Are you considering tying the knot abroad and having what's known as a destination wedding?
You could be thinking about doing so for all sorts of different reasons.
Firstly - let's face it - the weather in Britain is uncertain even in June and July. Maybe you just can't face having a rainy wedding day and want guaranteed sunshine.
Or maybe your bridegroom is from another country and you've decided to celebrate your marriage there.
Or maybe you can't face all the 'fuss' that you think is likely to surround a wedding at home and want to 'elope' and have a quiet and personal wedding on a romantic beach, with just the two of you plus the celebrant.
Nowadays, you can have pretty much the wedding day you want. If you're dreaming of saying your vows in a picturesque Italian villa with a reception al fresco afterwards then that's certainly do-able.
Or you could say your vows at sea on a boat in the Med.
If a tropical sandy beach is your thing - and you're dreaming of walking up to your bridegroom through white sand, shaded by palm trees, then we've some suggestions for that too.
What To Think About If You're Considering A Destination Wedding
- Do your research into the local weather. The Caribbean has a hurricane season around August and it has been known to rain in Italy. So look into average temperatures and rainfall at the time of year you're planning on getting married and decide what's the best date.
- If you're inviting guests, be prepared for some people to say they can't afford the trip or that they can't afford to take the time off work. If that's the case, then you could always use technology and live stream your wedding day!
- You're going to have to send out your save the date cards quite early to get the people you want there. Some people might decide to build their holiday around your wedding if it's in an attractive destination. Jo Adamek, Weddings Manager for TUI Travel UK advises, "Remember that the longer people have to save, the more likely they are to be able to join you."
- If people can't join you on your big day, then consider having a small get-together at a later date. You could host a tea party or a small drinks party more locally.
- You're going to need to think carefully about your wedding dress. A full skirted frock in a heavy fabric isn't really suitable for a wedding day in a hot country so look for destination wedding dresses which travel well and will look beautiful whatever the temperature.
- Your bridesmaids might like to wear a multi-way twist dress in a bright colour - which can be worn after the ceremony too.
- Find out the legal requirements of getting married in your chosen country. In some countries it's fairly straightforward, in others it's more difficult. If you choose a specialist wedding company like Thomson's or Sandals a lot of the paperwork will be taken care of for you.
- If you get married abroad you may actually save some money in some areas. Firstly, you only have to invite the guests you really want to come and there will be a natural drop off of people who can't make it. In addition, as wedding planner Kelly Hood advises, "A lot of the time your destination location will be a lot more scenic than a UK register office so for that reason you won't need as much decoration and detailing so you can save money there".
- If you're getting married somewhere very sunny then choose brightly coloured blooms and tropical flowers. Pastel shades don't tend to work so well in bright sunlight and can look 'washed out'.
- Make sure there's somebody in your party, or a wedding planner based in your hotel, who can speak the local language and communicate what you need.
Planning your destination wedding abroad is fun and there's plenty of help available to make your dream day come true. If you've any queries, why not visit our Facebook page and ask our real brides how they organised their own wedding days abroad?
Photo credit: Lori Paladino Photography