wed­ding plan­ner di­aries

My Wedding - - VINTAGE BRIDAL TRENDS - By Lisa Hill

Does the sound of waves gen­tly lapping on a trop­i­cal beach tempt you to run away to the ro­mance of the is­lands for your wed­ding cel­e­bra­tion? Over the last few years, many cou­ples have cho­sen to es­cape the chal­lenges of a big wed­ding at home, nav­i­gat­ing guest lists and bud­get blowouts to in­ti­mate and spe­cial cel­e­bra­tions with close fam­ily and friends in an over­seas lo­ca­tion.

Plan­ning and ex­e­cut­ing a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent from a wed­ding on home turf. It com­bines the spe­cial tra­di­tions of a wed­ding cer­e­mony with the en­joy­ment of a sunny hol­i­day.

One of the key dif­fer­ences with get­ting mar­ried over­seas is that ev­ery­one in­vited has to travel and they will all need some­where to stay. Talk­ing with Anita from Anita Gat­ley Travel she high­lighted that plan­ning is key to en­sur­ing you keep this as easy and stress free as pos­si­ble for ev­ery­one. By us­ing a travel com­pany in New Zealand, they can ne­go­ti­ate group deals on your be­half and co­or­di­nate all travel for the guests in­clud­ing their flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion and any ad­di­tional ac­tiv­i­ties. We have sum­marised a few key tips that we hope you will find help­ful. 1. Use an Ex­pert Travel and wed­ding con­sul­tants have the ex­pe­ri­ence, re­sources and con­tacts to make plan­ning a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding faster and eas­ier. They take care of many of the de­tails that can be sig­nif­i­cant in mak­ing your plan­ning seam­less, along with pro­vid­ing you a lo­cal con­tact in NZ to co­or­di­nate with. 2. Re­lax With the chal­lenges of lan­guage bar­ri­ers, cur­rency ex­change and a lack of fa­mil­iar­ity around lo­ca­tions, dis­tances, ge­o­graph­i­cal lay­outs and who to trust, it is im­por­tant to recog­nise that all of th­ese small things can cre­ate hic­cups along your plan­ning jour­ney. Re­lax, recog­nise any is­sues and eval­u­ate how best to work through it. If you’re get­ting mar­ried some­where like Raro­tonga, take in­spi­ra­tion from their laid­back ap­proach and go with the flow.

3. Your Guests

De­ter­mine your guest list and put thought and con­sid­er­a­tion into who will be able to af­ford the costs. Your loved ones will want to be there for your big day but may not have the money and re­sources to at­tend. The cost of flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion, time away from work and chil­dren are all hur­dles your guests need to work through be­fore con­firm­ing their at­ten­dance. Most im­por­tantly, if you’re ask­ing guests to spend money on at­tend­ing your wed­ding, it’s a good idea to spec­ify no gifts or wed­ding reg­istry - their at­ten­dance will be the gift it­self.

4. Do your Re­search

Or­gan­is­ing a wed­ding in an­other coun­try makes it dif­fi­cult to know who you can trust. En­sure you con­duct your re­search - talk to friends or fam­ily who may have been to th­ese lo­ca­tions, had a wed­ding over­seas or at­tended one. En­sure you pay de­posits, get con­tracts in writ­ing, ask for tes­ti­mo­ni­als and re­quest a list of pre­ferred sup­pli­ers from the wed­ding venue. En­sure you take hard copies of all and any doc­u­men­ta­tion with you when you travel.

5. The Le­gal Bit

Each des­ti­na­tion has their own set of laws and rules around get­ting mar­ried in their coun­try. En­sure you check th­ese out be­fore­hand so you know what is re­quired. Some lo­ca­tions spec­ify that you have to ar­rive three days prior to the wed­ding date, so be sure to fac­tor this in to your travel plans.

6. The Weather

Get­ting mar­ried off­shore some­times means you are look­ing at the op­po­site of a tra­di­tional wed­ding sea­son in NZ. Your wed­ding date may be dur­ing the win­ter months, so make sure you have planned this ahead – do your re­search on weather pat­terns to avoid any po­ten­tial is­sues with mon­soons or hur­ri­canes. Make sure you think about travel in­sur­ance to pro­tect you in the like­li­hood that you may need to make al­ter­na­tive plans or post­pone the date. The bonus for your guests is a mid-win­ter es­cape.

7. Plan­ning

Kick off your plan­ning as soon as you de­cide you want a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding. Ne­go­ti­at­ing flights and ac­com­mo­da­tion in ad­vance can en­sure you get the best deals. Ho­tels and re­sorts will of­ten al­low you to hold blocks of rooms at a more com­pet­i­tive rate. Be sure to send out a Save the Date and let guests know as soon as pos­si­ble so they can save for the trip. Set­ting up a wed­ding web­site is the ideal way to share in­for­ma­tion with your guests. Lisa Hill from Beau­ti­ful Events (www.beau­ti­fulevents.co.nz) and Anita Gat­ley from Anita Gat­ley Travel (Ph 0508 HON­EY­MOON) have com­bined their skill sets to col­lab­o­rate for the per­fect des­ti­na­tion wed­ding so­lu­tion, pro­vid­ing a lo­cal point of con­tact to co­or­di­nate all your re­quire­ments for styling, travel, ac­com­mo­da­tion, plan­ning and lo­gis­tics for you and your guests, a ser­vice that will ex­ceed your ex­pec­ta­tions.

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