You’re not getting married the usual way. And while you should be incredibly excited at the idea of a breathtaking vacation wedding, don’t let the complexities of the whole process leave your mind. It’s going to be a difficult, draining process that requires a lot of preparation, a lot of time beforehand. So lean on your partner for support and spend a few minutes with this test as a checklist.
This is, after all, still your day. It’s supposed to be one of the most beautiful days of your life. Which is why you need to take care of your mind just as much as you need to worry about the guest list. Remember that the whole day loses its meaning if you completely break yourself over trying to make everything perfect – set some time aside relax and recharge every day.
Location, location, location
Of course, you wouldn’t be reading this unless you already had a destination in mind. However, there are several things to keep in mind.
- Plan out the trip at least a year beforehand – that way, you’ll be able to calculate how much money you’ll need to save up and get the time to hire professionals, look at the venues the rest
- Your guests – they are going to have to set money aside for transport, and they also may have had their own vacation plans, work, or other engagements. Let them know what you plan at least eight months in advance
Scout it out
Arrange at least one or two trips to the desired location. That way, you and your partner can get a feel for the weather, general feel of the town (country or culture, depending how far you plan to travel). You can check the venues in person, visit local vendors, restaurants, motels, flower shops, and the rest. Don’t forget to bring a list with you, to check off some things already if you can.
One of the most important things you need to do is to check the marriage requirements for the city or country where you’ll have the ceremony. For example, France requires couples to live at least forty days in the country before they can marry. Aside from that, there is a lot of paperwork and differing requirements involved. Check on the government site what sort of papers you’ll need. If it turns out to be more work than necessary, simply get your marriage officiated at home, and then have the ceremony abroad.
Your guests are just as important!
They should feel as if their effort and time set aside for your big day are appreciated. These people willingly took a few days out of their schedules to be there for your big day, so find a way to thank them during their stay. Send them small care packages at their hotel rooms or other accommodations, rent cars or a bus that can take them to the venue (so they won’t have to worry about transport), help them find accommodation, or organize a brunch.
The devil is in the details
Don’t forget to focus on the details. It may actually be more reliable to fly in your own hairstylist and makeup artist, than to take a chance with a local salon you’re unfamiliar with. Similarly, if you wish to commemorate the event properly, then you’ll definitely want a say in the choice of your photographer. Nowadays there are too many unreliable photographers, so if you don’t have a contact of your own, make sure to find a top wedding photographer who will be familiar with the layout of the location, the best places for pre-wedding photoshoots, and what time of day provides the best lighting.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
You’re not on home turf. If able, hire a local wedding planner, because he or she will have more insight into which vendors are most reliable, where you can get best prices, and can negotiate for you. Furthermore, they can finish errands for you, because you’ll be miles away, which eliminates stressful phone calls with vendors. Not to mention that it will free up your time to deal with other important details.
Always have extra money
Last, but not least, don’t forget to bring extra money, just in case. You never know what sort of unexpected expenses might pop up. While we don’t want to make you nervous or apprehensive, it’s still reasonable to prepare for any situation: problems with vendors, additional costs, possible damages to the venue and the like.
Try to enjoy yourself. As impossible as it sounds with all the preparation that goes into the wedding (especially an abroad one), this is supposed to be the most fun you’ll have organizing an event. Make sure to focus on crafting a day YOU would enjoy the most, and think less about pleasing everyone else.
This is about you and your partner crowning your love in one of the most beautiful ways possible, and you shouldn’t lose your head over unnecessary details. With a little luck, this is a one-time ceremony, and you deserve to have the time of your life.
Chloe Smith is a cycling enthusiast and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success. When she’s not working, she’s probably somewhere cuddled up with a good book, and a cup of lemongrass tea (or more honestly binge-watching the newest Netflix hit show).