Getting married abroad is totally magical, and we highly recommend it. However, it does come with it’s own stresses and things to consider. Over our many years shooting destination weddings all over the world we have picked up lots of tips, have met many helpful people and have learned small ways in which to make your destination wedding the best it can be. So if you are getting married in Spain, Italy, France, or anywhere else in the world this article will be super helpful to you. We are experienced destination wedding photographers and we are here to impart our knowledge to you!
top tip ONE
Spread your wedding across a few days.
The joy of having your wedding abroad is that you have the luxury to spread your event over a few days. A relaxed evening BBQ the night before your wedding, group activities like paddle boarding or a boat trip, or even a pool party the day after your wedding can all be great additions to extend the festivities.
top tip TWO
Pick low season
It might sound utterly bonkers but choosing a wedding date in low season but it has many benefits. Not only is the demand lower so you will find more availability for venues and suppliers, but more often than not they will be at a more reasonable price. Also, in peak months the weather can be almost too hot. Choosing an off-peak month like April or October the days are beautiful and warm, and the evenings are nice and cool. Which brings me to our third point …
top tip THREE
Get married later in the day
We recommend getting married no earlier than 5pm. We know that sounds late in the day, but trust us! The heat can still be so intense late in the afternoon, and there is nothing worse than having your guests sitting sweltering in the heat whilst you sweat your way down the aisle. Having that slightly later ceremony time means that it’s that bit cooler and more comfortable for everyone. The light as the day draws to close is utter perfection as well!
top tip FOUR
Get a good planner
When you are having a destination wedding planners are worth their weight on gold. they have excellent local knowledge and will often speak the language. We have worked with some excellent wedding planner such as ….
top tip FIVE
We’re not trying to scare-monger or say that anything will go wrong, but it is an excellent idea to have your back covered just in case something does go wrong
top tip SIX
Check out the details of your wedding ceremony under local law
Depending on which country you are getting married in they will have different rules regarding legally getting married. In some places, in order to have a legal ceremony you must have been a resident for several weeks. We think it can work really well to have a registry office ‘wedding’ at home so that all the legal bit is done and dusted and then you can have a humanist ceremony, without any of the legal worry, on your actual wedding abroad. Our best recommendation is to check the law before you set your heart on a specific country.
top tip SEVEN
Transferwise is a great payment tool
You can void currency exchange issues and extra costs of international bank transfer fees for paying your suppliers using a service such as Transferwise.
top tip EIGHT
Give your guests lots of notice
The prospect of an epic destination wedding in sunny Spain, a vineyard setting in southern France, or an ancient castle in Tuscany, is going to be an exciting one for all your friends and families but it’s vital you give them lots of notice. You’ll want all your nearest and dearest there to celebrate with you but you must remember that they too may well have to take out a number of days from their work commitments, and they too will have to consider the costs involved for travel and accommodation. Give people plenty of time to plan ahead!
top tip NINE
Make sure you visit your shortlisted venues before commiting
It’s super important you invest some time and money in visiting a handful of venues in your chosen area. You may well be blown away with the images you see on a venues website, and you may be tempted to save some money and such ahead with putting down a deposit. Our advice is to go and see these places before spending any money or signing any contracts as you may find that you are not the right fit for a certain venue, it may not appear as it does on the website, and the management may not be as welcoming and accomodating as you had hoped.
top tip TEN
Hire a top quality photographer who speaks your language
There is not doubt you will want to treasure the memories of your epic destination wedding for may years to come. The best way to do this is through amazing photographs so make sure you set aside a healthy budget for an amazing photographer, be that in the country you will marry in, or by flying a destination wedding photographer out to your resort. You will be spending many hours with your photographer and so having a friendly rapport with them is vital so it’s always best to pick one who’s work you love, but who also speaks your language.