Destination Weddings are on the rise, with almost 3 times as many couples booking destination weddings in 2015 as opposed to 2014 it seems the trend is continuing to rise. This post will explore some of the reasons why more & more people are choosing to get married abroad and hopefully help you decide if it’s an option you would seriously like to consider.
Photo from: Wed in Italy
The weather is course another huge factor! Let’s face it we don’t exactly get a summer full on sunshine here and weather can play havoc with people’s carefully laid out wedding plans. Many destinations abroad can literally offer almost guaranteed sunshine on your wedding day! I also find that there is much more when it comes to choice in venue’s – mainly because they have so many amazing outdoor venues to make the most of the great weather. It isn’t actually legal to get married outdoors in the UK if the ceremony doesn’t take place under a permanent structure, this law doesn’t apply in most other countries so its easy to take advantage of some of the most stunning locations around the globe.
Photo: Le Ciel in Santorini
Photo: Renaissance Aruba Weddings
There are a few things you need to factor in though when planning a wedding abroad, mainly the guest list. Many people plan their wedding abroad in order to cut down on costs, this wont happen if you still plan on inviting the same amount as you would to a UK wedding. You will find also that when you invite people a lot of people will say yes they can’t wait, but when it actually comes down to booking up their trip you will find you will have some who just wont end up coming. Also it is actually a really good way of not having to invite the people you don’t really want there – you can just simply say ‘We are going abroad so only want a small number of guests.’ Also remember destination weddings are expensive for your guests so don’t be annoyed if people simply can’t make it due to costs or time commitments, you made the decision to go abroad so will need to be prepared for some casualties along the way.
Photo from: A Dream French Wedding
I think it is important to pick the location based on where you both want to be married – but try to think of your guests as well. You may dream of a gorgeous beach wedding in Jamaica but your Nan may not be able to make long haul flights, so try to find a compromise if it means that she can be there. The ceremony location also needs to be thought about, don’t pick a terrace of a hotel halfway down the caldera in Santorini if you have disabled or elderly guests because they are going to have to climb down a whole load of steps.
Photo Cred: Daniel Moyer
I had a destination wedding myself, over in Santorini in 2013. It was beyond perfect and I wouldnt change it for the world, it was exactly what I wanted. So to give you a few tips from what I learnt myself I would say:
- Think about your dress choice. If you are planning on wearing a big princess dress then please don’t have a ceremony in the middle of the afternoon in the intense heat, it is simply to hot for a huge dress. My ceremony was at 5:15 and it was still very hot.
- Dont expect the men to be in full suits if your wedding is in the blaring gaze of the sun. You are getting married abroad so it actually looks much more in place to have men in just shirts, or shirts and waistcoats.
- Provide fans for your guests – This is something I did and it went down very, very well as it was super hot on the terrace.
- Do some research on the country you are going to so you can help your guests out a bit. I put together a little brochure of Santorini before my wedding which included brief info on the area we stayed in, as well as a selection of well rated hotels covering different budgets, car rental info, restaurant recommendations and tourist trips.
- Make sure you book a wedding planner. Get some information from different planners and then make your decision, you need to feel that connection with the planner to ensure you have got one that really understands you and your vision.
- Embrace the culture of the country and include some elements in your wedding.
- It is okay to not follow the route of traditional English Weddings, make the wedding your own, they are so much more relaxed abroad!
Photo from: Disney Weddings
I hope these tips help you! Make sure you really do your research on the country before committing because some of them are much more complex than others, countries like Spain don’t allow you to be legally married there unless you have been a resident for 2 years, although it does vary slightly depending on the area. In Italy if you want a Catholic wedding you need to provide the required letters from our local Priest stating you are both active Catholics etc., you also can’t have a Catholic wedding in Italy if one of you had previously been divorced. In Mexico you are required to take Chest X-Rays and have a blood test done over in Mexico. As you can see varies countries have different requirements so always check this out first. There are many brits who chose to do a civil wedding in the UK and have a blessing ceremony abroad.
If you are thinking of going abroad i hope this posts have given you a few pointers to help you make your decision, please feel free to contact me for recommendations of reputable wedding planners in varying countries and i am also able to help with Santorini Weddings.