Planning a wedding in this blustery British weather can put a dampener on anyone’s wedding plans. It’s no wonder so many couples have taken to the skies in search of a sunnier wedding destination. Whether you want the paradise beaches of Barbados or a romantic Roman retreat for your big day, here are some tips for organising the perfect overseas wedding:
Last minute wedding planning is not an option when travelling abroad. Weddings need a lot of planning and getting married abroad is no exception. We would go as far as to say it takes longer to plan your perfect day in a place far, far away. It’s recommended that you leave 4 months before you wed as the paperwork differs depending on your choice of venue – often you have to submit passports months before you arrive. Be aware that some places also have an allocated time you have to spend in the country before getting married. Think of the practicalities of how your big day will unfold. For example, getting married in the middle of a forest would require outside changing facilities for you to slip into your dress beforehand.
Often a fast-track option for the rich and famous, wedding planners are a must if you’re planning to wed abroad. The perfect wedding planner is worth every penny – trust us. They will have local knowledge of the area, will be able to speak fluently and save you money on last minute essentials. However, be aware of hidden costs before you hire anyone. Some planners charge for everything little thing surrounding your wedding (flowers, confetti, music etc) which we don’t really agree with. Wedding planners are hired to make your life a little easier in the months before your wedding so choose carefully.
There are many factors that go into selecting a wedding venue for your bride/groom to be. Does it mean something to you? Did you get engaged while on holiday and want to go back there? Weddings abroad don’t have to be about getting married on a glistening beach, toasting with prosecco and saying "I do” as the sun goes down –although it’s not a bad idea. In Cyprus you can legally marry in a church or what about an animal sanctuary in Kenya? Whatever weird (wonderful) ideas you might have there are many options to make sure you bring a bit of personality to your wedding. Talk to your wedding planner, who will inspire you with ideas.
The main reason couples are attracted to weddings abroad is they usually work out as the cheaper option. The cost of a wedding abroad is £6000 compared to £20,000 in the UK. Although long haul flights to sunnier destinations are costly, the lower cost of living makes weddings very good value. However, spending on a credit or debit card while away can have crippling effects – many providers charge additional costs for withdrawing cash abroad. It could be worth carrying a currency exchange card while abroad which allows you to withdraw cash without a fee. Although you aren’t able to spend more than what’s stored on your card, the ability to re-load cash gives users the flexibility of adding more money when the rate is best.
Remember the finer details. Where you decide will affect everything, from the dress you wear to your choice of flats or heels. If a beach wedding under the Caribbean sun is your idea of paradise then you may want to consider wearing thinner material. Some airlines allow wedding dresses to be hung up to prevent creases; you may want to check with a flight attendant before boarding to ensure you look 100 percent on your big day.