stoppers, the world’s your oyster!

Promises promises

They say you only get married once, but in some locations you can have more than one ceremony on your big day. In Thailand, for example, you can have a monk blessing as well as the standard nuptials, and in Aruba you can have a sand mixing ceremony, too.


Off the cuff

Want to customise your big day in a suitcase-friendly way? Get the men in your wedding party some personalised cuff links, saying ‘father of the bride’, ‘best man’, and ‘usher’. Worried the girls will get the green-eyed monster? Get them a customised tote beach bag saying ‘mother of the bride’, ‘maid of honour’, and ‘bridesmaid’.

Cocktails and dreams

Shake up the drinks menu at your wedding by customising your own cocktail. Work with the bar staff at your reception venue to invent a drink that symbolises you, your partner, and the country you’re in.

Over to you! We’d love to hear your ideas on how to personalise your big day overseas – why not chat with other brides tying the knot abroad on our Forum, or get more inspiration from our Weddings Abroad section?


  1. I think we’d find planning a wedding from so far away too big a stumbling block. Our venue being just down the road is enabling us to put a lot of personal touches into the day in a way that we just couldn’t do from a venue miles away.

  2. I got married in cyprus and it was the best decision ever our families managed to go as did our friends and the wedding company made sure everything went to plan. I still had my own personal touches that I just took with me. It was like an extended wedding as we had two weeks of fun 🙂 x

  3. I’m getting married at the Bellagio, Las Vegas (it’s where we got engaged) 6 months today. It has been so easy to organise and would recommend it to everyone. We are having 12 guests and celebrating with people when we get home.

  4. I went to a wedding in Turkey last month and it was lovely and they were lucky enough to have lots of guests. I’m getting married locally as a wedding abroad wouldn’t be an option for me especially as my immediate family don’t like flying!


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