Planning a big wedding abroad? Congratulations, you’re going to have an amazing day!
Of course, planning a wedding abroad isn’t quite the same as doing it at home. That in mind, here are a few things to bear in mind when putting your big day together…
Get started early on the paperwork
OK, no-one really wants to worry about paperwork when planning the best day of their lives. There’s no getting round it, though! In fact, you’ll need to get started on your wedding paperwork well in advance. It should be one of the first things you do once you’ve picked a date.
Depending on which country you’re getting married in, marriage documents could take anywhere up to six months to get sorted.
And it’s not just about ID and the marriage certificate itself. Depending on the country, you might also have to either provide or sign:
- Birth certificates and passports
- Statutory declarations
- Paperwork confirming single status
- Decree Absolute (if one of you is divorced)
- Parental consent depending on age
You won’t have to handle it yourself. The relevant authorities should be able to go everything with you. Just don’t put the paperwork off!
Give everyone notice
You want to give all your guests as much notice as possible. It’s not just a matter of saving the date; anyone coming to the wedding will need to arrange travel, accommodation and in some cases childcare.
Again, the more notice you can give people, the better. Depending on how far away the wedding, six months is really the minimum warning to give your guests. (Assuming you really want them to come, of course!)
Dress for the weather
The chances are that if you’re having a wedding away from the UK, the weather has played a part in your decision!
With that in mind, make sure you’ve taken the weather into account when picking out what you’re wearing! If you’re heading to Southern France or Italy at the height of August, jamming the groom into a suit and a waistcoat probably isn’t a good idea. (Unless you want very sweaty photos.) The same goes for the bride: you don’t want to be wearing heavy dress with a long trail on a beach in Hawaii!
Yes, wedding insurance exists. And if you’re planning a big wedding abroad, you should definitely get some!
Putting on any wedding does carry some natural risks, from suppliers having problems to the venue having issues. Unfortunately, these risks become a lot more expensive if you’re also paying for multiple people to fly to a destination wedding.
Above all, wedding insurance will give you peace of mind. And let’s face it, if you’re planning a destination wedding, you can probably do with some!
Check out the best way to travel
Depending on where you’re flying will depend on which the cheapest way to travel is. It’s worth taking the time to do your research and make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.
If you’re planning to fly both sets of parents over, for instance, you might get a much better deal with a group travel plan than you would buying individually.
It’s not just about price, of course. You also need to make sure that the airline has capacity on your chosen dates, so there are no last-minute worries about people unable to get there.
(It’s also worth noting that you should check whether you’ll be allowed to take your wedding dress in as hand luggage. Most airlines will allow this, but it’s worth double checking. You don’t want to risk your dress getting lost in luggage!)
Make sure you scout the location’s surrounding area
It’s all very well finding a picture-postcard location, but (and it might hurt to read this!) it’s not just about you. If you’re planning a destination wedding, you also want to make sure that all your guests:
- Can actually get to the venue (whether road, rail or by flying directly into the city).
- Can get accommodation nearby, or can at least arrange to travel from their hotels as groups.
- Can afford to stay nearby. (If it feels awkward to talk about price, you don’t have to address this directly. Just make sure there are some affordable hotels within reach as well as more luxury options.)
Remember, you’re asking for people to go very out of their way to head to your wedding: you should try to be as accommodating as possible in other ways, and make it as easy as possible for them to attend.
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