How Do I Plan My Own Wedding Abroad?

18/11/2023

If you've got your heart set on tying the knot abroad but don't know where to start, it can be a daunting task trying to plan your dream destination wedding on your own.

But you needn't worry, as we've put together this handy guide on how to plan your own wedding abroad. From finding the perfect venue to sorting out the wedding insurance, we've covered all the bases.

So, without further ado, let's get started.

Choose Your Wedding Destination

Your wedding plan has to start with your destination as it'll influence pretty much everything else, from what you'll wear to your overall wedding budget.

Do you want a sunny beach ceremony or a fairytale castle setting? Perhaps you've always dreamed of getting married in Italy or France? Once you've decided on your location, it'll be easier to start narrowing down your other wedding details.

Start by researching popular wedding destinations and venues, as well as reading reviews from other couples who have gotten married there. This will give you a good idea of what to expect and help you make an informed decision.

You should also consider the time of year you want to get married, as this will affect both the weather and the cost of getting married abroad. For example, getting married in the peak summer months will generally be more expensive than getting married in the off-season.

Another aspect to factor in is the ease at which you and your guests can travel to your potential venue. Can your elderly grandparents or pregnant bridesmaid make the journey? You'll need to consider these things when making your final decision.

Bring Together Your Destination Wedding Budget

Once you've conducted a thorough analysis of your dream wedding location and have an idea of the ballpark cost, it's time to start putting together your destination wedding budget.

Remember to factor in the cost of travel and accommodation for you and your guests and any other costs associated with getting married abroad, such as wedding insurance, visas, and any potential required legal documentation.

It's also a good idea to put together a contingency fund in case of any unforeseen costs or last-minute changes.

Partner With An Experienced Local Wedding Planner

A destination wedding is akin to a military operation. So while you may still want to plan huge chunks of it yourself, there's only so much you can do from afar. This is where a local wedding planner comes in, as they'll have all the connections and expertise needed to make your dream wedding a reality.

Your wedding planner will be able to take care of all the crucial details, such as finding the perfect venue and booking accommodation for you and your guests.

They'll also be a huge help when securing local vendors for services such as wedding flowers and catering. Not only will they know everything there is to know about the local wedding scene, but they'll also already have preferential rates in place with those key wedding service providers.

Additionally, your planner can also offer invaluable guidance on the legal requirements of getting married in your chosen destination and act as the project manager of your "boots on the ground" in the run-up to your big day.

Take Care of Your Guest Requirements

While guests are always an important consideration for any wedding, when planning a wedding abroad, you must go the extra mile to ensure that your guests are comfortable and well looked after.

This includes providing them with all the information they need about your chosen destination, as well as helping them with things like booking their travel and accommodation. You may even want to subsidise aspects such as accommodation and airport transfers to make it easier for them.

Ensure you cater for all budgets and circumstances, as you don't want anyone to feel left out or unable to attend your big day. A family with young children will have very different needs to a group of single friends, so be mindful of this when making your plans.

Plan Your Additional Wedding Activities

Destination weddings are rarely a one-day affair. So, in addition to your actual wedding day, you'll also need to plan for some additional activities to keep your guests entertained.

This could be anything from a welcome dinner the night before the wedding to a day trip to a nearby attraction or a sight-seeing tour of the local area. Your wedding planner will be able to help you put together a comprehensive list of activities, as well as take care of all the necessary arrangements.

Remember, not everyone will want to participate in every activity, so give your guests the option to do their own thing if they prefer.

Take Out Wedding Insurance

With so many moving parts to a wedding overseas, it's always a good idea to take out wedding insurance. This will cover you for any unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, supplier failure, or even your own personal illness.

While you hope everything will go off without a hitch, it's always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you're adequately covered before your big day. Plenty of venues and suppliers will also require you to have wedding insurance in place before they'll agree to work with you.

If you plan to honeymoon either in the same location or somewhere else, don't forget you'll need additional travel insurance.

Get Your Travel Documents in Order

The last thing you want to do is have everything in place and realise your passport doesn't have enough months remaining to gain entry into your chosen destination. So, as soon as you've decided on a location, make sure you check the entry requirements and start the process of getting your travel documents in order.

For most destinations, this will just be a case of ensuring your passport is up to date. But for others, you may need to apply for a visa in advance and provide further documentation such as your health records and vaccination status. Your wedding planner will be able to advise you on the specific requirements of your chosen destination.

Final Thoughts on Planning Your Own Wedding Abroad

Planning a wedding abroad can seem daunting, but it can be a lot of fun if you're organised and start making your plans well in advance.

Just remember to take care of the practicalities first, such as sorting out your travel documents and wedding insurance. You can then start to think about the more fun aspects, such as choosing your dress, picking your flowers, and booking your honeymoon suite.

If you're still not sure where to start, why not speak to a professional wedding planner who will be able to help you with all the necessary arrangements?

Whatever you do, just make sure you enjoy the process and savour every moment, as your wedding day will be over before you know it!

 

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