Nearly half (44%) of UK couples that get married abroad worry about sourcing local suppliers and venues, making it one of the top concerns for destination weddings. Research from TransferWise, the international money transfer platform, surveyed couples’ top concerns for planning their wedding abroad from start to finish. To combat the stresses that may be associated with this they have enlightened and reassured us with top tips and top apps that will help you prepare and take away any reservations you have for your dream destination wedding!
Half (49%) worry about family and friends being unable to attend
TIP Book the wedding well in advance to make sure the people most important to you are able to attend. You can send a speedy save the date note using www.paperlesspost.com It’s also wise to search out the best flight and hotel deals for your guests and make it as easy as possible for them to get a good deal.
Almost half (44%) worry about sourcing local suppliers and finding the right venue
TIP Hiring a local wedding planner who can speak the language and can recommend local suppliers is essential when planning a wedding outside the UK. To make sure they understand what you’re after, create a Pinterest board with all your wedding inspiration and share it with your planner.
A third (33%) worry about transporting or forgetting to pack important items
TIP Share the responsibility! Ask members of your bridal party to travel with important pieces so you don’t have to rely on international couriers. There are a lot of good organisational apps to help here – our favourite is Wunderlist, which lets you share and track task lists in groups.
One fifth (22%) worry about the weather
TIP Look for destinations with guaranteed sunshine and check historical weather records of your chosen destination before booking anything. We’re fans of Holiday-weather.com, which gives you access to detailed worldwide weather predications. Your guests will thank you for avoiding monsoon season!
One fifth (21%) worry about paperwork and bureaucracy
TIP Check the documents and permits you need to marry in your country of choice, and make sure you and your partner are both ahead of the game – Evernote Scannable and Google Drive are great apps to save all those documents in one place digitally, so you can keep on top of the admin. Some permits take up to six months to pass so don’t leave this until the end!
17% worry about the cost of the wedding itself
TIP You don’t have to hold back on the special touches to your wedding to save money. Banks charge a lot for sending money abroad, and knowing how to get around the charges is a great way to cut costs. Use peer-to-peer money transfer services like TransferWise to pay venues and suppliers for your wedding abroad. It’s eight times cheaper than using a bank and is the wedding planner’s best kept secret!
14% worry about the cost of travel
TIP Only book flights in the ‘incognito’ mode on your web browser, or use a different computer to the one you’ve been using to browse flights. Your web browser will remember which flights you’ve been searching for and will freeze the price so the flights won’t dip any lower in price. Another tip is to use a flight comparison website to help you find the cheapest flights, Skyscanner is our favourite.
One tenth (12%) worry about travel delays
TIP Delays are sometimes unavoidable. Factor in time for delayed transport in your plan by encouraging guests to book a flight the day before the wedding. Using Airbnb for accommodation can minimise the cost of any extra nights.
Destination wedding event planner TOP TIPS
Jo Daye, founder of Accent Events, has been a wedding planner for ten years. She specialises in destination weddings in Italy.
“I’ve helped countless couples get married in Italy over the years and have found that people choose a destination wedding for one of three reasons: because of the lower cost; because it’s their second marriage and they want something more low key; or because they want to do something a bit different”.
“My top tip for couples planning a destination wedding is to not forget about the cost of sending money abroad. I’ve been doing this for 10 years and couples always forget about the transfer fees! When paying lots of different suppliers – like DJs, caterers and venues – the cost can really add up. TransferWise is a marvellous tool for any couple planning a destination wedding; it’s saved my clients thousands of pounds over the years.”
Hannah and Bradley
Bradley proposed to Hannah on a skiing holiday in France after four years together. Being keen travellers, they instantly knew they wanted to get married abroad. They had only one place in mind – a beautiful family run hotel sitting on the coastline of the Greek island of Santorini where they’d spent many holidays in the past. The owners of the hotel helped them make their wedding arrangements extra special, sourcing local caterers and florists.
A top tip that Bradley and Hannah give to any couple considering a wedding abroad is to make smart choices when transferring money overseas. Bradley and Hannah used TransferWise to send a total of £8,000, meaning they saved £360 compared to using their bank – the money they saved went towards paying for their honeymoon in Indonesia!
Megan and Dan Manley
Megan is Canadian but is currently living and working in Cambridge. She met British-born Dan, her now-husband, while studying for her Masters at Southampton University. Megan grew up in Lemonville, a small town just north of Toronto. She always knew she wanted to get married back in Canada but didn’t want an elaborate ceremony, so opted for a small affair with close friends and family.
“I didn’t want the traditional wedding, so we settled on a kind of cocktail party. In Canada you can get married anywhere, unlike in the UK. That actually contributed to our decision not to get married in the UK, we just didn’t like the restrictions.”
“We ended up renting three party rooms. We had a buffet, an open bar and even a pool table. It was so relaxed! We didn’t have a DJ but hired an acoustic guitar player for the first part of the day. He played some of the more traditional songs during the registry. Later in the day we put on a Spotify playlist that we had made in advance, everyone loved it!”
Megan’s favourite apps for planning a wedding overseas are Spotify and TransferWise. She used TransferWise to pay for her wedding from the UK. She said: “We transferred about £12,000 overall, meaning we saved around £300 compared to if we had used a bank – the money we saved paid for our plane tickets to the wedding!”