We have been lucky enough to attend three different weddings abroad: Hong Kong; Sorrento, Italy; Koh Samui, Thailand. Each time we thought they would be tricky, hard to organise and a little bit complicated but, on all three occasions, this turned out not to be the case.
Maybe a destination wedding isn’t as hard as you might think.
Money Money Money
One of the biggest reasons for not getting married abroad is the cost.
For a UK wedding, it is likely that you will have cars to hire, the church to pay for, and the organist to pay. Or, maybe, you'll be in a classic castle/stately home involving cars to the venue, accommodation for the bridal party and guests, reception with a three-course meal complete with flowers, a string quartet. Of course, wedding stationery will also need to be factored in to your costs.
In Hong Kong we were at a golf club, overlooking the ocean as the sun set. Most people were staying in modest hotels on the mainland and had been relaxing at the golf club during the day. There were no fancy cars, we didn’t change venue in the middle of the day nor was there a grand three course meal. There was Prosecco on trays, with canapes and some upbeat music lightly playing in the background. It was idyllic and neither felt like anything was missing nor that they were scrimping.
There were no massive bouquets of flowers, there was no string quartet nor a table plan and the invites had been sent by email as guests lived all around the world and it was easier to track responses electronically.
Sometimes, less is more and, at a destination wedding, with the ocean, a sunset, a Spotify playlist, your best mates and some canapes, that’s all you need.
But let’s not forget about the family.
A wedding abroad doesn’t need to be in Australia, Thailand or Fiji. Choose to get married in Menorca, on the beach, in June. Return flights from Luton are £93. Some UK train fares are higher than that and, no doubt, the wedding accommodation. In Menorca will be cheaper too as you are unlikely to be staying in a grand castle or stately home. One thing is for sure: the weather will definitely be better! So, although people hear the words 'destination wedding' and immediately think £££, it isn't always the case. In fact it could work out to be cheaper.
If your family really want to go, they will make it happen. If they can’t fly or get the boat for whatever reason, then throw a smaller party at home before or after you go or a family meal for both families so everybody can celebrate together.
Your wedding is your day and you, without being a bridezilla, CAN have the day of your dreams.
The most recent wedding we attended was in Thailand and one thing that was quickly apparent was how important it is to communicate clearly. Foreign languages can be tricky and complicated. You may not be able to guess what they are saying or even have stab at it when written down. You don't want to be guessing at what people mean as this could lead to unexpected surprises on the day.
The groom of our Thai Wedding set up and shared Trello with us. ‘Trello is a web-based list-making application’ in which you can detail what you want but more importantly add photos of items, drawing, plans and designs. Using such an application, or Pinterest, eliminate the language barrier and you can clearly show your wedding venue or wedding planner exactly what you want.
Hint & Tips
● Don’t underestimate how hot it could be. When it comes to clothing, think light weight and ensure you provide plenty of water for your guests
● If it’s hot, why not think about handing out small hand fans or battery-operated fans to your guests as favours
● Please be sure to check marriage licence requirements before you travel. Some countries request you are in the country for a few days prior to your ceremony, some request you are in the country for a few weeks! Watch out
● VISAs! Don’t forget to check if you need them and obviously then get them if required