A destination wedding is a simply magical experience. You, your family and loved ones, and the person you plan to spend your entire life with, all in one place, away from home. And what makes it even more magical is an actual destination wedding abroad. Instead of just having people attend a wedding, you’re practically organizing an adventure that can span multiple days.
However, in order to actually have things run smoothly, you need a plan. There are many specific parts of the entire wedding that can go wrong, and so we have taken the liberty of writing up this little article. Here you can find some things to consider when planning a wedding abroad.
Where are you going
The most exciting issue – what will your destination be. Now, we know, we know, this is rather obvious, everybody thinks of this when planning a wedding abroad – you can’t actually have one without a destination in mind. However, please do consider some other things besides how nice or famous the place is. There are many things to consider when choosing your destination.
First of all, check the weather reports. You could have the perfect wedding, an amazing ceremony, perfect food, the most gorgeous of beaches, hotels, resorts, all lined up for you. However, if you arrive during monsoon season, you won’t really be able to enjoy an outside wedding. Or, maybe you’re going to some place that has a serious heat wave coming on. Older guests will not appreciate this, and may actually suffer some health-related consequences from the heat.
Next, if the wedding is going to be set up according to local customs, you need to be aware of what those customs are. In some areas of the world, a wedding would begin at noon, and would last until late at night. Some other areas have them begin in the evenings, some in the morning. And you may need to adhere to some other customs of the area that you would not really enjoy. So, do your homework.
Finally, take accessibility into account. How affordable are flights to this destination really? Is the hotel close to the airport, or far away? Is there a shuttle, or some kind of other transport, that can take you from one venue to the next? Don’t force your guests to travel several hours after they get off a plane, they really won’t appreciate it.
Suppliers and food
A big part of a destination wedding is the amazing food you will get to try. Local cuisines tend to be a wonderful change of pace, and will definitely be something you and your guests will remember. However, think about what your guests are like. Is your extended family known for its picky eating, or are they willing to experiment? Furthermore, check if there are any allergy-friendly or vegetarian options at the venue.
And on the topic of food and drinks, practice due diligence when it comes to your suppliers. Namely, you won’t really be able to rely on word-of-mouth for the people who are going to supply you with food and drinks, so we suggest you do some research. Namely, whether it’s your venue that’s providing the food and drinks, or if you’re getting it directly from a local supplier, you should read up on some review, check out social media. Namely, you won’t be able to meet up with these people and check them out in person, so you will have to rely on the Internet.
Paperwork and insurance
Is there anything that can put you in a more romantic, wedding-like mood than tons of paperwork? Yeah, we didn’t think so. But, it still needs to be done. Since planning a wedding is very stressful in general, insurance can at least somewhat alleviate your concerns. By taking out wedding insurance, you can at least be certain that even if the worst happens, you will be insured.
Next, you need to ensure yourself, in some way, against any bureaucratic nonsense that may befall you. Namely, every country regulates marriage differently. In other words, there may be some added stipulations that you need to follow if you want the wedding ceremony to be valid. For example, in some areas, your marriage is only valid if you have been a resident for a prolonged period of time. In others, you actually have to be a citizen of the country. Most of the time, people have the legal ceremony and paperwork done at home, before or after, and then have the symbolic celebration abroad.
However, there are people who have their hearts set on getting this done abroad. If you are indeed one of those people, we suggest you talk to a migration office, or attorneys specializing in that field, in your target country. So, let’s say you want to have your wedding happen in Australia. For this, you will most likely need to contact some migration agents in Sydney, and get the right paperwork done (or at the very least, get some advice). We also suggest you speak with a lawyer form your own country as well, and see what the process looks like.
Wedding planning and the venue
As far as the planning of the wedding is concerned, we suggest you hire a local wedding planner. Doing it alone will be an absolute nightmare, unless you intend to spend a month there and speak the local language Key suppliers, vendors, requirements, logistics, paperwork – all of this can be handled by a local wedding planner who knows her business.
We also suggest you visit the venues before the wedding takes place, if you have the time and the means to do so. Namely, a good planner will help you sift through many venues, but the finally shortlist needs to be checked out in person, if at all possible. So, if you can, arrive early, take a mini vacation, and check things out. You may find a better deal, or may notice a glaring issue that does not come up on video and on photos.
Another suggestion is that you arrive at the area in advance, before your guests come. Try to be there a week in advance, so you can get a feel of the place, and figure out what you can and can’t do. You will then be able to handle last minute details in a much more relaxed fashion, as well as getting to know the area and provide people with better instructions once they are about to arrive. Any guest will sorely appreciate getting proper instructions to a venue when in a foreign country.
And there you have it folks, a short guide on what to consider when planning a wedding abroad. Consider your destination carefully, and take into account not only the actual beauty of the place, but also the food, the weather, and the culture. Remember to handle the paperwork properly, and get some insurance. Contact the suppliers, read reviews online, try to make certain that you can trust these people. Remember to make it easy for your guests to arrive, mostly by choosing a venue that is close to an airport (or that has dedicated travel options). If you think things through and focus, you can have the wedding of your dreams go as smooth as honey abroad.