If you live in the UK and you’re planning on getting married here, then you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the local weather is going to be like on your wedding day – by which we mean you know what a British ‘summer’ day can be like and how chilly it can be in winter.
But having a wedding abroad is a completely different story – and where you’re going to marry makes a big difference. For example, you might think that all beach weddings are the same, but if you’re marrying somewhere like Thailand then it’s likely to be humid, whereas a beach in the Caribbean might be much drier and breezier. Either way, you’ll have to make sure that you’re dressed properly for the occasion – here are our tips.
Forget the kilt
“Getting your wedding attire wrong can really spoil your memories of the big day,” says Robert Benetello of Bestweddingaway, who organise weddings around the Mediterranean. “For the men, wearing full-blown Scottish national costume including thick socks, heavy wool tartan kilt and belted plaid may not be such a great idea if you are getting married at the Lake Garda at midday. You’ll have enough on your mind without sweating in 35 degree weather!
“Ladies, make sure you follow the advice of your wedding planner – especially when you are advised to include itinerary breaks to allow you and your guests to freshen up. Also, it’s important that you know what you’ll be walking on during the wedding event before you buy your shoes. Cobbled alleys, boat trips, green lawns and dance floors can be a nightmare to negotiate in skyscraper heels!”
“Think about wedges or kitten heels rather than stilettos,” agrees Ellie Sanderson, runs two highly successful bridal boutique shops in Oxford and Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, as well as The Dressing Room. “If you’re wearing flip-flops, don’t forget your posture!”
Don’t buy the meringue dress
Ellie also advises on thinking about the weight of your fabric when choosing your wedding dress. Avoid wearing taffeta if you’re marrying anywhere hot – you’d be much better off choosing fabrics like chiffon, lace and silk organza. Natural fibres are better because they ‘breathe’, unlike artificial fabrics.
You also need to think about how you’re going to get the dress to your destination. If you’ve chosen a big meringue with hooped skirts, you’re going to have a job and a half getting it there, and once you do it might look rather crushed on arrival. Why not choose a dress from a designer who specialises in creating destination wedding dresses? We love the destination dresses at Wtoo and the MoriLee Voyage Collection, which has some stunning on-trend gowns in pale pink.
Check with your destination hotel or wedding planner before you arrive what facilities there will be for ironing and pressing clothes. To be on the safe side, you might also want to invest in a hand steamer so you can make sure your dress has no crumples and hangs beautifully on you.
The groom’s outfit is just as important – if you’re marrying on a beach, a formal three-piece suit or tails might look a little odd. Instead, get him to try some lightweight summer suits that he’ll be able to wear again and again. Dessy does a stylish seersucker number that would be perfect for a beach ceremony, and would look fab if you go out to dinner somewhere smart on your honeymoon.
If you’re jetting off to the mountains for a stunning winter wedding, think carefully about how you intend to keep everyone warm – nothing will ruin the day quicker than freezing hands and feet and chattering teeth!
Brides can keep cozy in a luxurious faux fur cover-up – Wonderful Wraps do an amazing wedding range of stoles, capes and jackets in velvet and faux fur which will look incredible in photos as well as keeping you toasty. Consider gloves as well – a winter wedding is the perfect place to try out a chic short pair, or the more traditional elbow-length glove.
Don’t forget about your bridesmaids! Make sure your girls don’t catch a chill by including cover-ups as part of their outfit for the big day – depending on how cold it is, this could be anything from a comfy pashmina to a full fur coat. If you’re expecting snow, it might be wise to choose mid-length dresses for your bridesmaids to avoid the hem of their gowns getting ruined.
It’s even more important to consider your footwear if you’re having a wedding somewhere cold – the last thing you want is people slipping on icy pavements or freezing their toes off in the snow! Flats are always more sensible, and if you’re really worried then wear something sturdy like walking boots – nobody will see them under a full-length dress anyway! For a pretty but practical option, we love these Weddington Boots.
1. Think about your shoes and the surface you’ll be walking upon
2. For the boys, keep in mind that heavy suits and kilts won’t be relaxing or comfortable somewhere hot!
3. Long veils plus strong winds can equal disaster. Consider a stylish birdcage veil instead
4. Avoid dresses with heavy corseting
5. Cover up if you’re marrying somewhere cold – even if you’re only outside for photos. Frostbite is not a good look!
6. Silk organza, lace and chiffon are all good choices for hot weather
7. Look at destination wedding dresses from specialist designers
8. Travel with your dress as hand luggage – don’t check it in! It might get lost!
9. Think about local sensibilities. In some churches in countries like Italy and Spain you may be required to cover your arms and shoulders, so strapless dresses would be a no-no