WE DID IT OUR WAY!

Real-life cou­ples who tied the knot over­seas share their ex­pe­ri­ences

You and Your Wedding - - Contents - Skye and Nick chose to say “I do” against a stun­ning back­drop at The Olive Press in Boschen­dal, South Africa boschen­dal.com

Real cou­ples who got mar­ried abroad tell us how they achieved their dream days

AW <RX <RXU :HGGLQJ we know that so many peo­ple would love to have a des­ti­na­tion celebration, but are un­sure of where to start ² VR ZH DVNHG ÀYH FRXSOHV ZKR·YH been there al­ready for their best mem­o­ries and tips for those who dream of a wed­ding in the sun…

Why did you opt for a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding? “I’m from Bar­ba­dos but live in the UK, so I al­ways knew I’d get mar­ried back on the

is­land,” says Sarah. “We had been to wed­dings where we hardly got any time with the bride and groom, so we loved spend­ing a whole week with all of our favourite peo­ple!”

What was the best thing about your day? “Walk­ing into our re­cep­tion venue and see­ing ev­ery­one’s happy faces. The ac­tual set­ting was pretty spec­tac­u­lar, too – a clifftop restau­rant above the crash­ing waves, with the sun set­ting over the bay.”

What are the three pieces of ad­vice you’d give to cou­ples get­ting mar­ried abroad?

“Once you’ve ar­rived at your des­ti­na­tion, just re­lax and en­joy ev­ery minute of it – let any pre-wed­ding stress fade away.”

“Con­sider the weather – some of our guests who wore dresses and suits with heav­ier fab­rics strug­gled with the heat.”

“Have a wed­ding web­site and di­rect SHRSOH WR LW DV D ÀUVW SRUW RI FDOO <RX GRQ·W want peo­ple treat­ing you like a per­sonal travel agent be­cause you’re host­ing a wed­ding abroad. All the in­for­ma­tion our guests needed went on the site.” Laura and Andy chose Ho­tel Villa Cim­brone on the beau­ti­ful Amalfi Coast in Italy as their “I do” des­ti­na­tion hotelvil­lacim­brone.com

Why did you opt for a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding? “There were a num­ber of rea­sons we went to Italy, in­clud­ing the weather, the food, and the at­mos­phere,” says Laura. “We also got a lot more for our money out there.”

What was the best thing about your day? “Hav­ing our fam­ily and clos­est friends with us there was mag­i­cal. After the cer­e­mony, we walked through the streets of Ravello – it was so won­der­ful, as the lo­cals were all com­ing up to us to say con­grat­u­la­tions.”

What are the three pieces of ad­vice you’d give to cou­ples get­ting mar­ried abroad?

“Use a wed­ding planner in your coun­try of choice who speaks the lan­guage and knows the area. Ours were so help­ful.”

“Make sure you know all the le­gal­i­ties. We knew get­ting mar­ried in Italy would be legally recog­nised in the UK, so we wouldn’t have to do an­other ser­vice back at home.”

“Don’t sweat the small stuff! If you’re Á\LQJ RII WR D EHDXWLIXO ORFDWLRQ OHW WKH stun­ning sur­round­ings do the talk­ing – for ex­am­ple, guests won’t miss huge cen­tre­pieces and elab­o­rate dec­o­ra­tions if WKH\·UH ORRNLQJ RXW RYHU WKH $PDOÀ &RDVW μ

Louise and Phillip said their vows at Le Ciel San­torini in Greece leciel-san­torini.com

Why did you opt for a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding? “We got en­gaged in San­torini, so it felt only right to go back and get mar­ried there,” says Louise. “We also wanted a mag­i­cal set­ting with guar­an­teed good weather, where we could have an in­ti­mate and spe­cial wed­ding. Plus, the amaz­ing back­drop in our beau­ti­ful pho­to­graphs sim­ply could not be achieved back in the UK.”

What was the best thing about your day? “The views from the venue were truly out­stand­ing, and we had a harpist play­ing as I walked down the aisle. The sound of the harp against those gor­geous ocean views was so spe­cial. We also in­cor­po­rated some tra­di­tional Greek plate smash­ing into our re­cep­tion at night, which was a hit with ev­ery­one, and great fun!”

What are the three pieces of ad­vice you’d give to cou­ples get­ting mar­ried abroad?

“Don’t worry too much about keep­ing your guests en­ter­tained dur­ing the day – at a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding, the lo­ca­tion speaks for it­self and ev­ery­one will just want to take it all in.”

“Fo­rums and Face­book groups pro­vide a wealth of knowl­edge – we gained many rec­om­men­da­tions from other cou­ples.”

“En­joy it! Many wed­dings abroad start later in the day, so be­fore you know it, it’ll be over. But wak­ing up the next day in the sun and re­liv­ing the day with all your guests is so much fun.”

Why did you opt for a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding? “We opted for South Africa as we both grew

up there and it is where

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Skye. “We chose The Olive Press at Boschen­dal for its rus­tic French feel, not to men­tion the in­cred­i­ble back­drop – it was the ul­ti­mate com­bi­na­tion for us.” Ma­rina and Si­mone had a re­laxed wed­ding at Atzaró in sunny Ibiza atzaro.com

Why did you opt for a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding? “We live far away from our fam­i­lies, so loved the idea of bring­ing all of our dear ones some­where spe­cial,” says Ma­rina. “The sun­shine and sea in Ibiza of­fered the per­fect frame to our beau­ti­ful day.”

What was the best thing about your day? “In the evening, we went to watch the sun­set in Cala Benir­rás, a beach in the north of Ibiza where peo­ple play the drums as the sun goes down. The at­mos­phere was ut­terly in­cred­i­ble.”

What are the three pieces of ad­vice you’d give to cou­ples get­ting mar­ried abroad?

“Do your home­work. If you can, visit the place be­fore your wed­ding, as the venue is just as im­por­tant as the lo­ca­tion.”

“Talk to dif­fer­ent po­ten­tial lo­cal sup­pli­ers be­fore you com­mit – get an idea about costs and check that they have the same vi­sion for your day as you.”

“Make it clear to your guests early on whether you will be sub­si­dis­ing any of their costs, such as travel and ac­com­mo­da­tion.” What was the best thing about your day? “It’s so hard to pick out one par­tic­u­lar part of the day as it was all so mag­i­cal, but our cer­e­mony was re­ally spe­cial.”

What are the three pieces of ad­vice you’d give to cou­ples get­ting mar­ried abroad?

“Your sup­pli­ers are your trusted ad­vi­sors, and of­ten lo­cal ex­perts, so lis­ten to them to get the best out of your day.”

“We were lucky as we had fam­ily in South Africa to help or­gan­ise things, but try to get an on-the-ground wed­ding co­or­di­na­tor to help with things such as sup­plier li­ai­son.”

“Go out to your des­ti­na­tion a week be­fore with all your guests – we did this and it was the best build-up to the wed­ding that we could have asked for!”

Sarah and Karl had a week-long, sun-soaked Caribbean party at Cham­pers in Bar­ba­dos cham­per­srestau­rant.com

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