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Destination Wedding 

If you have already found your dream location you can skip this first part by clicking this button below... Other wise hold on tight!

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Destination weddings and elopement are perfect for those with an adventurous soul. There are so many choices you would never run out of places to choose from. With the Tropical air and sun we can already feel the warmth of the sunshine on our skin. You don’t need a reason to choose where to get married, if you simply like the place that is a good enough! It could be the place you both visited and fell in love with, or somewhere completely brand new to you both want to go.

Please bear in mind that having a destination wedding may mean that you are likely have a much more intimate ceremony. Planning your big day overseas is no easy task. Before you run away to a foreign land to marry your soulmate, there are some important details to consider. For example It should be somewhere safe for you and your guests to visit and have all of the resources you need. Also, ensure there are no recent travel warnings, political issues, or health concerns in the region. Is it accessible to children and elderly? Will your guests be uncomfortable due to their religion, gender, or sexual preference.

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Your dream location!

If we start with temperature and scenery this might help you narrow down your dream destination to see where in the world could this potentially be. The most popular reason that most Brits decide to get hitched abroad is so they can get away from the gloomy and unpredictable British weather. But some will go for the architecture, some for the culture and some just simply for the convenience. 

Then another good question to ask yourself is...

What’s your preference? Can you take the heat? 

If you love the heat and humidity of tropical air then Asia (there are many popular destinations such as Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines). some pacific islands such as Fiji, French Polynesia or Australia, even Central America (such as the Caribbean, Mexico) might just be what you are looking for. Asia and all those mentioned above, especially those nearer to the equator, are normally hot all year round and can still be at 30c in winter. It can easily hit 45c in summer if you love the heat these destinations are perfect, if you are looking for a backdrop with crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, palm trees and lush green bills, tropical islands vibe then these are close to being heaven on earth.

If humidity is not your thing but you like to consider somewhere warm and sunny?

You might want to have a look at somewhere along the Mediterranean sea. Places such as Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Turkey Japan or even New zealand are extremely popular wedding destinations. The Mediterranean sea has relatively calm, hot, dry summers and a generally hilly landscape make this a perfect backdrop for your dream wedding.

If you prefer a cooler breeze but slightly warmer than the UK you might want to take a look further up from the equator. 

North America, Canada and Europe might be your ideal destination. These places have extremely beautiful epic and breathtaking landscapes.. Europe is only a stepping stone from home but offers so many different varieties in terms of culture, architecture, scenery and landscape. Places like France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany. 

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Have an expert taking care of it all for you. Get yourself a wedding planner or coordinator, either a local planner or those that specializes in destination weddings. This will help you save time on the phone calls trying to overcome a language barrier or making executive decisions from miles away. If a planner isn’t in your budget, look for a resort with a strong on-site coordinator as many wedding venues will likely include a wedding coordinator who will be in charge of your wedding.

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Take a holidays and explore. Aren’t you curious about where you will be getting married? To avoid any disappointment, before making any commitment take a trip to discover and explore what it has to offer. Take a walk around the location, Let them show you where everything will be, take this opportunity to meet your suppliers. Take lots of pictures of the location, find out the accessibility of the location, is it easy to get to for those with children or elderly? This will also allow you the opportunity to have additional input on where everything goes and discuss how things will run on the day . So when it comes to finalizing the details before your big day you will feel more at ease. 

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When is it best to get married abroad?

Well this entirely depends on your chosen location. Season plays a big role when it comes to destination weddings. Taking extra steps to understand your destination season will reward you greatly. The last thing you need is to arrive ready at your dream destination expecting a beautiful ceremony on the sunny, sandy beach and find out you are hit with monsoon season or hurricane ... and tropical rain is no joke! This will require you to do a little homework and research to find out the perfect climate and timing for your dream wedding. Also be aware of fluctuations in tourism, most popular tourist destinations have high and low seasons, and this can make a huge difference to the cost of your wedding.

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When to notify your guests?

