If you just got engaged in the middle of a drizzly British winter, a destination wedding can sound like a fantastic idea. Tying the knot on a sunny, secluded beach before sailing off into the sunset together? Heaven! But is it really the right option for you?
If you’re seriously considering getting wed abroad, here are some destination wedding pros and cons to consider…
Whether it’s a beach wedding or a Vegas chapel, destination weddings are great if you want an exciting location that looks brilliant in the photos. If it brings back happy holiday memories, or gives you a chance to meet up with friends or family who live there, even better!
British weather is notoriously unpredictable, even in the middle of summer. Although there’s no guarantee against freak weather patterns (thanks, global warming!), with a destination wedding you can at least improve the odds of glorious sunshine for your big day.
If you have the budget and you’re happy to delegate, a lot of destination wedding venues provide all-inclusive packages organised by a local wedding planner. You can even get the honeymoon thrown in too – sorted!
Having a destination wedding gives you a good reason to keep the guest list small and avoid family pressure to invite every single aunt, uncle and cousin on the planet. If friends or family do kick up a fuss, you can always offer to throw a more low-key party back home afterwards to give them a chance to celebrate with you.
Getting married abroad does require a bit of research beforehand. Different countries have different rules about whether you have to be resident for a certain period of time before you can legally marry there, for example. You may find it easier to do the legal bit at home before you go.
When dealing with venues and suppliers, you may be dealing with a time difference and/or language barrier too, and you may not get to meet your suppliers in person before the wedding itself. As mentioned above, you can get a local wedding planner to do the legwork, but you’re taking a lot on trust. If you’re a control freak like me, that could be a source of stress in itself.
If you want to get married abroad, you will probably find that some of the people you want to invite just won’t be able to make it. If your best friend with the really demanding job can’t get enough time off, or your beloved Nana just can’t manage an 11-hour flight now she’s nearly 90, it wouldn’t be fair to pressure them into it. With this in mind, the more notice you can give people to book time off work, find childcare, get a cat-sitter, etc. the better.
No matter how beautiful and romantic the destination, having your Mum appear at breakfast and start telling anecdotes about your childhood while dabbing at your face with a napkin is going to kill the vibe a little.