Saying "I Do to a Destination Wedding"
Why go abroad?
Destination weddings are popular for many reasons. They are often a far less stressful experience than a British wedding since most of the organising is done via a wedding planner who is familiar with your chosen location. Additionally, they can be more budget friendly and better value since you’ll often have a week’s worth of memories instead of one day. Finally, they help you to avoid the minefield of guest lists and relatives you haven’t seen in so long, they couldn’t pick you out of a line up!
What about the guests?
It was a combination of all three reasons for us back in 2006, and so we decided to revisit the island that brought us together four years earlier. We thought long and hard about where to get married but always knew it needed to be somewhere that would be accessible to our nearest and dearest whose presence was non-negotiable. Unbeknown to them, we had already decided that if any of these “chosen ones” declined their invitation we would reconsider our options. I guess my advice here is to think about who your non-negotiables are and speak to them during the planning process.
How does it all work?
Every location is different so my key advice here is to use a travel professional who can research the legalities for you, leaving you to worry about the fun bits. It is extremely difficult to marry in Spain for example, unless you are a practicing Catholic. For us there were certain deadlines for documents being submitted at specified times for translation to take place. We also wouldn't have realised that a minimum stay of seven nights prior to the wedding was a legal requirement without the expertise of our wonderful wedding planner.
Will it be all I dreamed?
The overall experience was absolutely all I’d hoped it would be. You can often make these weddings as formal or informal as you like. For me, I couldn’t give up the dream of the big, white dress and so I wore one, in 32-degree heat, in the 4 o’clock sun with a beautiful glow of sweat across my brow but I didn’t care; I felt like a princess. The rest was relatively informal: we chose a local rooftop taverna for a meze; walked through the cobbled streets being congratulated by locals rather than hiring wedding cars and watched the sunrise over the Acropolis from the hotel bar in the early hours of the morning surrounded by 50 plus guests+. I guess my point is, like a wedding at home, you can absolutely create your own unique experience wherever you want in the world.
Just remember let the journey be as exciting as the destination! Keep your eyes peeled for a Top Tips follow on post in the next few days.