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Destination Weddings

November 24, 2015



According to statistics, around 25% of weddings this year will be a destination wedding. Believe it or not, marrying away from home used to be synonymous with the old-fashioned version of eloping -- boarding a train or plane to marry without family approval. While destination weddings look different now, they're still a great way to ensure you have a wedding that is completely you.

A destination wedding is defined as marrying at least 100 miles from where the bride currently lives. So imagine the options that a destination wedding opens up for you -- the world really is your playground.  A destination wedding is an opportunity for couples to celebrate their marriage at a gorgeous destination of their choosing away from home. Couples are getting married all over the world, in stunning locations the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Europe and parts of America inc. New York, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas to name a few.  Or if you want to tie the knot in Iceland, you can choose from exciting and unique wedding locations including Thingvellir National Park, the Blue Lagoon, Seljalandfoss Waterfall, Vik Beach or Eyjafjallajökull Glacier, the world is your oyster.  Destination weddings can be intimate (just the two of you), limited to close family and friends, or a grand affair with hundreds of guests.

  • abroad wedding 4c A destination wedding needs organising a lot earlier in advance than a traditional wedding, and your guests, they need a lot more time to arrange time off work, and if you are inviting them but expecting them to pay for their travel and accommodation they may need time to save for the payment, (5 months minimum to invite your guests to a destination wedding) send out save-the-date cards as soon as you know when and where you’ll be wed.
  • Don’t be mislead you want to streamline costs (or even, in some cases, save money). No one can definitively say that a destination wedding costs less than an at-home reception. But no one can say it costs more, either.
  • Stick to your budget. Yes it can be easier as it is all inclusive usually (flowers, cake, photographer and minister), but little extras soon add up for example, if you are inviting friends and family you might want extra flowers for bridesmaids or groomsmen, parents and of course the cost of extra luggage, you don’t want your wedding dress screwed up in your normal case.Don’t have your heart set on one destination as when you start investigating your first choice location, you could learn that it is way out of your price range or even it would be a nightmare for you and your guests to travel there.
  • Every country has different legal requirements for weddings. Most require some form of ID (like your passports and birth certificates) and a marriage license application. This is where a wedding coordinator can help you work through the legalities, and have extensive knowledge of the requirements at your destination of choice
  • A Second Reception? Something else to budget for, there will be a group of people at home, that perhaps could not manage to come to your ceremony or if it was just the two of you. You can have it as formal or casual as you like. You might hold a sit-down dinner at a favourite local restaurant or serve cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in your garden. You might want the whole big Hollywood production wedding reception, which is very costly. But whatever you do to celebrate your marriage, make sure you display your ceremony photos or play a video, your guests will appreciate seeing them and you get to savour the experience again.
  • There are many honeymoon-happy resorts and cruise lines around the world that have made it easier and more appealing to wed on-site. Majority of them have wedding coordinators or staff who are familiar with that country's marriage license requirements and who offer wedding packages that take care of all your ceremony essentials (photographer, cake, minister, etc.). You step off the plane and sign the papers; they take care of the rest.But remember you might need the help of an independent wedding coordinator if you have a large wedding party, or if you require something out of the ordinary or little more unique.  Resorts will do a basic standard wedding ceremony, and are becoming a little samey.  Either way, hire a planner and the logistics of pulling off a reception at home and coordinate with the resort on your behalf to ensure it is how your envisage and dream off, lets face it its not like you have done it before or planning to do it again, so you only get one chance of getting it right.

