After picking up the best destination for your wedding abroad, the next step is normally how to plan for it in a place which is so far from home. Having your wedding abroad most probably mean that you are trying to kill two birds with one stone. Like you want the wedding held there and you will have your honeymoon in the same country.
Before you take off to another country, there are a couple of things that you need to consider. We sat down with a professional wedding planner who has helped arrange over 500 weddings abroad, and who knows how to select a reliable wedding photographer who can assist you.
Whether you choose a tropical location like Africa or romantic getaway like Paris and Italy, we got you covered. Here are the most important tips for planning a destination wedding regardless of the place in the world you choose to have your wedding.
1. Choose a meaningful location
While choosing a location for your wedding, make sure that it has all the resources that you want it to have. If you want a beach wedding, make sure that the beaches in the country are of the highest quality. Make sure that it is spacious enough to accommodate all your guests and it should not be prone to harsh weather conditions.
2. Notify your guests well in advance
Well, a destination wedding is not like any other wedding and it is likely going to cost you more money than a regular wedding. Unless you are super rich, you are not going to be catering for the transportation of the guests. If that’s the case, you need to alert your guests early enough so that they can have plenty of time to calculate if they will be able to afford or not. You don’t want to inform your guests like a month before the wedding, you will end up being disappointed.Check if it is legal
You don’t just wake up one day and decide that you will get married in a certain country, start making plans and get off without confirming if it’s legal to hold your wedding in the country. Marriage laws vary from one country to another so make sure to check if it will be valid to get married in the country both with the local law and international law.
For example, France requires 40 days of residency and the wedding should take place 10 days after your wedding banns. Another country will probably not have the residency rule and you can just get married the moment you land.
Again, the laws for same sex marriages vary from one country to another. Some countries it is allowed, in other countries you will be arrested. So if you are planning to have a wedding like that, make sure that it is legal in the country.
3. Decide if you want a one size fits all or a tailor made wedding
Once you have identified that it’s legal to hold the wedding, decide if you want the wedding package that are normally offered to most clients or if you want to tailor make your wedding day through a wedding planner. Most travel companies offer packages that are held within a resort. They normally have a number of a wedding planner who can be handy in helping you manage every detail of the day even if you have many guests.
4. Pick the right time of the year
Well, every country have the best time to travel and you need to identify that time before choosing the wedding date. National holidays and festivals can affect the demand for the flights so it might be busy during those times.
Try planning your wedding on the off peaks periods but make sure that the weather will still be favorable for your honeymoon, if you are going to have your honeymoon in the country. If you will not be having your honeymoon in the country, then when there are less visitors is the best time to visit the country and you will probably find better flights, and cheaper price for accommodation, restaurants and the local attractions. It will be quieter too, a plus to most people.
5. Check flight times
You need to make sure that you know when the key airlines fly to your chosen destination before you choose a wedding date. Make sure that you leave at least 2 days between the day you will land in the country and the day for your wedding. Even if it is not a mandatory to have a waiting period after you land, it will give you enough time to relax and time to get the final details of the wedding. You don’t want to hold your wedding when you are exhausted, it will be no fun.
6. Check your baggage
Most airlines normally allows you to take your wedding dress on board as a hand luggage but in most cases it will come at an extra cost. Contact the airline of choice and confirm if you can carry your wedding dress. If you can, buy a high quality bag that can be folded or hung. Pack the dress securely and mark it as fragile to ensure it is handled with care.
7. Keep a checklist of all the legal documents
You don’t want to reach your destination only to be turned back just because you don’t have all the legal documents to hold the wedding in the country. Keep a checklist of the things you will be required to have and make sure to pack all of them with you. Some countries will require you to have a certificate of no impediment and will also require a copy of your birth certificate. Check the visa requirements as well and don’t forget that you should have at least 6 months left on your passport. Having wedding insurance will be nice, in case something happens.