PLAN A DESTINATION WEDDING
Eager to tie the knot at a far-flung destination? Ensure smooth sailing for all involved with these handy pointers.
Ensure smooth sailing with these handy pointers
Aside from being an ideal excuse to combine a holiday with your celebration, many couples choose a destination wedding because they want to get married in a spot they love. But while that private island in the middle of the Caribbean may have been an amazing place to visit, consider its accessibility (and subsequent expense) for your guests. If it’s a small island nation, how many flights will be required to get there? Or if it’s a provincial town in Europe, how long will it take to drive from the nearest airport?
2 Set the date – early 3 Looking after your guests
Don’t expect all your guests to be able to attend – taking time off work and forking out travel costs can be a big ask for some. To help, ask resorts for group booking discounts, or compile a list of accommodation options for your guests to choose from. Prepare guests a few weeks before the wedding by gathering and sending information about the destination such as a map, suggested activities in the area and what to pack. It’s also a nice idea to arrange transportation to the wedding venue. Send out save the dates to your guests at least six months prior to give them ample time to budget and plan. Rarotongan wedding planner Trish Tau (weddingplannerrarotonga.com) says prices for flights and accommodation are determined by peak tourist season, so keeping this in mind could save money for you and your guests.
4 Hire a planner
A popular option is to hold your wedding at a resort or hotel. Wedding travel specialist Anita Gatley (weddingtravel.co.nz) suggests finding a resort wedding package that includes an event planner, or find a local one yourself. Having an expert on the ground who speaks the language and is familiar with the best local vendors will not only save you time and research, but will also save you stress. Let them know early on what you envisage – a great wedding planner will give you regular updates during the whole process.
5 The fine print
Ask experts, such as your wedding planner, what the legal marriage requirements are in your chosen destination. France requires you to be in the country at least 40 days before you can marry, while other countries such as the Cook Islands only need you to be in the country three days prior to the wedding to apply for the marriage licence.
activities for you and your guests to participate in a day or two before the wedding. It's not only fun, but helps to make guests feel more welcome and at ease.