Overseas weddings are becoming an increasingly popular choice for couples looking for a memorable and intimate wedding. It’s hard to resist the romance of packing your bags and running away into the sunset with your lover. Having a wedding abroad means you can cut your guest list down to only your closest friends and family. You can even save on venue hire costs by having your ceremony and reception at your honeymoon location.
Before you jump onto the aeroplane, there’s a few things that you need to consider. Planning an overseas wedding is easier in some ways because you cater to less people’s needs. However, as there are differing travel and marriage registration requirements for each country, it’s important to plan well ahead of time. Ideally, you should start planning at least 12 months from your wedding day. As soon as you have a set wedding date and location inform your guests as soon as possible so that they can take time off work and save up money for airfares if needed.
Below are 8 simple steps and tips to help you plan for your overseas wedding:
- Determine your budget.
- Decide on your guest list/numbers.
- Look for a location.
Search online and talk to a travel agent about flight and accommodation packages and specials.
Consider the exchange rate.
Book in advance to get best price.
Ask about discounted prices for group bookings if you are planning to pay for your guests.
Check the weather and public holidays.
- Hire a local wedding planner who is fluent in English and the local language.
Some hotels will have a free wedding coordinator. Ensure that you can communicate well with each other and they are experienced with overseas couples. Miscommunication is the biggest potential problem with overseas weddings.
- Ask for recommendations for local photographers, venues, and honeymoon spots.
- Find out the legal documents and procedures for getting married at your destination.
The couple may be required arrive early and register at the marriage office in person a few days before the wedding date. Visit the Travel Advisory website and your local general practitioner to find out what vaccinations and safety precautions are needed. Don’t leave it too late. Some vaccinations require multiple injections over 6 months.
- Purchase travel insurance.
- Send out Save the Date cards.
If you need destination ideas consider my home base Brisbane, Australia. Outside my window right now the skies are clear and blue, and the sun is shining. It’s a warm spring day at 30 degrees Celsius complemented by a cool refreshing breeze. This is absolutely perfect weather for a wedding. Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland.
The state offers a range of natural beauty that would make a perfect setting for a wedding. Australia has long been a popular holiday destination for UK tourists. Whether you are after white sandy beaches, luscious rainforests, historic architecture or the rustic outback, Queensland has it all and Brisbane is a great base for a combined wedding and honeymoon. There are also many unique and fun activities you could experience including cuddling with a koala, and snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. Visit the Queensland Tourism and Brisbane Tourism websites to see all the exciting adventures you could have.
Furthermore, the exchange rate is favourable for UK residents. There is no language barrier and it’s easy to obtain a tourist visa. To see the legal requirements for marriage in Australia have a look at the Queensland Government’s births, deaths and marriages website.
In Australia many venues have an event coordinator. Unfortunately these coordinators will only offer you a limited range of suppliers often at high prices and will not be able to advise you on the best venues or honeymoon locations available. Hiring an independent wedding planner is the best way if you want a range of options to choose from, best suppliers at the best price, and a wedding expert who can guide you through the whole process.
Happy planning and I hope to see you down under soon!
Brisbane Wedding Planner
Feature picture from beautyandgrace.net.au.