How do I start to plan a destination wedding?
Before you plan your destination wedding
STOP! don’t do anything until you have identified your destination wedding budget! Remember that having a wedding overseas means this is probably your wedding and honeymoon budget combined.
A weddingmoon usually includes your travel and accommodation in addition to the wedding ceremony and celebration.
Now, how many guests are on your “I-can’t-have-my-wedding-without-them” list?
Small weddings overseas are easier to organise so start with a list of essential guests and allow yourself to feel generous at adding numbers, rather than writing down everyone you’ve ever known and feeling guilty at culling the list.
Destination wedding dreams
When you think of your dream destination wedding, what do you imagine?
What is your vision of your perfect wedding day abroad?
Is it on the coast or inland; in the city or a rural location; a hot or cold climate?
Destination location decided, what type of venue do you prefer?
A castle, palace, private villa, cortijo (farmhouse), all inclusive hotel, boutique hotel or somewhere out in nature?
Top tip: If you are looking for sunshine then choose a country with a long wedding season to take advantage of out-of-season prices.
Example: the Costa Tropical in Spain boasts an average of 320 days of sunshine a year.
Practicalities for a wedding abroad
So you’ve probably got an idea of the country and a broad location, now let’s think of the practicalities.
How affordable is the country you’ve chosen?
Top tip: Look on a local supermarket website to get an idea of a bottle of champagne or cava, a can of local beer and a bottle of local wine. Guests will thank you for choosing somewhere their holiday spending money goes further!
- Is the airport easy to fly to or only serviced by major airlines?
- How will your guests transfer to their accommodation?
Examples: taxi, car hire, group bus hire, public transport, independent travel
- Where will your guests stay?
Examples: all together or separate to the bridal couple
- What accommodation will your guests prefer?
Examples: all-inclusive hotel with a block booking (better rates), take over a boutique hotel/private villa/cortijo for exclusive use, independent accommodation close to the venue
Destination wedding planners
Is a wedding planner an expensive luxury or will they save you money and stress in the long run?
Well if you speak the local language and already have trusted supplier contacts you will feel comfortable negotiating the best deals for your wedding day – otherwise you might appreciate someone on-the-spot who can source the best solutions and literally translate your wedding dreams into a reality.
- A wedding planner works for you, the couple, and will show you a range of venues and may offer you a venue visit. They will offer you a choice of suppliers, photographers, celebrants, florists etc to interpret your ideas into reality.
- The event coordinator at a hotel, only works for that venue and will probably have their own team of suppliers.
- A compromise is to do as much of the organising and decision making yourself, and hire a wedding planner just for the day of the wedding to ensure that all of your planning runs smoothly.
- You can of course, totally DIY and plan your special day yourself. Just remember that you want to be the bride or groom at your wedding however and not problem-solving the blocked toilet, finding the DJ who’s gotten lost on route to the venue or trying to create more shade for your guests as the sun is not where you expected it to be!
Top tip: Some wedding suppliers offer a free half hour consultation without obligation – a great way to find out if you really need one or not!
Spain as a destination wedding location
Once you arrive, prices are affordable so your budget will go further eg in the large supermarket chains a bottle of cava brut is under €2, a can of beer is 25 cents and a good rioja is €1.20
Southern Spain travel facts
Top tip: The British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar is little more than an hour’s drive from Malaga city where you can contract your legal marriage under UK law
Planning the details
Having chosen your destination wedding country, a location and venue you can now have fun deciding on the details of your special day.
Whether you have the help of a wedding planner, an event organiser or will plan your destination wedding yourself, enjoy the process and if you would like to consider one of the Celebrants in Spain team as your celebrant, we would be delighted!
Author bio: Debbie Skyrme is Celebrant Spain helping destination wedding couples in Spain by officiating dream ceremonies in the Spanish sunshine.
(c) Debbie Skyrme 18 April 2021
This content was authored by Debbie Skyrme and originally published on https://celebrantspain.es/blog/
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