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Everything you need to know about planning a wedding abroad

If your dream wedding takes place in a mountain lodge surrounded by snow or on a golden sandy beach as the sea gently laps the shore, it’s time to start planning a wedding abroad. While there are countless stunning places to get married in the UK, sometimes you just have to go a little further afield for the wedding of your dreams.

Wherever you’re thinking of jetting off to, here’s everything you need to know about planning the ultimate wedding abroad.

Peak dates are different

Peak dates are different

August is the most popular month of the year to get married in the UK, with 18% of couples saying I do at this time. However, it’s important to remember that this isn’t the case in other countries. January-April is a popular time to get married in the Caribbean, because the weather is slightly cooler than the summer and there’s less chance of rain.

On the other hand, December is a popular time of year to get married in Lapland and other snowy locations because the snow is heaviest and twinkling Christmas decorations add a little extra magic. Research the high and low seasons of the destination you’re planning on getting married before you set a date.

Short guest list

Unless you’re planning on paying for everyone to join you at your destination wedding, it’s almost certain your guest list will be restricted to immediate family and very close friends. If you’ve always dreamed of a big wedding, getting married abroad may not be for you.

You don’t have to do long-haul

You don’t have to do long-haul

If you don’t want a micro wedding and would rather all your friends and family were there to see you tie the knot, consider staying a little more local instead. You can get to loads of amazing destinations in Europe for budget-friendly prices. Limassol in Cyprus, the Loire Valley in France, and Venice in Italy are just a number of stunning places a short flight away from almost any UK airport.

Rules and regulations

Looking into local laws when you’re planning on getting married doesn’t sound like much fun. But doing your due diligence could be the difference between your dream wedding and going home early. Every country has its own laws when it comes to marriage.

Some destinations don’t even offer legal ceremonies, leaving you with no options but to get married in the UK first and follow up with a symbolic blessing abroad. Do your research and make sure you know where you stand.

Decide on the ceremony

Decide on the ceremony

Many people opt for a civil wedding abroad, but there are plenty of other options available, too. Asian, Greek Orthodox, Anglican, and Catholic weddings are widely performed in many countries throughout the world. When you’ve got a destination in mind, confirm the types of weddings available and choose the best option for you and your partner.

Match the clothes to the destination

You may already have a dream wedding dress in mind. But is it suitable for your destination wedding? If you’re planning on tying the knot somewhere cold, you might want to consider long sleeves or some kind of thick shawl.

But if you’re planning on getting married at the beach, you’ll want a much lighter dress that won’t drag on the sand. Be thoughtful of your destination and make sure everyone involved is wearing something appropriate for the place and the weather.

Start planning early

Start planning early

Popular wedding venues can get booked up 18+ months in advance. As soon as you’ve settled on a venue and a date, send invitations or save the date cards out asap. By giving your guests over a year’s notice, you’re giving them ample opportunity to make plans, sort out travel arrangements and accommodation, and save up enough money to pay for it all.

It’s worth contacting hotels and airlines to see if they offer a discount for large parties. Doing this could help you budget for guests you really want to join you but who can’t afford it themselves.

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