Deciding where to get married can be a difficult decision to make, and even harder if you’re considering getting married abroad. There are so many reasons why people choose a destination wedding. Some couples have good memories from previous trips to a particular country and since then it has become a special destination for them, others used to spend their childhood holidays in the country where they would like to finally get married and some others are just looking for something a little different, a nice and sunny experience with their loved ones.
We spoke to international wedding planner Angela Valtueña from Catalonia Weddings Boutique and she gave us some valuable advice on planning a wedding abroad. Whatever the reason, it’s very important to bear in mind the following information in order to turn a wedding abroad into THE perfect wedding abroad…
1. Location: Regardless of whether you already know the country where you’d like to get married or you’re just looking for somewhere suitable, it’s very important to be aware of the location and how accessible it is. Ask yourself the following questions: How many airports are there close by? How many flights from the UK arrive every day and how often? The easier it is to get to a country, the easier it is to welcome your guests at your wedding! For example, if you live in the UK, a perfect destination is Spain, at just 2 hours away with an amazing coastline, beautiful settings and nice weather throughout the whole year it is easily accessible for everyone.
2. Legalities: This can be a tricky issue. Firstly, answer this question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is for you to be legally married the same day of your wedding? Would you rule out your perfect destination wedding just because you couldn’t get legally married on the day? There isn’t a right or wrong answer as this is something very personal, however, from my professional experience, everything is much easier and the option window is much wider if you sort all the legal paperwork in your country of residence (regardless of whether or not you can legally marry in the country you have chosen). At the end of the day, your wedding day is the day that you are celebrating your love for your partner with your friends and loved ones, and the paperwork is just that – paperwork.
3. Time of year: Always bear in mind that every country is different, so it’s important to gather information about public holidays, peak seasons and the weather for every period of the year. A safe option is choosing a country with mild temperatures all year round. Additionally and depending on the country, I would highly recommend avoiding summer season not just because of the heat but also to avoid holiday crowds and expensive deals.
4. Budget: It is often said that a wedding abroad is cheaper than a wedding in the UK. Several factors affect this statement such as the number of guests (it’s likely that less guests are going to attend abroad) and the exchange rate (currently sterling currency is quite strong). However, for a really fair comparison, it’s crucial to compare similar venues as well as suppliers in both countries. So I would swap the initial statement to “a wedding abroad is usually better value for money”. That being said, it’s also important to have a realistic budget in mind and to try and stick to it. However, don’t get too upset if you over exceed it a little bit as this is quite common, so you do also need to try and be flexible!
5. Professional Advice: Last but not least, professional advice is crucial if you are planning a wedding in a country that you are not, or not very familiar with. The number of barriers is countless from the language to how to deal with and negotiate suppliers, as many times you need to know and understand the culture in order to get the best deals.
Always seek professional advice as a good wedding planner will always take care of you and your needs, looking for the best value for money deals. A good wedding planner is someone who you can trust not just for their experience and professionalism, but also for their wise recommendations that will fulfill your expectations. A good wedding planner will guide you through all of the wedding planning process and will take a huge weight off your mind, and by the end of the planning, you’ll realise that planning a wedding abroad was actually quite easy and hassle free.
In addition, you can rely on your wedding planner to guarantee that everything will run smoothly on the day and that you will get that beautiful and memorable wedding that you have been always dreaming of.
If you want more information about how to get married in Spain or if you need more reasons to make the decision, contact Angela from Catalonia Weddings Boutique, the first Spanish Wedding Boutique based in London and Barcelona, recommended by the prestigious Quintessentially Weddings.