If there’s one thing to put a dent in your wedding celebrations it’s the English weather. That’s why we see many bride and grooms choose to have their dream marriage in sunnier climes. Kate Thompson, our features editor and all-round wedding guru described the main pitfalls, benefits and opportunities of overseas marriages to the people at cheapflights.co.uk.
A weddings abroad primer:
- Use a wedding planner, particularly in a country where there could be legal, cultural or language issues. Your wedding venue can potentially supply a wedding planner. A good wedding planner is happy to answer all of your questions.
- Ensure your wedding planner provides you with a bullet-pointed list of who-is-doing-what and when, a full itinerary and a breakdown of costs.
- Choose the right country. Go with your heart and your head. You want to balance the ideal dream wedding with practicalities like flight duration times and the prices your guests will have to pay for a long haul flight. Timing is essential. Can your guests get time off work? Check for local climate conditions: you don’t want your beautiful outdoor wedding spoiled by a seasonal monsoon.
- Develop a fact sheet. Use a guidebook for the country. Your guests may not be seasoned travellers and will want to know the basics (do they need jabs, malaria medication, how do they get to and from the airport). They’ll also want to know details of your wedding, time, dress code, itinerary etc. Include landmarks, sights, and things to do, as most of your guests will be using your wedding as an opportunity to holiday.
- Ideally your fact sheet should incorporate accommodation packages for your guests as well as a choice of travel options and facts for people with disability issues or the infirm.
- Choose a wedding venue that appeals to your sense of style and captures the drama of the day. You’ll want a great backdrop for those wedding photographs – a beach, a mountain range, a medieval church, a field of wildflowers. Again, be pragmatic. If the ceremony is indoors ask if there is an outdoor space to spill out onto. If the ceremony is outdoors ask if there is an indoor space in case the weather conspires against you.
- Ensure there is room for dancing and a reception. If chairs and tables have to be moved does the venue provide staff to do this?
- Dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Stuffy suits and full length wedding gowns will be stifling in the tropical sun.
- Consider having two receptions. One at your wedding destination and another back home. Some of your guests won’t follow you to exotic shores so you should ensure that you can share your good news with all of your friends and family.
- Relax and enjoy your wedding ceremony (but just in case, make sure everyone takes out some travel insurance).