Previous Next

Thinking of a Destination Wedding but wondering just what exactly is involved?

The past 20 years has most definitely witnessed a rise in popularity of couples choosing to get hitched abroad. There are distinct advantages to be had from planning a destination wedding, and as such it remains a keen contender for planning weddings in 2017 and beyond. So, what are the advantages of a destination wedding location over a traditional UK wedding?

COST: With typically fewer guests invited and therefore less overheads than be met than a traditional UK wedding, choosing to get married abroad….Typical costs include hotel accommodation for the bride and groom (and perhaps immediate family members), travel costs and the costs of organising the wedding at your chosen location abroad. Many venues will offer a wedding package for brides and grooms to suit your chosen budget. Typical things included are the services of a local clergyman, photographer, and a cost per person in regards to food and drink. Remember to check what your particular package includes. Some resorts will ask you to pay for additional services such as wedding flowers, beauty treatments and so forth. In addition, read the small print. Some hotels are not happy with you wishing to bring in outside suppliers such as caterers or photographers and will charge an additional fee in order for you to do this.  Conversely, checkout the discounts on offer – certain wedding venues will offer percentages off for a certain number of guests booked in or nights taken. It is always worth checking!

LESS INFORMAL AFFAIRS: If you dread all the pomp and ceremony that historically goes alongside a wedding, a destination wedding can be the perfect opportunity to relax the rules and forgo tradition. Many venues abroad offer the services of an in-resort wedding planner, meaning there is certainly a lot less to consider and plan for when compared to what is required for a wedding back in the UK.

With the warmer climes and relaxed surroundings, a more relaxed dress code is perfectly acceptable. Many brides for example, opt for less structured and lighter wedding gowns to suit the balmy temperatures abroad and for ease and practicality when transporting their wedding attire abroad.

 

SOME IMPORTANT POINTS TO CONSIDER:

INVITING GUESTS:

For weddings abroad, it is usual to keep guest numbers relatively small, between 40-60 guests is a good number to invite. As you are asking your wedding guests to pay to attend your wedding, it is courteous and recommended to plan your wedding well in advance of the actual date. Whilst advantageous to yourselves, planning a destination wedding to celebrate your marriage is not always welcomed by all your friends and family. Attending a wedding abroad bears a considerable cost to guests which has to be met. Sending out wedding invites no later than 9 months prior to the date will give guests sufficient notice to book holiday dates with work and save for the cost of travel and accommodation involved.

MARRIAGE LEGALITIES:

It is vitally important to check prior to booking the stipulations required by your chosen destination in regards to making your marriage legally binding both in the country you choose to be married in and most importantly, your country of residence. What you do not wish to do is pay for a marriage ceremony abroad, only to find the marriage certificate holds no weight back home. Read the paperwork, check what official documents you are required to take with you (e.g. birth certificate, passport etc) and seek legal advice if necessary.

An easier option would be to opt for a simple civil ceremony with a few witnesses at home and follow this through with a wedding blessing at your destination of choice afterwards.

Still sure you want to get hitched abroad? Here are 4 of my favourite and most recommended places for a destination wedding location:

 

Turks and Caicos (The Caribbean)

Managing to avoid the onslaught of mass tourism, this beautiful group of islands in the heart of the Caribbean have managed to retain their original allure and charm. With clear azure blue seas and a natural coral reef, the options for scuba diving and snorkeling are endless. The beaches are sublime and provide a wonderful location for romantic destination wedding ceremonies.Best time to go: Temperatures are pretty steady, in the 80-90’s Fahrenheit all year round; however, it is best to avoid hurricane season from June to November.

Mexico: Riviera Maya

If you love culture you can do no wrong with the Riviera Maya. Tropical beaches sit side by side with ancient Mayan ruins such as seen in the seaside resort of Tulum. Say your vows on one of the many tropical shores, or amidst the crystal-clear waters of the stunningly natural cenotes and surrounding tropical parks native to the Riviera Maya.Best time to go: The rainy season is typically around June through to October, and hurricanes have been known to occur throughout the month of November so avoid these months if you can.

