So you are considering a destination wedding? A beautiful backdrop of the ocean or even a breathtaking mountain view from a castle. What could be more perfect!?
I recently attended a wonderfully romantic wedding in St. Tropez, if you were following Think Shaadi on Snap Chat last month, you may have caught some of the action! The lovely couple married in a local French city hall, that looked far across St. Tropez’ rich bay, filled with luxurious yacht’s. They then hosted their reception and dinner in a private villa that had an incredible view over the whole of St. Tropez.
Now, I am used to being the wedding planner/blogger on the day, it was hard for me not to switch from a guest to coordinator, I had to let go and enjoy the day. However, saying that, I gathered some invaluable knowledge to take home with me.
The wedding was lovely and it was everything the couple wanted, the bride was absolutely stunning. For you lovely ladies and gents planning a destination wedding, I do have a few important pointers for you to consider:
- Legal Marriage Requirements: The legal side of getting married in a different country can be complicated. Many countries have a “residency requirement” (for example, at least 3 months in France, 24 hours in Turkey and 7 days in England), which means you must reside in the country for a certain length of time before your ceremony. This is the first and foremost item that you should check before booking venues and catering.
- Vet Suppliers Carefully: While you can view vendors’ portfolios online and check references from afar, it’s important that you’re comfortable with all your suppliers as well as trust them 100%. You’ll be leaving a lot in their hands, so it is important that you make at least one planning trip to meet with potential vendors. If you must hire your vendors without meeting them, schedule a Skype session with them so you can get a sense for their demeanor and personality before you sign a contract.
- Wedding Planners: I would personally advise having two wedding planners, the first here in the UK and the second in your chosen country. The venue or catering in your chosen destination should have an event coordinator/planner at hand to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day. The reason for having a planner in the UK is to be the medium between you and the destination planner, while you are on your way out there, the UK coordinator can continue to liaise with the destination planner all the way up until the day, while you sit back and relax. This way you know everything is taken care of and all is completely confirmed and no need to sort out any last minuet details and issues.
- Think about your guests: Yes, it is your wedding and of course, this is your chance to be selfish and have the day you want! However, think about the type of people you are planning to invite. What are their age ranges? Do they all have similar interests in music/entertainment? Make sure you offer a range of entertainment that suites all age ranges and tastes. If you have elderly guests, make sure your chosen venue has a disabled access to make sure that they can access the rooms easily.
- Transport & Beverages: If you are planning to have your wedding in a hot country and you are transporting guests to and from different locations such as ceremony to reception, ensure that all transport has been arranged well in advance and ensure that as soon as your guests arrive there are glasses of water ready for guests to take before cocktails and champagne.
These are the most important factors I found as a destination wedding planning and would be the main things to consider before you go ahead with anything else.
For the best destination weddings check out Sandals Resorts! I did a Destination Planning Qualification with them and they and we can help with absolutely everything!
Images courtesy of Sandals Resorts