Source: Emma Godfrey Photography from Lake Geneva Wedding
Happy Saturday! Did you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day evening? To ease you into the weekend, I have compiled my top 10 tips for deciding on destination wedding locations. Now I know that I am a little biased to France obviously, but where every you are planning a destination wedding there are some key points to look out for.
1. Style of Wedding
One of the first pointers to consider for the location for destination wedding is what style of wedding do you want? Why not write a list down each and then compare? Are you looking for a beach wedding, a relaxed wedding with a view over a picturesque lake, maybe a winter wedding in a log cabin or a woodland private wedding.
Whilst there options to accommodate most budgets in different locations, establishing your budget should be one of the first items that you do. The reason it isn’t number 1 on the list, your bubble will be burst soon enough once you start researching prices, so why not dream a little first.
When establishing your wedding budget, be sure to not only take a look at the wedding budget, but also the travel budget. Are you intending to pay for any of your bridal parties travel expenses? How many of your friends and relatives do you want and will be able to afford to join you in your celebrations?
3. Date of wedding
More than just date, you need to establish your preferred month to get married in. For some couples this might be limited to certain months for work restrictions or around school holidays.
4. Kids vs No Kids
Always controversial but are you intending to invite kids to your wedding? Whilst this is always a contentious issue, it can be further compounded by the expense for parents of inviting children. The length of the travelling for kids might be a factor. Is your destination wedding location actually suitable and safe for children?
Inviting children to a wedding is completely your decision – but it is best to be forewarned with your reasons ready, for any quests who try to persuade you or question your decision.
5. Travelling to your chosen country
I have mentioned it in a couple of other points, but what are the travelling arrangements like for your destination wedding location? If you are planning a mountain top wedding in winter, have you considered how any bad weather might change your plans? Are all of your wedding guests suitable fit or able enough to reach the wedding ceremony location?
Bringing back budget into this point, if you are considering a wedding in the school holidays, what impact does this have on flight and accommodation prices? Are you planning an exotic wedding and if so, are there any medical implications and do your guests need vaccinations?
What are the requirements for you to legal get married in your chosen destination wedding location? Is it like France, whereby if you are not a French citizen then legally marrying in the country can be difficult. Most weddings in France are actually blessings.
What is the appropriate paperwork that you need to get married abroad? Are you using a wedding planner who can assist you with the legal requirements, or are you planning the wedding yourself and do you know exactly what to do?
7. Time for Planning
Do you have time to plan the wedding? It can take over 100 hours to plan, research and manage your wedding day. If you are time poor then your best option is to choose a wedding location with an all inclusive package option with a local planner. The local planner or holiday resort will plan the entire wedding, just asking some simple questions for their styling options.
Bear in mind that for package weddings the options to tailor individual elements can be limited. If you are looking for a fully customised wedding and your budget is sizeable, then this can still be an option with the correct planner!
8. Language barriers
Do you speak the language in your destination wedding location? Yes, well then just skip ahead to number 9. If no, then what is your plan? How are you going to correspond with local wedding vendors, or are you planning on using English vendors and taking them with you to your location?
This can be an easier but expensive options with all of the additional travel expenses. There are numerous translation services including Google translate that can assist you. Be aware that nuances in language could prove time some when trying to articulate your desired wedding style, Pinterest is great for visually assisting in this.
9. Destination vendors
Working with local planners, vendors and the venue doesn’t have to be a nightmare, just be sure that you allow for cultural differences. If you are planning a wedding in France, read about our tips for dealing with French wedding vendors.
When dealing with local vendors, be sure to confirm the currency that they are quoting in, is there any tax to be added and are there any fees for international transfers and payments?
As you will be travelling for your wedding, always be sure that you know of the cancellation policy or refunds. If a volcano erupts and your flights are delayed, do you lose the cost of the entire wedding? If a guest cancels at the last minute, do you still have to pay there catering costs etc?
Is your wedding location also your honeymoon location? It can be a very cost effective way of celebrating your wedding and then starting your honeymoon instantly. Consider do you want your wedding guests on your honeymoon? You may well love the idea of a family holiday following the wedding, but if you want some privacy then is there another hotel nearby that you can relocate to?
If you are planning on travelling onwards to your honeymoon, does that airport fly direct to your desired location? For the practicalities, what are you intending to do with your wedding dress, grooms attire, wedding gifts and wedding accessories? Can you take them on honeymoon or could a member of your bridal party take them back with them, once you have agreed to pay any excess baggage of course!
As you are reading French Wedding Style, a large proportion of you are probably considering a wedding in France. But I would love to know the other areas and locations that were on the destination wedding locations list!