Getting married abroad may take a little more planning than a wedding at home but it can drastically increase the chances of good weather, provide a greater sense of fun and freedom and save you money.
Here, Julia Dowling, MD of Snapdragon Wedding and Events Planners reveals her top tips for getting the perfect wedding overseas…
Legal recognition and documents
Contact the relevant foreign embassy or consulate and check that getting married abroad will be legally recognised in Britain. Understand what documentation you need and take two spare copies of each one.
Most countries require couples to be in the country for a certain number of days before they can get married and all differ.
Take out a specialist wedding insurance policy which covers your destination. Consider covering things like suppliers, cancellation because of poor weather and so on.
It’s always a good idea to visit the location of where you’re getting married abroad before booking anything. Check out venues, talk to wedding suppliers and find out exactly what is possible within the time and budget you have.
When setting a date, check whether it falls in the hurricane, monsoon or very hot dry season. Prices can vary a great deal between low and high season.
A third of British couples who are getting married abroad cite saving money as the main reason for their decision. The pound’s new found strength against the Euro has the potential to make savings all the larger – but fluctuations between currencies can work both ways so take care! Make sure you include airfares and accommodation within your wedding budget and include a couple of trips to recce your destination and meet your suppliers.
A good wedding planner will often have established relationships with local suppliers and can obtain better deals than if you go direct. Their advice on what is and isn’t possible will also help to make the whole process seamless and fun.
Make your wedding easy and effortless for your guests from the moment they step off the plane to the moment they leave. Will they need a hire car? Are there accommodation options for varying budgets and how tired will they be after the journey? Ask your family and friends how they feel about travelling before making any plans.
Save the date and give your guests as much warning and information as possible, to make it easy for your guests to book and plan ahead.
You’ve chosen where you’re getting married abroad so make the most of it and embrace some of the local customs. Use red styling ideas in China as red is lucky, swap a traditional wedding cake for a croquembouche in France, decorate your hands in henna in India and kick off your ceremony in New Zealand with a traditional Maori dance.