Real cou­ples who’ve en­joyed won­der­ful w-days abroad re­veal their top tips for suc­cess

You and Your Wedding - - Contents -

Who bet­ter to help with your des­ti­na­tion cel­e­bra­tion than those who have been there and done that? Hav­ing jet­ted off to say “I do”, th­ese cou­ples know ex­actly what it takes to or­gan­ise a w-day abroad. Here are some of their top tips for a party to re­mem­ber. Dom and Phil chose pic­turesque wine es­tate Quinta de Sant’ana for their big day in Por­tu­gal Don’t for­get the dress “Get­ting my wed­ding dress to and from Por­tu­gal was the hard­est part, so we booked our plane tick­ets based on who had the most gen­er­ous bag­gage al­lowance,” says Dom. “A good friend took my dress back so I didn’t have to take it on hon­ey­moon.” Travel in­surance is essen­tial “We ac­tu­ally ended up get­ting mar­ried in the mid­dle of a 10-day air­line strike! Every­one even­tu­ally made it to Lis­bon, but do en­cour­age guests to get travel in­surance. Watch out for things like that in the days and weeks be­fore the wed­ding so you can let guests know if they need to con­sider chang­ing their plans.” Plan pre-wed­ding ac­tiv­i­ties “Many of our friends and fam­ily ar­rived in Por­tu­gal two or three days be­fore the wed­ding. We knew most peo­ple had never been to Lis­bon, so we or­gan­ised dif­fer­ent sight­see­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and posted the var­i­ous times we would be at cer­tain bars or restau­rants in case peo­ple wanted to join us for a drink or din­ner at some point. We ended up see­ing al­most all of our guests in the days be­fore the wed­ding it­self, so we were able to spend a lot more qual­ity time with them. Sub­se­quently, that meant we could re­lax and en­joy our ac­tual wed­ding day be­cause there was less pres­sure to feel like we were rush­ing about and had to try to get around to see every­one at the re­cep­tion.” Maria and Mark had a snowy Alpine party in Cha­monix, France Take a laid­back ap­proach ´,I ZH·UH KRQHVW D ORW RI WKH ÀQHU GHWDLOV DQG ORJLVWLFV IRU RXU ZHGGLQJ ZHUHQ·W ÀQDOLVHG un­til we ar­rived in Cha­monix three days prior to the cer­e­mony,” re­calls Maria. “We were FRQÀGHQW HQRXJK LQ WKH FRPPXQLFDWLRQV back and forth with all our ven­dors that ev­ery­thing was set, and we would just iron out the last bits and pieces once there.” Alexan­dra and Alex had a vin­tage-chic wed­ding at Château Les Car­rasses, Langue­docRous­sil­lon, France You’ll need to trans­port all your dé­cor “The hard­est part of plan­ning for us was RUJDQLVLQJ WKH SURSV DQG ÀQLVKLQJ WRXFKHV μ re­mem­bers Alexan­dra. “Our par­ents ended up driv­ing from Eng­land and brought a lot of things in the car with them, which helped. Try to work with your venue’s style WR LQÁXHQFH \RXU FRORXU SDOHWWH FKRLFHV ² the more you can use what’s al­ready there, the fewer props you’ll need to add.”

Fay and Max feasted with their friends and fam­ily at the Princess Ho­tel, Skiathos, Greece Find out when sup­pli­ers will be avail­able ´0RVW *UHHN LVODQGV DUH FORVHG LQ WKH win­ter [Novem­ber to March], so there was no progress with our prepa­ra­tions un­til the be­gin­ning of April, as the ven­dors weren’t even on the is­land. That was quite stress­ful and felt last­minute, but thank­fully our venue took care of ev­ery­thing in April and May and it all worked out beau­ti­fully in the end.” Amanda and Richard en­joyed a sunny cel­e­bra­tion at Blue Caves Vil­las, Zante, Greece Con­sider the school hol­i­days “There were a num­ber of chil­dren due to at­tend, in­clud­ing Richard’s two daugh­ters,” says Amanda. “As the week of the wed­ding was the one be­fore the May half-term, it meant get­ting agree­ment from their schools. Thank­fully, we man­aged to sub­mit the re­quests be­fore the [term-time hol­i­day] UXOH FKDQJHV VR ZH DYRLGHG DQ\ ÀQHV μ Take into ac­count how your guests will get there “Make sure that you re­search the travel ar­range­ments to the lo­ca­tion you choose, par­tic­u­larly if you have a large num­ber of guests, like us. For ex­am­ple, there are cer­tain times of the year where you sim­ply can’t get ÁLJKWV IURP WKH 8. WR *UHHN LVODQGV VXFK as Zante. What we also found was a num­ber RI WKH DLUOLQHV Á\LQJ WR RXU GHVWLQDWLRQ ZHUH bud­get com­pa­nies that op­er­ated pack­age hol­i­days, so non-pack­age seats were lim­ited.” Have a wet weather op­tion

“We had clear skies, bright sun­shine and tem­per­a­tures of around 26°C ev­ery day in the week lead­ing up to the wed­ding,” re­calls Richard. “How­ever, on the big day it­self, the weather ac­tu­ally started off quite over­cast – and as the guests be­gan to sit down for the out­door cer­e­mony, a few spots of rain were fall­ing. Thank­fully, by the time Amanda emerged, the FORXGV KDG ÀQDOO\ SDUWHG and the sun was shin­ing.

Ash­lee and Miguel held their re­cep­tion at Mas del Ci­gar­rer, Cat­alo­nia, Spain Flow­ers may be ex­pen­sive ´*HWWLQJ RXU ÁRZHUV ZDV WKH KDUGHVW WKLQJ μ ex­plains Ash­lee. “We had Amy Bow­ley of %R %RXWLTXH D ZRQGHUIXO 8. ÁRULVW EXW QHHGHG WR EX\ WKH DFWXDO ÁRZHUV LQ 6SDLQ Amy and I for­aged for olive leaves and wild thyme the day be­fore – an ex­pe­ri­ence I won’t for­get. We com­bined th­ese with RWKHU ÁRZHUV WKURXJKRXW WKH GHFRUDWLRQ DQG LQ P\ ÁRZHU FURZQ DQG ERXTXHW μ This was good, as there was lit­er­ally no ‘bad weather op­tion’ at that stage!” Be pre­pared to get tech­ni­cal

“I had to put in a lot of prepa­ra­tion to set up a live in­ter­net stream prior to the day, as there were lots of peo­ple at home who couldn’t make it, but still wanted to see the wed­ding. This in­volved tak­ing all the equip­ment over to Zante and then hav­ing WR JHW DQ DGGLWLRQDO ZL À DQWHQQD LQVWDOOHG while we were there to en­sure we had a strong enough sig­nal dur­ing the cer­e­mony. On the day, all the equip­ment was set up and ready to go and my ‘cam­era­man’ had his in­struc­tions. Sud­denly, 10 min­utes be­fore ev­ery­thing was due to start, the lap­top we were us­ing to broad­cast crashed and wouldn’t boot up. In the end, I re­alised there was an app that could be down­loaded to my phone, which would en­able us to stream di­rectly from the wed­ding us­ing the cam­era.”

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