The Amalfi Coast, Italy

The infamous Amalfi Coast, favoured by A-listers and tourists alike, is an obvious choice for a destination wedding to remember. With picture perfect backdrops around every corner, from quaint and beautiful cobbled streets, historic churches, to vistas framed by majestic green mountains, elegant cypress trees and clear blue seas, it is understandable why this scenic part of Italy remains a chosen destination for many.With a plethora of things to see and do, from exploring the ancient ruins of Pompeii, to seeing the beautiful coastal resorts of Amalfi, Positano, Sorrento or the island of Capri by boat this is a destination guaranteed to keep you and your guests busy.Best time to go: Temperatures are best from late May through to mid-September. Avoid the summer holidays if you can if you like to avoid the many crowds, especially in the more popular tourist haunts such as Sorrento, Amalfi and Positano.

The Far East: Thailand

Although sadly, many of the tourist resorts of Thailand are now at risk of over-commercialisation, there are still gems to be seen on this beautiful island. Resorts such as Koh Samui and the island of Krabi retain their original charm and with their touch of luxury are the perfect wedding and honeymoon destination. For a sense of added culture and Far Eastern history, be sure to add in a short visit to Bangkok to your stay. The Grand Palace, the Reclining Buddha and the famous Floating Markets are a must see during any visit to Thailand.Best time to go: The Winter months between November and January are the official dry season. Avoid June through to September as this is the rainy season. 

Besides choosing your wedding gown and selecting your reception venue, deciding upon your chosen wedding photographer has got to be one of the most critical decisions you will have to make in the lead up to your big day. After all, your wedding photographs will serve to be a lasting memento of a key defining aspect of your life. You want this to be captured with love, sensitivity and style …right? So, where do you even begin?

Wedding Photographer

 Imagery and Style

To start your initial research, you need to decide upon a certain photography style and look that you wish your wedding photography to reflect. Look around at different photography websites, and take inspiration from as many image based sources as you can. Social media apps such as Pinterest or Instagram or popular wedding magazines and blogs can be a fantastic place to start. These media outlets can help you to decide upon your chosen look and feel and will most probably attribute and link the photography they have used to particular professional photographers.

Don’t forget your hashtags! Narrow your search criteria to #weddingphotography, #wedding, #weddingplanning, or #professionalphotography to hone your results into a credible list to prioritise.

Bride and Groom kissing on beach

Different photography styles include:

Portrait Photography: Util the last decade, this was arguably the main wedding photography available for the bride and groom, with very little alternative choices available. Traditionally, formally arranged shots of the bride and groom, family and friends left little room for natural, in the moment poses. More recent movements in this style of photography have seen elements of this photography incorporated with modern and funky props or by asking the bride and groom to pose in front of an iconic and memorable spot.

Due to increasing demand for diversity, a great deal of professional wedding photographers will now combine a mixture of traditional portrait images of your day, alongside a more contemporary wedding portfolio.

Fine Art Photography: Fine Art Photography, whilst creatively capturing the story of your day, will convey an almost hazy light, with the use of warm tones and soft hues to give a muted appearance to their images. Images can be either colour or black and white.

Documentary: As the name suggests, this style of photography aims to tell the story of your wedding from the very beginning of your day; as you drink champagne and nervously prepare for the big day ahead, through to the tearful father of the bride speech and very last celebratory sparkler. Good documentary photographers will expertly blend into the background, capturing the key moments with ease, and seamlessly weaving the images into the story of your day.

Feedback

As with any key supplier for your special day, remember to check out their customer testimonials and look at their websites for a feel of the photography they shoot. With every photographer, you are considering on your shortlist, it is essential you arrange to meet them in person. And of course, finding a photographer via word of mouth or via recommendations from your existing booked suppliers is always a good place to start!

Face to Face

Not only an essential process for defining the look and feel of photography for your day, it is the only way you can truly decide if the photographer in question is on your wavelength and can capture what you are truly looking for. After all, if you do not immediately gel with them, how can you relax and enjoy your day when they are pointing a camera lens in your direction? You need to feel confidence in your photographer that they will be unobtrusive amongst you and your wedding guests; yet have the presence to organise and deftly photograph your day as you want it, with no a moment missed.

