As wedding season officially hits and Instagram feeds start to fill with gorgeously happy newlyweds posing in front of [insert insanely exotic, envy-inducing location here] it's no surprise that many engaged folk begin to wonder what they're missing out on by opting for a wedding at home. Personally, I like the idea of saying my 'I do's' in the stunninghttps://editorial.huffingtonpost.com/mt.cgi?__mode=huff_entry_toolbox&entry_id=17220126# Spanish city of Cadiz but I can't stop the niggling questions about the risks of doing it all abroad - in a country where I don't speak the language and can't easily check upon my suppliers.
I know I'm not the only one grappling with this predicament. Newly engaged couples all over the world are debating whether to have their weddings at home or opting for the blissful proposition of a destination wedding. Plus for us Brits, the lure of a wedding abroad, where we may be able to guarantee some sunshine, is often even stronger.
Hopefully this realistic list of pros and cons can aid those conversations...
Pros of a wedding abroad
Money will be saved...
If that isn't sweet, sweet music to any newly engaged couple's ears, then I don't know what is. You can fly out to your chosen resort on an all exclusive deal and extend your stay to include your honeymoon too. With a lot of resorts well adept with the whole wedding shebang, they'll be able to offer you packages that take care of all your wedding day needs from flowers and décor through to photography and cakes. Plus with the bride and groom only needing to pay for themselves plus their chosen wedding package, costs will be significantly lower than a UK wedding. (Costs to you that is - not your guests....)
The ultimate family reunion
The opportunity to visit an unreal holiday destination with all your nearest and dearest is a rare and often once in a lifetime experience. Weddings are the one time you can really get everyone's schedules to align well in advance, so you should make the most of this time spent together. With couples typically inviting more guests to weddings held at home, there's often too many people to spend time with that before you know, it's all over. By taking everyone away and potentially limiting numbers too in the process, you'll get the chance to spend the cherished time you hoped for with all your favourite people.
It's a chance to focus on you as a couple
Soon after the big question gets popped, there's often another, slightly more tricky, question that swiftly moves in (family members, we're looking at you) - "where exactly will you be getting married?" In my previous article on interfaith marriage I explored the dilemma of choosing a wedding that suits both mine and my girlfriend's respective upbringings. One way to tackle this is with a destination wedding. By opting to ignore both family traditions, you can strike out on your own and create new traditions. Plus destination weddings have a lovely way of focusing on the real importance of the day - in front of a truly jaw-dropping view, naturally.
There's a chance not everyone will be able to make it
This is one of the main stopping points for many couples thinking of dabbling in a destination wedding - and it's the same for me too. Elderly relatives will often struggle to travel and if the price is too high, so will many guests too. So think wisely about who you want to be there, accessibility and price point to ensure as many people can make it as possible.
Be prepared to relinquish some control
If you're someone who is a bit of a perfectionist or have a real vision of how you might want your wedding décor to look - then a destination wedding may not be for you. Unless you're willing to spend a lot of money shipping things out, you'll need to bear in mind that the choice of suppliers may be limited and you're probably best going with the hotel's recommendations to avoid any complications.
Be prepared to be chief party planner
By asking all your guests to pay the money for their flights and hotels, you'll need to be prepared to take on the role as chief coordinator. Guests will often be looking to you for next steps in the lead up to the wedding and you'll need to be on hand to settle everyone in on the other side. Once they're out there, it's likely guests will be hoping you've looked into potential activities or just arranged a general schedule of what people will be getting up to pre and post wedding. So if the thought of being head coordinator doesn't float your boat, then a destination wedding might not either.
Good luck....either way - you will deserve the honeymoon.
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