For years you’ve dreamed of a destination wedding that will be unique, stylish, romantic and fun. Incorporating all the things you love most in life; your closest family & friends, your favourite location, decorated to perfection with wonderful music and delicious food and drinks.
Most people will be over the moon with your invitation and see this as a great opportunity for a holiday with amazing family & friends! For others, many questions will come to mind: how much will it cost, how much time of work will they need. If they have children, are they invited and does the wedding fall within the school holidays? Then there is researching the flights, hotels and what to wear!
To bring your dream of a perfect destination wedding to life and ensure an amazing, unforgettable experience for you and your guests, follow The Boutique Wedding Co’s Destination Wedding Guide.
Wedding venues can get booked up 12-18 months before, there’s passport arrangements, holiday time from work, booking flights and accommodation are just a few things you’ll need to handle well in advance of your big day. Send your save-the-dates out as soon as you confirm your wedding date, possibly 12-18 months in advance and ensure your invitations go out at least 6 months prior.
Agree on Your Guest List Early on
Make a headcount before deciding on your venue and location. You might think only a few people can make it and then be happily surprised that everyone wants to share your special day with you. The numbers will affect the decisions you make, including which venue you will choose!
Hire a Wedding Planner
Planning a wedding on home ground is complicated enough, planning a wedding from abroad is even more so! Consider employing a professional who knows the lay of the land, has established relationships with wedding venues and suppliers and can speak the language. A wedding planner will manage all of the elements of your wedding you wish, involving you as much as you choose. They will save you time, money and stress. More on WHY USE A WEDDING PLANNER
Choose your Wedding Location Wisely
Your wedding location determines not only the style and look (rustic romance, bohemian beachy, boutique sophistication), but also the travel, time and budget required. Select a wedding location and venue that you feel reflects you, overflowing with character, natural beauty and plenty of outside space for your celebration. The venue should be representative of the area as well as being about what you love, your style, your interests and passions.
Visit your chosen Destination
Take at least one planning trip and ideally two or three depending on whether you hire a wedding planner. If you do decide to hire a wedding planner, a meeting with them will be your first port of call. They will be able to show you a selection of venues that suit your style, introduce you to florists, photographers, beauticians, caterers etc… They will supply you with all the information you will need for your wedding and it’s likely you will need less planning trips too.
Take care of your Wedding Guests
Destination wedding guests spend an average of £500 to £1,500 per person to attend a wedding. There are a few things you can arrange to help with budgets and show them your appreciation. Ask your wedding planner to research arranging group rates for flights and rooms, list information for getting to and from the nearest airport to your wedding venue. You could also deliver Gift bags to your guests’ rooms, full of essentials for the holiday. Consider hosting an extra event, such as a welcome bar B Q on the beach, a next-day brunch or group trip to local interests. Some couples will forego a gift list for a destination wedding, understanding that the presence of the guests is a gift in itself!
Every destination has a different set of legalities and time required to be in the country before you’re legally able to marry, ensure you are clear on what these are. We would always recommend getting “officially” married at home first. This will save you time and money. No one need know that your destination wedding is not the ‘Legal’ one, you can still exchange rings and vows; with your loved ones around you, it will feel like the real thing anyway!
Consider a Wedding out of Season
If travelling abroad, why not consider your wedding a little earlier or later in the year? The shoulder season falls directly before and after the High season and could save you and your guests money. Seasonality affects the pricing of venues, flights and accommodation. Although you cannot 100% guarantee the weather will be perfect in the shoulder season, it should still be good!
Take Time and Space for Yourselves
A destination wedding may mean you are surrounded by your closest family and friends for a week or more. This is wonderful and fun, but it could also become tiring if you don’t take some time out for you. Ensure you and your new husband plan to enjoy each others company alone and take some honeymoon time in privacy. Where possible ensure your accommodation is separate from the rest of the party, perhaps a room on a separate floor or even a private house or villa. Make this area out of bounds to the rest of the wedding party.
Plan for the Weather
Coordinate with your wedding planner to formulate a bad weather plan, whether that’s moving the ceremony inside or providing every guest with an umbrella, a plan B is essential. In a hot climate, it is also essential to consider the effects of the sun and heat. Ensure you provide enough shaded areas for people to relax and enjoy your wedding, provide plenty of water and refreshments to keep your guests well hydrated, ice lolly’s and pink lemonade should stop them overheating! Perhaps provide fans, hats, parasols or construct shade sails around the venue.
Dress for the Weather and Location
Consider the potential weather when planning your wedding dress and deciding on the wedding attire for your wedding party. In 35C heat, a heavy satin gown will become super hot and uncomfortable. Likewise, black tuxedos for the groomsmen would just be mean! If you’re exchanging vows outside, you may want to reconsider a long train that will easily get grass-stained or four-inch heels that will stick in the ground.
Make a Holiday of it
With our wedding venues, many couples book for a week or more, inviting along all or most of their guests for this time. Turning a day of celebration into a weeklong holiday will more than likely suit everyone!
For an informal chat about your wedding or if you would like to know more about our wedding venues in Spain, please do not hesitate in contacting me, please EMAIL me here. To find out more about our Wedding Planning Services Click here.