Look at their portfolio and ask to see a selection of recent wedding albums – the pictures from start to finish of the couple’s wedding day. Be reflective. Do the images you view reflect how you would also like to portraited as a couple on your own special day? Does the photographer capture the elements of the day that you too would be looking to document? Are the images expertly composed and clearly in focus? Ask questions. Lots of questions!

Of course, not only should the right photographer be receptive to your questions, in order to best represent you as a couple, they too should be inquisitive of you and your day. Speaking from my own experience as a professional photographer, it is essential to me to know as much as I can about you both as a couple, what you love, what makes you tick, and how you wish your day to be captured.

Is the price right?

Finally, read the small print. Photographers often advertise a standard fee which will include the core elements of your day for an advertised amount of hours, a set amount of images on disk and printed photography. Optional extras can vary between suppliers, and can include additional options such as pre-wedding shoots or images printed to canvas or acylic.

 

As you know, I do love a beautiful destination wedding. One of my most memorable to date has to be Elena and George’s destination wedding to Bali in Indonesia. With breath taking scenery, a rich and diverse culture, and lovely and welcoming people, it is a country and holiday destination you are guaranteed to fall in love with; time and time again.

 Here are just a few of my favourite highlights from their beautiful destination wedding to Seminyak, Bali.

 

Elena’s bridesmaids chose to let their gowns do the talking wearing elegant one shoulder bright fuchsia dresses, carrying simple posies of white roses and tying their hair back in classic chignons to keep cool in the heat of the midday sun. George’s groomsmen wore matching silver grey suits and white rose button holes. I love this shot taken of the bridal party enjoying the moment walking back from the ceremony on the beach.

 

With the beautiful backdrop of the crystal blue sea and the sugar white sands of Seminyak beach the scene was set. White wooden bistro chairs were given the romantic touch with the addition of small wedding posies of hot pink roses to match the colour of Elena’s bridesmaid dresses. With the sea as the focal point, the wedding aisle across the sand was strewn with scattered pink rose petals. The bright pink of the flowers in contrast to the sparkling blue of the sea made for a beautiful combination and setting for the couple’s wedding vows.

Although Elena found it too difficult to wear shoes for her walk down the beach, she made sure she had these fabulous pair of shoes for the wedding reception! The exact colour match to her bridesmaid dresses, these shoes were the ultimate adornment for the girly bride.

 

Elena and George’s little girl, Tilly was a little too young to walk down the aisle, but she still managed to join in the celebrations with Mummy and Daddy, looking as cute as a button in her matching summer dress and pink floral headdress.

 

Many of Elena and George’s friends and family made the journey to Bali to join them in celebrating their marriage to one another. I love this shot of Elena’s Mum and sisters joining in the wedding day fun and getting silly with some confetti!

 The wedding cake was a simply elegant classic frosted design and was beautifully decorated with fresh flowers to tie in with the couple’s wedding scheme.

As well as the grown-ups enjoying the festivities, I managed to capture George’s nephew and nieces getting into the spirit of the day; having some fun on the hotel lawns with this cheeky little LOVE sign.

 Following the beach ceremony, guests were invited back to the grounds of the hotel where they took chance to relax in the early afternoon sun and enjoyed champagne and canapes; whilst being entertained by a local band.

 As the afternoon sun went down, guests retreated inside and were served dinner overlooking the sea. A mixture of pink and red roses, and the addition of soft romantic candlelight and warm uplighters gave the evening celebrations a warm and welcoming feel. In keeping with George’s Greek heritage, guests were invited to join in the Kalamatianos; a traditional Greek dance and to pin money on to the bride and groom as a wedding day present!

 

 

 Guests enjoyed dancing to the live music at the evening reception.

During the evening festivities, Elena and George took time out to toast their marriage and take in the beautiful sunset down by the beach…and what a sunset it was!

 

 

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.