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What's stopping you from having a wedding abroad?
Caribbean Wedding designer Michelle Pierre-Carr tries to dispel some of the reasons couples back out from having their dream wedding abroad by offering useful and practical tips to make a wedding abroad a realistic reality.
According to Mintel one in six, that’s 16% of British weddings now takes place abroad. That equates to an estimated 51,300 overseas weddings, a massive 43% increase since 2003.
By mixing great weather with high standards of service, UK couples now realise that an overseas wedding really can be the way to go. However, whilst many brides dream of a wedding abroad there are a number of reasons why many back out.
To help dispel these reasons here’s a list of tips on how to make destination weddings possible, with Caribbean wedding designer, Michelle Pierre-Carr from Pierre Carr, Exclusive Tropical Weddings.
With the average wedding in the UK costing £20,000, your money can go a lot further abroad depending on the exchange rate. For example as most Caribbean islands work in dollars £10,000 pounds = $30,000 Barbados dollars which means you can get so much more and you’ll have those great sunset shots to show for it.
Tip 1: Hotels have a number of offers. If you stay in the hotel for x number of nights you can get your wedding free or if your guests stay for at least 3 nights you can get your accommodation free. So check the possibilities at your chosen venue.
Tip 2: One of the obvious ways of saving on cost with a destination wedding is to combine the wedding and honeymoon.
Tip 3: Keep travel costs down by avoiding having your wedding during Christmas, Easter or school holidays as these are the most expensive times to travel.
Tip 4: If you want amazing flowers at your wedding to save on cost pick locally grown exotic blooms which will be far more reasonable in price rather than imported flowers such as roses, which can prove quite costly.
2. Guests Budget
Deciding on having a wedding abroad is always exciting for the couple but a lot of consideration has to be made for guests as they are investing more for your wedding.
Tip 1: It’s important for guests to see this as an opportunity for a holiday and not just one day - your wedding. Give guests as much notice as possible so that they are able to save and book flights and hotels as early as possible.
Tip 2: Give guests a choice of accommodation around the wedding venue to fit their budget.
Tip 3: Consider having pre-wedding drinks or arranging excursions so that guests get to know each other and have a good time in the lead up to your wedding day.
Tip 4: Put a gift bag in your guests rooms with details of the area, things to do, with little touches such as fans, mosquito spray and sun lotion so they know how much you appreciate them making the journey.
3. Legal Considerations
Think about where you want to get married and understand the legal requirements. How many days do you need to be in the country before you can get married? Do I need to take a blood test? And what paperwork do I need?
Tip: Always check with your destination’
With a destination wedding, invitations need to be sent out a lot earlier than the standard 8-12 weeks in the UK.
Tip: Get invitations out as early as possible I suggest eight months prior to your wedding which will give guests enough time to budget for your wedding, put it in their schedule and sort out flights.
5. Choosing a destination
When deciding on your wedding destination, choose a country you love. To make sure your ceremony and reception goes to plan,
Tip 1: Pick a team/wedding planner who knows the destination, which is well worth the cost to save time and hassle.
Tip 2: Pick venues that only have one wedding a day – you want your day to special and I don’t believe it should be shared.
Weather is one of the main reasons why couples choose to have a destination wedding. The Caribbean guarantees 90% for good weather compared to the unpredictability of the UK.
Tip: Avoid rainy season. Best time to marry - winter season through to March.
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Pierre Carr, Exclusive Tropical Weddings is a luxury, bespoke wedding design and coordination company creating stylish and elegant weddings in the Caribbean for UK couples. The company was founded in 2008.