The average UK wedding costs a staggering £24,000. Given the high costs and unpredictable British weather, it’s no wonder 1 in 5 of us will choose to get married abroad. With the average cost of a wedding abroad sitting at just £6,500 there is serious money to be saved – follow these top tips make the experience stress-free.
Keep an open mind when choosing your location
There are lots of great wedding package deals available during the winter months, so keep your options open and do your research. Start off your search by comparing prices on sites like Perfect Weddings Abroad and Planet Weddings.
Choosing less popular destinations could save you money and add a truly unique touch to your wedding. Why not think outside the box and consider a wedding in a historic european city like Budapest, Lyon or The Hague – all of which have cheap flight routes from the UK.
Opt for a wedding planner
In the UK, wedding planners are seen as a luxury, but for a wedding abroad they are essential! The right wedding planner will have excellent local knowledge, established relationships with local suppliers and importantly, be able to speak the local language. The Weddings Abroad Guide has a good directory of wedding planners from around the world, and includes customer testimonials.
Work out the cheapest times to fly
Before booking venues, keep your guests in mind and find out what the cheapest time of the year to fly to your location of choice is. Using apps like Skyscanner, you can compare hundreds of airlines and find the cheapest times in the year to fly – your guests will thank you for it!
Use Pinterest to make a pinboard of your favourite wedding styles, then get creative. Make your own invites, table settings and decorations and don’t be shy to pull in favours from family and friends. You’ll save hundreds of pounds and it’ll add a personal touch to the style of your wedding.
Use local suppliers
Gruyere from Switzerland? Champagne from France? Jamon from Spain? It’s often much cheaper to use local suppliers, and it’ll give a real cultural flavour to the dinner. Get a feel for the local cuisine by using online travel guides Rough Guide and Lonely Planet.
Venture out of your comfort zone
Ditch tourist trap hotels and get a taste of the real character of the country you’re going to. Local guest houses can work out much cheaper than booking through leading holiday sites. Alternatively, use sites like Airbnb to rent apartments, chalets and villas from locals.
Don’t get caught out on the exchange rate
When you send money internationally, banks and brokers take a 3-5% cut of the money you transfer. Use TransferWise when paying suppliers and venues abroad – it’s up to 10 times cheaper and five times faster than using a bank. On a £8,000 transfer you’d save yourself £360 in hidden fees – enough to pay for the champagne reception!
Real life weddings: 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. Hannah and Bradley got married at sunset surrounded by their closest friends and family.
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!
Planning a wedding abroad? Then don’t forget about all those all-essential-apps!