7 Things to Remember When Planning a Wedding Abroad

Has the idea of a destination wedding in the sun always been on your radar? With travel restrictions finally easing, the dream of hosting your big day abroad in a far-flung exotic location can be made into a reality. That’s not to say it will all be smooth sailing, however; destination weddings abroad do not come without their share of extra challenges. That’s why we here at Elevate Weddings and Events have made this list of useful tips as a guide to get you underway!

Start Planning Well in Advance!

Let’s face the facts; planning a wedding abroad can be a stressful task. Factors such as time differences, language barriers, and currency conversions add an extra layer of complexity to every interaction. That’s why you need to allow yourself extra time to get everything in order. Also, your guests will most definitely appreciate plenty of advance notice so they can make their own arrangements, so make sending out your ‘save the dates’ a priority. 

Scout out your Location

A picture may say a thousand words, but when it comes to choosing a venue for your destination wedding, photographs and online reviews aren’t going to cut it. Ideally, you should visit your potential venue in person well ahead of time, or at least do a facetime walking tour with a venue coordinator. This will help you to get a feel for the vibe there, and to see what the photos on their website aren’t showing. You don’t want any last-minute surprises when you arrive for your wedding!

Be Understanding with your Guests

While it is only natural for you to be excited for your dream wedding abroad, you need to be aware that not every guest you invite will be able to make it, however much they would love to be there. Perhaps their budget won’t allow for it, or they can’t arrange childcare for that time. Maybe they aren’t comfortable traveling with the current COVID situation. You shouldn’t take this personally. It is also important to consider the accessibility of your destination; e.g. for older guests or wheelchair users.

Have your Paperwork in Order

Not very romantic, we know. But different countries have different legal requirements when it comes to getting married. You may need to register a civil marriage at your destination separate from your wedding ceremony; or alternatively, have a civil ceremony in Ireland before you go abroad. This can often be a lengthy process so once again, it is worth doing your homework on this subject well ahead of time!

Locate your Vendors

There are many services required at a wedding, and that means you will need to hire a lot of vendors. Some of these, such as catering and flowers, can obviously be sourced on location at your destination. But what about your photographer? Your hairstylist, and makeup artist? You will need to make a decision here, whether to research local industry professionals and select some whose work you admire, or possibly consider hiring these services at home and bringing them abroad with you. There are costs and benefits in each scenario that you and your partner will need to weigh up.

Expect the Unexpected! 

Easier said than done, right? While it is easy to become wrapped up in visions of how perfect your wedding day is going to be, please bear in mind that things don’t always go to plan. Flights can be delayed, luggage can go missing. Your destination could be hit with a forest fire, or tropical storm (okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but you get the picture). It may be worth exploring areas where something could potentially go wrong and have some alternative arrangements on hand, just in case. Keep an eye on weather reports. We also strongly recommend taking out wedding insurance. Some policies even cover acts of god, but you will need to discuss this with the insurer.  

Hire a Planner

If your head isn’t already spinning at the prospect of juggling all of these tasks, we commend you! There is no denying that planning a wedding abroad can be difficult and stressful. That’s where we come in! A professional wedding planner can simplify and streamline the entire organisation process, from sourcing the best suppliers, to navigating any language or cultural barriers. We can take care of the many details so that you only need to make the big decisions and then pack your bags. Oh, and don’t forget the dress!