Magnificent mountains, beautiful beaches, city chic – however you define it and wherever it will take you, here’s how to plan your dream destination wedding.
Wherever your destination, compare the costs of different resorts, venues and hotels as you would if you were tying the knot closer to home. Use weather forecasts and average recorded temperatures to check whether your idyllic wedding escape will be just as perfect when you’re due to be married, especially if you’ve got your heart set on a snowy white wedding or unabated sunshine. If you’re not sure where to head yet, these 5 destinations all offer good value and a great wedding.
While a short hop up the motorway is expected when it comes to attending weddings, choosing a wedding abroad means your guests will have to fork out for flights and might need to book time off work.
When choosing your destination, it’s important to consider how easy it will be for guests to attend. Short-haul locations with cheap flight options will likely mean more of your guests are able to share your special day. If having all of your friends and family around you is essential, consider contributing to the travel costs or whether a destination wedding really is the right choice for you.
As soon as you’ve got a wedding date set, send out your save the dates. Letting people know early means they can book flights and accommodation well in advance, taking advantage of early bird deals. Do some research for them and let them know of accommodation and transfer options as well as ideal flights (you don’t want them to be delayed and miss the wedding!), and don’t forget to let them know if they will need any visas or vaccinations. You’ll also need to check when you need to arrive at the destination. Many countries require a certain length of residency before you can marry there.
When you’ve set the date and booked your venue, it’s time to get in touch with a wedding planner local to your destination. Many resorts will have their own co-ordinators available for you. Use their experience, expertise and relationships with local vendors to make planning your day a breeze. They’ll take care of language barriers and help you find local suppliers who are often cheaper than UK alternatives. For more help on stress-free planning for your destination wedding, check out our guide here.
To avoid the hassle of translations and obtaining and assembling all the required documents, why not legally marry in the UK first? You can then jet off with peace of mind to enjoy a beautiful blessing and reception abroad. Alternatively, check and double check what paperwork is required, take it in your hand luggage and make sure you have several spare copies to hand.
Book any extra suitcases you need in advance to avoid hefty airport charges, remembering to save space for any wedding gifts you might receive, and keep all essentials like your wedding rings and documents in your hand luggage.
Speak to your airline and bridal boutique before you fly. They will often be able to provide you with a flight box for your wedding gown and allow you to take it on the plane as additional hand luggage.
For many couples who choose to marry overseas, the climes are one of the biggest appeals. Reliable sunshine and crystal clear skies make for a stunning setting, but they also come with higher temperatures. Choose your gown accordingly, favouring lighter materials like chiffon over heavier styles. If you’re marrying in the mountains or an icy paradise, accessorising with a faux-fur wrap is essential. Don’t forget some for your maids, too! If in doubt, use these essential tips to style your bridal party for your wedding abroad.
The climate will also affect hair and makeup choices. Hot and humid conditions can spell disaster for curls.
Grooms might want to add or remove layers from their suits, with many opting simply for a smart waistcoat and short sleeve shirt, forgoing the formal jacket altogether.