As of 2015, one in five British couples are taking their nuptials abroad and we can see why. Just imagine coinciding your wedding day with an exotic Caribbean beach, a plentiful Italian wedding breakfast or a South African safari adventure, the world is your oyster! The opportunity to share your favourite foreign land with your guests could be a wedding they’ll be talking about for years!
Inspired Events takes a look at what’s involved in tying the knot outside the UK.
Money, Money, Money
With the average UK wedding coming in at an eye watering £26,000 we welcome cheaper alternatives that won’t compromise on the overall experience. The average abroad wedding totals just £8,000 – a breath of fresh air in comparison! If you’re paying in a different currency, good exchange rates factor in here and can make a huge impact. Try and monitor this as closely as possible leading up to your payment deadlines.
Say No to Weather Woe
If there’s one day you want the sun to shine it’s on your wedding day! Unfortunately weather in the UK is somewhat unpredictable 365 days a year. We’re not saying that a wedding abroad is a dead cert for perfect wedding weather but your chances of sunshine success are a lot higher. Ensure that you’ve chosen the right season for your preferred location. You might find that it’s cheaper for a Caribbean wedding in November but you might not get great pics in a monsoon!
Trim the Fat
One of the most stress inducing areas of planning a wedding is compiling the guest list. It’s not a task you can delegate to your best friend or your wedding planner, it requires a personal, in depth analysis of all your friendships and relationships which only you can do. When did you see them last? How long have you known them? If you have parents who are contributing financially, they may want to have a say on who is invited too. It’s not uncommon to invite guests to watch your ‘I Do’s’ who you haven’t seen in years. However it’s usually better accepted to hold a more intimate wedding if you’re getting hitched abroad. With the average cost each guest will bear at an abroad wedding being £2,000 (opposed to the UK average figure of £500) there’ll be guests who won’t be able to attend even if they wanted to. If you’re hoping for an intimate affair without the stress of unnecessary guests then a destination wedding might be the best choice for you.
So you’ve chosen your destination, booked the venue, bought the dress, wait. Something’s missing! An officiant! Get up-to-date information on what is required to get married in the foreign country of your choice. Every country will have different marriage legalities and a specific schedule for certain documents to be completed, there may also be extra charges for translation services. The gov.uk website has all the information you’ll need to get your paperwork in order. Alternatively you could find a wedding planner who specialises in destination weddings to coordinate the ceremony aspect of your special day.
Transporting your wedding dress abroad might seem like it could be a daunting task. We advise against transporting your dress in the hold, keep it with you by taking it as your carry-on luggage in the airplane cabin. Check various airline rules and allowances before you book flights, it could determine who you end up flying with. A good bridal boutique will be able to pack your dress into a box suitable for hand luggage with plenty of tissue to minimise the risk of creases. They’ll also advise how to hang and store your dress when you arrive and what to do in any crease/stain emergencies.
So the travel arrangements of your guests isn’t directly your problem. But if the bridal party is AWOL in the wrong location you might regret not offering to help them book! As long as you’re super organised or have extra planning assistance it should be quite simple to assist your guests. They should be fairly capable of planning a trip but it can’t hurt to make sure everybody books the right location, there are no cancellations or delays and lost baggage is prepared for. Our advice would be to recommend that your guests fly direct where possible. If you do have guests flying indirect suggest they take a cabin bag which contains the basics, including the all-important wedding day outfit!