Getting married abroad is becoming an increasingly popular option for many people. If you live in a country where the weather is notoriously unpredictable then the call of warmer, drier climates is often irresistible. Getting married in a particularly beautiful or exotic location also further adds to how special and exciting your big day is. If you’re not convinced yet then here’s the deal breaker, it can often mean less stress and lower costs, what more could you ask for? Many couples are now choosing to turn their wedding into an extended holiday with all the most important people in their lives invited.
If you’re tempted by the idea but still worried about how you’d go about planning such a monumental event then you’ll be relieved to know it’s not all that difficult, it’s a lot like planning a holiday! Here is my guide on how to plan a stress-free wedding abroad.
1) Find a location and check out the legalities attached to getting married there
Depending how soon you want to get married you could even take a holiday out there first to scout out the best locations and accommodation.
2) Work out a budget and make sure it is definitely realistic.
If you are taking guests with you, work out early on what you are going to pay for and what they need to pay for themselves, speak to them early on as well so that you can gauge interest and have an idea of numbers.
3) Documentation and forms
If documentation and forms are needed then get them filled out and sorted straight away to avoid wasted time if it falls through later down the line.
4) Book your wedding package/wedding planner
When you know the numbers for your wedding start looking for your ideal wedding package and accommodation and get it booked. If you book a wedding package you will usually have a wedding planner that comes with it who can sort everything out in your chosen location for you. Make sure that you get their details so that you can start communicating with them straight away.
Make sure that you and your guests all have valid passports; some countries require you to have them for at least 6 months in advance of when you’re due to travel.
6) Wedding dress and groom’s suit
Start looking for your wedding outfits as early as possible, when getting married abroad this can be one of the most stressful parts of the planning! Sometimes it can take a long time to get wedding dresses fitted and altered so make sure that you’re getting your requests in plenty of time as there’s often a waiting list.
7) Organise/book your honeymoon
If you’re going somewhere separate for your honeymoon then make sure you get this planned and organised early on. Make sure that it is going to be a smooth transfer from your wedding destination to your honeymoon.
8) Take out insurance
Put your mind at rest by taking out wedding insurance to cover you for your big day. Make sure you have travel insurance arranged as well to cover you if anything were to happen to your flights or your luggage. Then if the worst case scenario actually happens and you lose your luggage, wedding outfits and all, the fact that you’re covered by your insurance will take at least a little bit of the sting out of last minute shopping for wedding dresses in Gauteng, South Africa or for the Groom’s suit in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
It’s usually best to get invitations out for weddings abroad at least 6 months in advance. This might seem like a long time ahead, but remember people will want to book accommodation and flights at the best prices possible and book time off work.
10) Organise the finer details with your wedding planner
Find out what your wedding package includes and decide anything that you want to take yourself, e.g., wedding cake. If you want to get your hair or make-up done professionally before your wedding then make sure that you’ve booked these kinds of appointments in advance as well.
Sarah Hewitt is a new blogger who blogs about anything and everything. You can contact her via her Twitter page