At this time of year, when it’s cold, grey, wet and windy, it is easy to dream about having the perfect wedding abroad. In fact, one in four Brits now opt to say “ I do.” in a country other than their own, and I’m betting that the weather is a big part of that.
However, although getting married abroad can be every bit as amazing as you would imagine it to be, it is not without its issues, and you have to be super organised to make it work.
With that in mind, here are some essential tips for those of you who are considering an overseas wedding:
Choose the Timing Carefully
A lot of people who get married abroad end up bitterly disappointed because they fail to take the weather into account and end up jetting off to India at the height of monsoon season or flying off to the Caribbean at the time of year when hurricanes are not uncommon. If you want your big day to be perfect – although you can never fully predict the weather – check the dry and rainy seasons and book accordingly!
Invite the Right People
When it comes to getting married abroad, you have more to think about than browsing Paper Themes wedding invites to find the perfect ones to match your theme – you need to think very carefully about who you invite. I mean, it’s a lot to ask for people to take time off work and fly to another country just to watch you get married! That’s why it’s always a good idea to go for a smaller guest list. Inviting only the people – close family and friends -who you think will be happiest to come along and celebrate with you.
Check the Local Customs
Most countries have their own way of doing weddings, with countries like Italy holding weddings that start at midday and don’t end until very late into the night, for example. It is important then, that you find out exactly what a typical wedding in the country you want to marry looks like, and that if it isn’t how you would like your wedding to go, you make that clear and organise for your wedding to be more to your liking.
What Food is Available
The wedding breakfast is a big part of the day’s proceedings, so if you’re planning to marry overseas, you are going to want to check that you can get the kind of food your guests will want to eat. If your friends and family are the adventurous types, then eating the local cuisine will probably be fine, but if they’re more into the traditional salmon or pork dishes that are common here, you may need to have a longer chat with the caterers.
Choose an Accessible Location
Choosing a location that has direct flights and which is near to other amenities such as nice hotels and public transport is a pretty good way of keeping your guests onside, ensuring that they do decide to come and enjoy your nuptials with you, and most importantly of all, ensuring that they keep the complaining to a minimum. You really do need to be mindful of your guests’ needs as well as your own when you’re planning a wedding overseas.
Will You be Legally Wed?
Having a wedding ceremony overseas does not guarantee that you will be legally married when you get back home. Many countries will have ceremonies that are recognised here, but many will not, and you need to find out which camp your wedding destination fits into as soon as possible so that you can make arrangements for an official ceremony here if necessary.
It’s also a good idea to check well in advance what paperwork is required by the country you’re marrying in so that you can, y’know actually get married!
Wedding Planners are a Godsend
As you can probably tell from the issues that have already been raised in this post, planning a wedding abroad is not an easy task at all. You may, then, want to consider hiring a wedding planner who is local to the place you plan to marry. They will know all of the rules and regulations and because they are based locally, talk the language and have experience of planning the wedding, they will be able to get things done much more easily, and most importantly, correctly, than you may be able to.
Check the Venues Out
It might be a bit of a headache for you to have to fly over and check out the wedding venues you’re interested in, but it’s important that you do because venues often aren’t what they seem to be, especially when you’re relying on online information. If you don’t want to rock up on your wedding day to find that perfect venue is actually a cockroach infested hellhole, then you really do need to do a recce.
Book Well in Advance
If you want to have friends and family at your wedding, and you don’t just want to elope, you really do need to book the wedding as far in advance as possible and send out save the date cards to your guests so that they are able to book time off work, sort out flights, etc.. If you don’t do this, then don’t be surprised if attendance at your wedding isn’t exactly what you would have hoped it to be.
If you’re getting married abroad, then please, please, please take out a wedding insurance policy. There are risks associated with planning any wedding, but they are so much higher when it comes to a wedding that is taking place abroad, so if you don’t want to end up losing your dream wedding and all of the money you saved to pay for it, an insurance policy is completely necessary.
If you do everything above, you take your time, and you really think about what you want, there is no reason why an overseas wedding ceremony won’t be a huge success. Good luck!