A white sand beach, crystal clear water, and large blue skies. Could there be a more perfect way to get married? Maybe. Destination weddings offer impossible glamour, almost certain good weather, and a dramatic backdrop for your photographs – but they aren’t for everyone. Before you book your plane tickets, take a moment to consider the pros and cons of home vs abroad, and make sure far away really works for you as a couple. .
If you choose to travel abroad for your wedding, the world is quite literally your oyster. You can travel as far and as wide as your imagination will allow. Whether you dreamt of a picture perfect deserted beach or a fairy-tale chateau; you will find it somewhere. Opening the doors to travel gives you almost complete flexibility on your wedding backdrop.
If temperamental British weather is at the top of your wedding worry list then a destination wedding might provide a solution. Choosing a location with an almost guaranteed warm and dry climate can allow you to host the alfresco wedding of your dreams. Of course, there is no planning for rogue tropical hurricanes but chances are you will have a beautiful day.
If you’re already at an exotic location, it’s easy to make your honeymoon an add on to the overall event. Stay on after the wedding as a newly married couple and explore the best of your wedding backdrop together. There are no transfers, no further travel, and no stress, just a chance to unwind in style.
Destination weddings typically attract smaller guest lists of 50 or fewer attendees. This is going to save on an often much larger guest list at home and means you can push the boat out that bit further when it comes to food and entertainment. Fewer guests also make for a more intimate experience allowing you to give your time and attention more freely.
A wedding at a gorgeous destination is often more than a wedding for your guests, it creates an experience they and you will remember forever. It will give them an opportunity to visit somewhere they may never have considered and allow them to soak up local food and culture. For many, it’s a great excuse for a holiday and your wedding will be the icing on the cake of a fabulous weekend away.
Many of the most gorgeous destination hotels and venues offer all-inclusive packages that cover every aspect of your day. From the photographer to food, accommodation, and entertainment you may be able to order your whole wedding at the click of a button. This means no negotiating with suppliers and a set price for all the elements of your wedding. For many couples, this no-nonsense approach to wedding planning is a breath of fresh air.
Most destination weddings will mean a smaller guest list and this can mean some tough decisions when it comes to who to invite. If you have a large but close extended family or a long list of mutual friends this can be difficult. If having everyone you care about be able to attend is key to your happiness then a local wedding may work better.
You will probably find that the per head cost of a destination wedding compares very favourably with venues in the UK. However, travel and accommodation costs for you and your guests plus the cost of childcare or an extended period away from work can add up. Your guests will largely pay for their own flights and accommodation, but be prepared that some of those you love may simply not be able to afford it. Some couples may find it difficult to ask for this type of financial commitment from their friends and family, think about this carefully and discuss it with your ‘must attend’ guests before you commit.
Some venues are fantastic about offering all-inclusive packages but if you’re the type of person who wants involvement in the minutiae of the day this can be hard to swallow. Trying to discuss the finer points of floral arrangements, song choice or chair decoration from afar and often in a different language can be difficult. Be prepared to take a step back from planning if you marry abroad.
Getting married outside the UK can mean a mass of complicated red tape, all neatly bundled in a language you may not understand. Often, it’s simply easier to have a small registry office service at home, and keep your destination wedding as a celebration rather than legally binding process.
Whether you choose home or away, ensure you have the wedding you love by taking the time to discuss what matters most to you. Once you have decided which elements are most important the path to a local or far away venue will become clear. Either wedding type can be beautiful and meaningful as long as it is what you truly want.