Your wedding – one of the biggest days of your life, and one that takes meticulous planning. A recent study of 2000 newly-weds showed that the average bride alone spends over 250 hours organising her wedding – irrespective of whether it’s at home or abroad. Suffice to say there’s a lot to think about, from picking the right country and finding the perfect venue, to arranging flights and co-ordinating guests.
And all of that’s before you even think about the legalities and necessary paperwork that has to happen before, during and after you exchange wedding rings. To help you start making plans, here’s the top three factors to pay particular consideration to before the big day arrives…
Destination - probably the most important factor of all, and the logical first thing to consider. Aside from personal preference, your decision on where to get married abroad is going to be largely down to laws and rules governing weddings in specific countries. Once you’ve established the legal obligations of getting married in your country of choice, talk to a travel agent or go online to find venues for making your dream of exchanging wedding rings in a faraway land a reality.\r\n\r\nTop tip: according to experts, longhaul flights are set to fall in price more than shorthaul flights over the coming year, so the best value might be found the further away you travel.
Time of year – a big one that many people mis-judge. If you’re heading somewhere tropical, then don’t just assume it’s going to be sunny all year round. Monsoon season has washed out many-a-wedding in the tropics, so do some in-depth research. As an example of how you can go wrong, Thailand has several annual monsoon seasons that hit different parts of the country at different times of year. Even though the east and west coasts and their islands are only a few hours apart in the far south of the country, their respective predominant monsoons occur at pretty much the opposite time of year to each other. You’ll be exchanging expletives rather than wedding rings if you get it wrong, so plan, plan and then plan some more.\r\n\r\nTop tip: do your research on specialist regional travel websites, as information contained in travel agent brochures doesn’t always give the full picture. For example, many travel agents refer to ‘the’ monsoon season in Thailand, whereas there are several throughout the year.
Set your budget – an obvious consideration, but one often seen as unrealistically flexible. If you’re funding or part-funding your own wedding, don’t be tempted to push out the boat for every extravagance that’s slid under your nose. There’s nothing more depressing than returning from your honeymoon holiday of a lifetime to be greeted by a doormat brimming with credit card bills. You don’t want to have to pawn in those lovely platinum wedding rings to pay for a fortnight of ill-conceived excesses. Top tip: ask for money or relevant vouchers as wedding gifts, rather than traditional presents.