5 Tips to Consider when Planning a Destination Wedding
Bringing you some sunshine to your Monday!
Destination weddings and Elopements are fast growing in popularity. Notwithstanding the beautiful backdrops and weather they afford, but perhaps the three most common reasons are:
To escape to your favourite destination and marry the person you love, with less fuss.
To reduce the overwhelm, ditch tradition and get married your way.
To significantly save money, (well for you maybe, not your guests pockets!).
People will ALWAYS have an opinion about the type of wedding you should have, they just can’t help it. It can be hard to shut out the white noise and for some couples moving away from tradition and guest list politics helps them focus the attention of their day solely on their union. Choosing to marry in a destination that is dear to you both (or indeed a new adventure) is much more exciting for many than marrying in their local church with 150 friends and families in tow.
Destination weddings are also the perfect opportunity to tie in your wedding with a mini break or holiday and take advantage of the extra quality time you get to spend with each other and those in your life who matter, over several days or weeks, rather than a rushed few hours.
I have asked destination wedding photographer, Maxeen Kim Photograpy who is a master at shooting destination weddings to share some initial tips on how to have a hassle free destination wedding.
Over to Maxeen!
Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular. They are the most fantastic way to celebrate your union with your closest friends and family, in a place you love.
After spending the bulk of my career specialising in destination weddings, I am delighted to say that I’ve recently been seeing a change in the demographic of couples opting for a wedding abroad.
When I started, I remember my mother asking how many people could possibly be flying away with their friends to say I do? It was considered to be an uber luxury, afforded to only the upper class. But the world is changing and I’m so happy to be seeing more and more couples from all classes, backgrounds and cultures opting to get married somewhere outside of their home country.
But how can you pull off a beautiful celebration that reflects you when you aren’t living in the country you are getting married in?
Decide what’s important
This piece of advice applies no matter where in the world you are getting married.
Decide how much you want to spend and what’s most important to you.
The truth is, a successful wedding is one where you walk away married to the person you love. Everything else is just extra to make the day more special and allows you to celebrate the amazing decision you’ve made together.
So sit down together and think about what you want that celebration to look like and what is most important. Maybe for you it’s food and entertainment. Personally, for me photography and videography is important, as that’s what I get to keep after the big day and look back on for many years to come. Perhaps make a list of your top 5 most important things and start to allocate your budget accordingly.
Hire a wedding planner
This may seem like an extra cost you don’t need. It may seem like an unnecessary luxury. But I promise, it’s the best money you will spend for a destination wedding.
Wedding planners are worth their weight in gold by the mere fact that where relevant, they speak the native language of your chosen destination and on your big day, they have access to a network of credible suppliers and can be your one point of contact throughout. They will be the one fielding all the questions from suppliers and guests, so you can just focus on enjoying your day.
They are also a wealth of local knowledge and along the way will help you stick to your budget, and make suggestions on things that you may not even know are available to you.
Think outside the box
This applies mainly to timescales and venues. In Greece (where the bulk of my work takes place), getting answers from suppliers in winter is a slow process as many businesses are seasonal and open only in the summer, so during the winter months people relax, and take time to travel – and we all know that no one likes to answer emails on holiday.
Traditional Greek weddings are huge celebrations with guest lists anything from 100-600 or more, and these weddings are generally planned in 3-6 months. So if it’s 9 months to a year before your big day and you haven’t looked over menu options with your venue or chosen decor, maybe ask your planner what the usual planning timescale is for locals. This will give you an indication of what to expect in advance so you can manage expectations and work around seasonal periods. Just remember that even with a planner, you will still have to work around how the locals do business. I have always found local suppliers to be of a wonderful standard. It is just the planning timescales that may be different to what you are expecting.
Have an open mind
When viewing venues abroad, have an open mind. Many venues may serve a different function during the rest of the year. But you would be surprised at how a space can be completely transformed. So trust your planner and ask to see what the venue looks like when ‘dressed’ for a wedding. You may find yourself very pleasantly surprised.
Check out the legalities
You need to register your intent to marry at your local registry office, if you are intending on having a destination wedding let them know where so they can support you in seeking advice . Do contact the local authorities in the country you are getting married in, they will advise on whether your marriage will be legally recognised in your own country post marriage and how long you need to be in the country before you can marry – a good destination wedding planner can help you with this too.