How to plan the perfect wedding abroad – Lonely Planet

It may not seem to be it at first, however planning a vacation spot wedding needn’t take any extra effort than organizing one at residence. Having organized my very own four-day celebration abroad, I can say with confidence that it may well truly be simpler…

Here are some key vacation spot wedding planning ideas I picked up alongside the approach, simply in time for Valentine’s Day. 

Someone’s finest man is not taking the ring bearing duties severely © Jasmin Awad / EyeEm

Location, location, location

Naturally, deciding on a vacation spot is the first step. There are three foremost methods to do that: choose a spot that’s significant (maybe the nation the place you met or the place household resides), work backward in accordance to your price range or just discover someplace handy to each you and your visitors.

I’d deliberate to get married in the Philippines, my mother-in-law’s residence nation, however it might have blown our price range. We settled on Lombok in Indonesia as a result of it was close to sufficient to our Australian visitors however far sufficient away from well-liked Bali to present a brand new expertise.

A couple hold hands as they walk along a palm-shaded path at a hotel resort.
All in the identify of analysis… © Inti St Clair / Getty Images

Plan a analysis journey

If time and price range permits, go to the vacation spot earlier than the wedding. Research potential lodging and ceremony choices prematurely, make a shortlist after which head there a 12 months earlier than the large day.

A lodge web site isn’t at all times the finest indication of amenities and also you received’t understand how useful employees are – or about additional prices – till you meet in individual. A reconnaissance can be alternative to scope out your visitors’ journey path. For instance, you may uncover that flight delays are widespread or that sure modes of transport are preferable over others.


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A newly married couple hug on the beach.
Pay heed to climate developments when selecting your outfits © JGI / Daniel Grill / Getty Images

Consider the climate

This is vital each for the timing of the ceremony and visitor apparel. If you’re hoping to get married someplace tropical, attempt to keep away from the peak of summer time and wet season on your finest likelihood of a transparent sky and basic consolation. In cooler climates, put together for all eventualities – sure, rain is at all times a risk. 

When selecting your wedding outfit, costume for the local weather and encourage your visitors to do the identical. At our seashore wedding I went barefoot and swapped silk for lace, whereas visitors saved cool in linen fits and flowing summer time clothes. Giving visitors correct steering on apparel, ie advising towards excessive heels due to uneven terrain or suggesting they create an additional layer in locales that get cooler at night time. 

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Sort out the legalities earlier than you go

There are sure necessities you’ll want to fulfil for the marriage to be acknowledged on residence soil. Not solely do you’ve got to ensure that your marriage is legitimate in the nation of your wedding, it could even have to be authenticated while you return. Be certain to verify your native legal guidelines and people of the nation the place you plan to wed.

If all of it appears a bit of overwhelming, loads of folks – myself included – select to have a small civil ceremony at residence both earlier than or after the vacation spot wedding, which takes the stress off.

Carry your outfit onboard

It’s not value occupied with the risk of a wedding costume or swimsuit in checked baggage getting misplaced in transit. Don’t threat scrambling to discover one other outfit or damaging your garments – most non-budget airways will fortunately dangle your swimsuit bag for the length of the flight.

Make certain you’ve got one thing to defend your outfit while you undergo safety as the x-ray conveyor belt can go away black marks on each the protecting and light-colored clothes.

A congregation of wedding guests pose on the beach.
The extra organized you’re, the happier your visitors can be © Apel Photography

Keep issues easy for visitors

Whether you’re keeping things low-key or inviting 100+ folks, attempt to give visitors 12 months’ discover to allow them to plan day off work prematurely. Consider organizing your wedding throughout faculty holidays so any mother and father on the visitor listing don’t have to fear about taking their children out of college.

Once save-the-dates have gone out, put collectively an info pack to ship both along with your invitations or by way of e-mail to make the journey as simple as potential for these attending (we made our personal web site utilizing Squarespace). Include info on flight routes, transfers, any really helpful medicine or required visas and basic details about the vacation spot. Not everybody can be ready to afford to journey, so be certain to point out that you just perceive it’s an enormous ask.

One of the causes we selected Lombok is its affordability. Indonesia is comparatively low-cost to get to for Australians and being outdoors of busy Bali meant that we had been ready to cowl a couple of nights’ lodging as a sweetener for the identical price as the common wedding again residence.

Create an itinerary

The identical approach a lodge may go away a welcome be aware on the mattress, it’s good to present an itinerary for visitors as they arrive. Thank them for making the journey and supply info and timings for the wedding day. If your wedding journey takes place over greater than sooner or later, plan some non-obligatory actions for visitors to have some enjoyable and get to know one another.

We requested family and friends to host yoga and meditation every morning, threw a welcome cocktail celebration and organized a day journey to a close-by island.

A couple post in front of the fog-shrouded Eiffel Tower.
Once you relinquish a bit of management, a couple of hiccups alongside the approach will not matter © Encrier / Getty Images

Manage your personal expectations

I’m a little bit of a management freak, so it would come as a shock that getting married abroad was the smartest thing for me. Arranging issues from afar meant that I had decrease expectations than if I had been on the floor throughout the planning section.

There are issues that don’t go to plan throughout any wedding, however being away from residence could make it simpler to settle for issues past your management, like when our take-home presents received caught in Denpasar customs (they had been nonetheless there six weeks later) and when it poured with rain simply an hour earlier than the ceremony (it stopped). So lengthy as you’ve got a supportive employees or a wedding planner and do all the things you possibly can to guarantee the day goes easily, it can. Don’t let hiccups spoil the first day of the remainder of your life.

A couple embrace on the beach.
A wedding abroad creates long-lasting reminiscences © Fabiano Mesquita / Getty Images

Remember it’s about you, not the vacation spot

Little touches could make all the distinction at a vacation spot wedding. Treat it like a vacation, however do not forget that everyone seems to be there for you. For us, it was about acknowledging our roots. Having been legally married earlier than we arrived, we requested a pricey pal to be our celebrant and wrote our personal vows and ceremony. We integrated wedding traditions from each side of the household all through the afternoon and night, which made it not simply significant for us, however a novel expertise for visitors.

Don’t overlook – if the concept of a wedding abroad sparks your wanderlust, simply consider all these honeymoon options

This article was first printed on February 21, 2018 and up to date on January 29, 2022

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