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Things to Consider when Planning a Destination Wedding

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. 

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