The temptation to tie the knot overseas is tangible, what with practically guaranteed beautiful weather, the potential for a gorgeous beach backdrop and not to mention getting to combine your wedding day and honeymoon, if you so wish! The Destination Wedding has a draw to it that can’t quite be compared with any other event.
Whilst a wonderful idea, with the possibility of being a wonderful reality, planning a Destination Wedding can be quite a challenge and there are many different things that you’ll need to think about that you wouldn’t if you were to get hitched in the UK. But being a challenge doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take it on, you just need to know the essentials beforehand so that you don’t get caught out.
The first and foremost thing on your ‘to do’ list when planning a Destination Wedding is to investigate your chosen countries licensing laws ASAP. There are numerous countries that makes it relatively easy for a UK couple to get married, but most have some tricky legislation to get through, which often includes having to be in the country for a month or two before the big day to make it legal. Obviously this sort of thing might take a destination out of the running, so make sure that you have thoroughly researched the ins and outs of where you’re going before you send out your invites!
Easy destinations that require a 1-7 day residency before you can say your ‘I dos’ are:
- Sri Lanka
- Southern Africa
- USA (New York, Las Vegas, Florida and Hawaii)
- New Zealand
- Cook Islands
Don’t forget to check the general weather forecast for countries that you’re considering for your Destination Wedding to avoid selecting a season that is known for it’s unbearable heat or tropical monsoons. Getting married on a beautiful day is often a priority for couples drawn to tying the knot abroad and if you pick the right season, you’ll be in with much better luck of getting your wish.
Vendors & Suppliers
One of the most daunting things about having your wedding overseas has got to be the organisation of all the ‘little’ things: catering, flowers, bridal hair and makeup, entertainment, décor etc
You can’t beat a wedding planner when it comes to getting everything sorted remotely, but if that’s out of your budget or you’d rather take it on yourself, here are some tips:
- Pay a visit to your destination at least once before the wedding to scout out and book local suppliers
- Befriend people who live in the area or who work in local restaurants for the best intel on lesser known talent and the best prices.
- Bring your hair and makeup artist with you! Getting your bridal hair and makeup just right makes such a difference to your big day. Don’t risk it on someone you’ve never met or trialled with, instead, talk to your favourite UK wedding hair and makeup artist about their fees for coming along!
Make sure that whatever dress you get (and the Groom’s outfit too for that matter!) is well suited to the setting and the weather. You might love those illusion sleeves and big ball gown silhouettes, but these are probably going to be far from practical on a beach or in sizzling heat!
Another thing to remember is to never check your dress. It’s Sod’s Law that the item of luggage that will go missing will be the most important one and you can’t afford to lose this! Carry your dress on board and have it pressed and steamed when you arrive.
Arranging a Destination Wedding will usually require more time and effort than your average wedding, so don’t leave anything until the last minute. Start your organising by planning at least one scouting trip, but preferably more like 3 or 4. The more the better to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Set up as many appointments as you can with suppliers before you go so that you can form a really clear idea of how everything is coming together.