Unlike domestic destinations where it could only take a 1 hour flight, or drive to get to the venue. Destination weddings require more planning from your guests too. From flight to transport, to accommodation - so it is best to notify your guests a year in advance or ASAP. Getting hitched far away from home might mean that your guests will have to take some time off work or make an arrangement for their holiday notice. This will also make it easier to finalize your guest numbers in advance with your planner/ venue.

Who covers guests travel and accommodation?

Usually guests are expected to cover travel and accommodation themselves. You will have to make this clear to them at a very early stage. Providing a wedding itinerary will keep everyone on schedule and fully informed. You can help them with a few suggestions or by making a recommendation list of places to stay near the venue, somewhere they can book themselves. Depending on your budget if you have a large number of guests staying in the same place you can accommodate them by arranging transport for pick-up and drop-off on the wedding day.

Plan additional events or activity with your loved ones.

Guests will enjoy some extra activities to make their trip even more worthwhile. Extend all the fun of the big day by expanding the itinerary... Greeting pool party, BBQ, games, local group tours. A farewell party/ brunch before you sail off to your honeymoon at sunset. It’s best to suggest this well in advance so you have time to plan and organise the activities, and you can also get a clear idea of who will be likely to attend.

wedding insurance.

When it comes to getting married in a foreign location, it’s best to expect the unexpected. Investing in wedding insurance could potentially help protect your financial investment and offer some assurance. It’s very important to get a clear statement on what coverage you’re signing up for so be sure to read every detail carefully.

Understand local marriage requirements.

If you would like to have a legal Marriage you will need to find out what document you will need to bring with you?  Each country has different requirements of paperwork from birth and medical certificates, letters of intent, and even proof of residency. Educate yourself far in advance to ensure you have enough time to get everything together. Alternatively, the majority of those who get married abroad are likely to opt for having their vows exchanged or have a religious ceremony, and to book their legal marriage registration later on - after they are back from their honeymoon or have a civil ceremony prior to their departure. 

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Wedding Couple with Horses

 Planning 
 Destination Wedding 

If you would like help with planning you timeline, please click the button below. You can adapt this to suit your destination wedding!

Planning your destination wedding...

The beauty of getting hitched abroad is you can customise/ personalise your own timeline. If you plan to do a runaway elope or intimate ceremony, you can certainly break the tradition of a 15 hour wedding day. With elopement you don’t have to be in one place, pick multiple locations and enjoy the beautiful scenery just the two of you. Some would treat this as a trip of a life time with your wife or husband to be. 

If you plan to elope in a busy or touristic city, bare in mind that it will be busy all year round with human traffic. So you might like to consider having your first look and couple photo stroll at sunrise, while the city is still asleep. That way you can guarantee to have that beautiful iconic city backdrop to yourself - crowd free.

Still prefer a full on wedding with your loved ones? Check out the traditional timeline on page 8.
If you are somewhere that’s hot all year round, would you consider a Twilights wedding? this way your guests won’t be baked in the sun and you will still have the opportunity to do all the things you like. With this option you also have the opportunity to have shoots at multiple locations nearby - before heading back to join your guests at the ceremony or reception, which ever it may be.

Wedding day schedule & The Sun!

Timing is important when it comes to getting married abroad. It’s important to understand the sunset time of your dream destinations. Especially if you have an eye on somewhere sunny and dream of those golden sunset images. The sun plays an important part in timing, for example if it’s somewhere hot and sunny you probably should plan the day so your guests with children and elderly are not baked in the sun for too long. Or if it’s freezing they can spend less time out in the cold. 

 

So learn to work with the sun and make the most out of your day. Timing also depends on the activities you have planned for the day. Generally for hot and sunny outdoor weddings, we suggest having your ceremony 4hr - 5hr before sunset, and get those wedding portraits done before you and your guests sit down to eat. We suggest sitting down for a meal 1 hr to 30 mins before the sun actually sets, this will create a beautiful ambient light with sunset sky as the evening mellows down. Alternatively you can go with a traditional timeline but we would suggest leaving a lovely portrait photo session until 2 hrs before sunset.

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