Weddings abroad, what you need to know...
12 February 2011 13:20
Planning a wedding can be one of the most exciting and stressful things that people do, so planning a wedding abroad can bring with it a whole host of other considerations. Making your wedding day special takes time and a lot of thought, get it right and it will be the best day of your life, get it wrong and you'll remember it for the rest of your life, but for all the wrong reasons!
With any wedding there are lots of things to consider; the type of wedding, where to have the reception, who to invite, the flowers, the rings, the bridesmaids, the best man and of course the dress. There is also planning for the honeymoon and the wedding list to think about.
Many people decide to opt to do things a bit differently and get married abroad, either in a low key, informal ceremony, or, go for a big wedding abroad, making plans for wedding guests, adventurous ceremonies and the honeymoon destinations are all part of the plan.
Getting married abroad isn't new; people have been doing it for years. There are always going to be pros and cons but if you feel its right for you then make sure you give yourself plenty of time to plan, leaving nothing to chance. If something goes wrong on the big day it can be fixed, but if you’ve forgotten to pack the wedding dress and getting married in a sarong isn't for you, then your big day might not be quite as you'd imagined it.
No matter how you picture your big day, be it relaxed and informal or an all singing all dancing (quite literally in some cases) ceremony, then there are a few key things you should consider if you’re planning on taking your vows overseas.
Firstly think about the time of year and the destination of choice. It sounds obvious, but if you're thinking of a sun drenched beach and tropical romantic sunsets then make sure you don't go in the hurricane or monsoon season.
Find somewhere that specialises in weddings and, if you can, it's worth speaking to a tour operator or wedding planner that that can help you piece together all the pieces of the puzzle so you don’t miss anything.
Give yourself a few days in your chosen destination before the big day, take some time to relax, get accustomed to the temperature and unwind. But be careful not to overdo it in the sun, sun burn and wedding dresses really don't go well together!
Be realistic about who you can invite, who do you really want to be there and who may not be able to come? Although somewhere on the other side of the world might be your ideal destination it might be difficult for friends that are strapped for cash or older relatives to make the trip especially if they need travel insurance to cover pre-existing medical condition. You will have to make some tough decisions when it comes to the wedding guests so make sure you do what’s right for you.
If you can't have all your friends and family at your wedding abroad, but still want to celebrate with them, then why not have a second wedding reception when you return home, that way you can have the best of both worlds.
If you are expecting friends and family to join you then maybe consider booking your second week of the holiday somewhere else, otherwise you might find you are spending your honeymoon with your family.
There are also considerations when it comes to your travel insurance. Most policies have a limit for single valuable items of £250 and a total limit of around £1,500 so it might be worth seeking a specialist policy or extending your household insurance policy to include all-risks cover. The wedding dress, rings and any other high value items need to be covered, just in case something happens. In the worse case scenario, if you just take out a standard policy and lose your bag then you will only be able to claim back the standard amount on everything you lose. Don’t be caught out.
Most importantly, make sure you also take out wedding insurance in addition to your travel insurance policy, that way if anything does go wrong on the big day, you'll be covered.