abroad 2bOK it’s your day but take care of Your Guests

  • It’s always a good idea to set up a wedding website to keep guests apprised of details. Let them know if you’ve set aside blocks of hotel rooms and how to book them, what to pack, and what the itinerary of the event will be and so on. ( Keeping guests up to date is not the same thing as boring everyone to tears with details about the search for the perfect strappy sandal. Only give them the info they need.)
  • Put together welcome bags or baskets. This is simple to do and well received by travel-weary guests. Offer things like a map and a list of local attractions, an itinerary for wedding-related activities, bottles of water and snacks for the room. And toss in fun stuff—flip-flops for your beach wedding, a waterproof one-time-use camera, and if you can afford it a spa gift certificate.
  • Try not just to make it about your day YES it is why you are all there, but this could be your guests abroad wedding 7aannual holiday so investigate activity options to please a wide range of ages and abilities. Schedule a group activity for the day before or after the wedding, paint balling, kayaking, windsurfing, scuba diving, the list is endless. For those who may not want to take part, arrange a sightseeing tour.
  • Consider anyone who needs extra help, does your grandmother need a wheelchair or your sister a crib for her baby? Arrange these things with the hotel in advance, or inform your wedding coordinator that these things are needed. If there will be children, check with the resort about babysitting services.
  • It is accepted etiquette to expect all guests to pay for their stay, but if you are arranging a cocktail party or any additional activities, these are down to you to pay for. Making reservations wherever possible is a no-brainer, and pay for whatever your budget allows.

abroad 1aSo we say Why Have a Destination Wedding?

  • They are usually virtually Stress-Free
  • No Family Drama
  • They can be Cost Effective as I said earlier no one can definitively say that a destination wedding costs less than an at-home reception. But no one can say it costs more, either But an average wedding in the UK is 18K – 25K and rising you get the wedding and honeymoon for a fraction of that, if you do it right. (Not including any post wedding celebrations)
  • You Call The Shots
  • It's easier. Many wedding-worthy resorts offer free planning help to couples, whether the event is for new yorktwo or 200 and an abundance of packages keep things simple while still giving options to customize. Want something more involved? Turn to an independent planner who specializes in more elaborate eventsPerfect for Second Marriages - been-there-done-that couples who are getting married for the second or third time choose destination weddings because they're simple and private. If either person or both have done the Hollywood-scale production before and want something quieter or less expensive this time around, it's the right way to go. They can choose to invite family and friends (maybe including their children in the wedding party) or steal away on their own for a relaxing time together at a destination those appeals to both.
  • Ice Hotel ChapelThey can be Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity, This is your chance, to go somewhere you have only dreamed of going and sharing that with the person you love.
  • You can save on decor. With a destination wedding in a stunning setting, your location of choice supplies the theme, from castle fairy tale, to sea-inspired soiree. And when you choose an amazing backdrop, it doesn't take much to dress it up.
  • Enjoy quality time with loved ones. The standard wedding lasts for five hours, and the bride and groom spend most of that time running from table to table, trying to say hello to everyone. A destination wedding spans a minimum of three days -- which means, now that you've finally got your nearest and dearest together, you can actually spend quality time with them!
  • The honeymoon is included and you can start the honeymoon early, just arriving at your destination is sure to put you in a relaxed mood as the pre-wedding festivities begin.

Seljalandfoss WaterfallSome tips if you are planning a destination wedding

  • Avoid any unnecessary friction? Make a list of absolutely-must-be-there guests, like parents and best friends, and check with them whether they will be able to come before starting to make any plans in faraway places.The last thing you want to do is get six months into [the planning] and then have somebody back out.
  • Don’t expect guests to bring a gift, the gift is to be in attendance at the wedding.
  • Guests pay for themselves in 90% of the cases. The bride and groom offering to pay for someone to attend would be a wonderful gesture, but it's not expected.But any extras should be at your expense or get confirmation from the guest when   booking additional activities that they wish to participate in the activity.
  • Procedures vary from country to country, and some require lengthy preparation.Many countries have requirements that the parties have been resident in that country for a specified period of time before a marriage may be performed there.  There may be requirements for blood tests, etc.  There may be abroad weddin mix with the localsrequirements for the minimum age of the parties who are to be married.  There may be requirements for parental consent. There is also, in many countries, a requirement that documents certifying the end of any previous relationship (such as death or divorce certificates) be submitted, translated into the local language, and authenticated. Some countries require an affidavit by the parties as proof of legal capacity to enter into a marriage contract. This is when a wedding coordinator is helpful as they are familiar with the legalities
  • The process of marrying overseas can be time-consuming and expensive.Therefore, if you plan to marry in a foreign country, you should find out the requirements of that country before you travel. Contact the embassy or tourist information bureau of the country where you plan to marry to learn about specific requirements.
  • Validity of Marriages Abroad - You do not have to register your destination marriage in the UK.All marriages are considered valid in the country where they take place if they are entered into in accordance with local law.


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