8 tips to planning your perfect destination wedding
It’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life, but what about the months leading up to the moment you both say ‘I do’? From picking out an exotic location to booking accommodation for family and friends, preparing for a wedding can be daunting. Take the stress out of an overseas celebration with these globetrotting tips to tying the knot.
1. Map out your marriage as early as possible
Most couples start planning their wedding at least a year in advance and you might need longer if you have to factor in research trips to your destination or are considering a venue that gets booked out quickly. In addition, unless you are planning on it being just the two of you – or you’re inviting only a few close friends and family – you need to give your guests enough time to plan their holidays around your happy day.
2. Do your homework and become a local expert
Pick somewhere that’s as perfect as you are. If you and your partner love the great outdoors, look at rural escapes, such as by New Zealand’s breathtaking lakes. If you are city slickers, consider an urban location like Paris where there’s art, culture and entertainment on every corner.
Once you have picked a place, find out what the weather will be like and the kind of ceremonies and venues on offer. This will help determine the style of the bride’s dress and the theme for the day. Most importantly, find out what requirements you need to fulfill in order to be legally married abroad.
3. Play to your destination’s strengths
Credit: Moumou Photography / Fly Away Bride
Marrying in London? Transport guests from the ceremony to the reception venue in a double-decker bus. Getting hitched on the beach? Go barefoot and hold the ceremony at sunset. Tying the knot in Rome? Make one of the city’s historic buildings the backdrop for your photos. Remember why you selected your destination in the first place and ensure everyone gets to experience it in the best possible way.
4. Ease the stress with a one-stop shop
Take the legwork out of the logistics. Instead of running from one appointment to another in an unfamiliar city, book a location where you can start and end your day in the one place. The Millennium Bostonian Hotel Boston has an on-site hair salon, it can create a bespoke menu and seat up to 150 guests in the Seasons Ballroom, which boasts stunning views of the city skyline.
5. Get more mileage out of your money
With a bit of savvy planning you can have a pre-wedding holiday and honeymoon all in one. Think beyond the big day and pick a location you can treat as a jumping off point for explorations as husband and wife – like the Millennium Resort Patong Phuket, where newlyweds can venture to any number of Thailand’s pristine islands.
6. Make use of your luggage allowance
Pack props rather than buying them on arrival. This could be anything from decorations to wedding favours. The plus side is you will have an empty suitcase for any post-wedding retail therapy you feel like indulging in. When it comes to flying, ask for the bride’s dress to be boxed up professionally so it can be carried onto a plane as hand luggage. Keep the groom’s suit looking pressed by asking cabin crew to hang it somewhere safe during a long-haul flight.
7. Find creative ways to capture the moment
From the streets of New York to the skyscrapers of Dubai, make the most of your chosen destination by splashing out on a fabulous photographer. If you find someone at home whose style you like, why not pay for them to join you on location, or encourage guests to snap every second of your picture-perfect day.
8. Keep calm and carry on
Keep things in perspective. It’s so easy to get carried away, but remember there is only so much you can plan and prepare for. The most important thing is to enjoy your day, wherever in the world that maybe…
Need more inspiration? See Dare to be different: Five unforgettable wedding venues.