Is Planning Your Wedding Taking Every Waking Moment Of Your Life?
Well you’re not the only one, engaged couples everywhere are focused like lasers on their upcoming nuptials – and understandably! This is literally ‘the biggest day’ of your life and there are a million things to do.
It’s no wonder the rest of reality begins to pale in comparison. However, thinking ‘outside of the box’ could be the answer to your endless task lists. What we mean by this is considering taking your show on the road by throwing a destination wedding.
One in four couples are now having their weddings away from their place of residence, so we thought it was high time to talk to our readers about the actual logistics of marrying in an exotic destination.
There are many, many benefits but also a few important factors to warn you about. Luckily, we’ve learned a fair bit after speaking with hundreds of couples about their weddings, so we’ve put together a few easy checkpoints to help you find out if a destination wedding is right for you.
If you’re already sure you want to marry away from home then click here for a no obligation chat with one of Botanica’s staff. We can give you an idea of cost and you can ask as many questions as you like without committing to a thing.
Is A Destination Wedding Right For Me?
1. Your family and friends live around the world
If you and your significant other have family all around the world, a destination wedding is a great way to bring them all together in one place. They’re going to have to travel to the wedding regardless, so why not have it somewhere marvelous where they can also enjoy a little vacation?
2. You wouldn’t describe yourself as traditional
Chapels and churches are lovely, but they may not be very you? If you want something a little different, than a destination wedding could be the perfect way to do justice to your beautiful union. Plus, your location will be etched in peoples’ minds forever and immortalised in gorgeous photographs.
3.You both love travelling
Everyone loves an excuse to get away. So if you and your significant other are constantly daydreaming and planning your next vacation, why not make your special day that extra bit special by spending it in an idyllic location? How does saying “I do” on the beautiful island of Bali sound?
4. You want something small and intimate
A destination wedding doesn’t have to mean a small guest list, but it often becomes a more intimate affair, which increases the sense of connection between guests. In reality, having a wedding abroad will increase the financial and time commitments of your guests, meaning you’ll probably end up with your nearest and dearest by your side. This not only means less work but ensures no hurt feelings should you decide to leave some of your more ‘distant cousins’ off of the guest list.
5. You want to reduce costs
Not all destination weddings cost less than a wedding at home. But they often can if you plan adequately and choose the right company! As mentioned above, destination weddings often have a smaller guest list; meaning slashed costs overall. This is probably why more and more Australians are choosing to have their weddings in Bali, thereby cutting their expenses by almost half.
YES! A Destination Wedding Sounds Perfect, But Now What?
If the description above sounds like you, then a destination wedding could be on the cards. The next step is to open your laptop and start researching. To help we’ve put together a few inside tips that you should keep in mind while you’re looking around at both destinations and wedding companies. Read on to ensure that your special day doesn’t morph into a logistical nightmare.
Do book a wedding planner!
Most couples flirt with the idea of booking a wedding planner, particularly because they’re a little nervous about organising everything from a distance and want the help of a professional. We are 100% in agreement and recommend you do just this.
Many resorts and hotels provide wedding planner services, but there are also some independent companies who do a great job. The planners and staff at Botanica Weddings, create magic for couples in idyllic locations. We have tons of experience with Bali and the Whitsundays and will ensure that everything runs smoothly at a reasonable cost.
Even if you don’t end up with us, a third party planner is always a good idea for couples who are feeling stressed out, or overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options to consider. But do keep in mind that wedding planner contracts are binding, so if you sign the agreement and end up unhappy with the service, there’s not much you can do.
To avoid any hiccups, ensure that you’re working with a professional, reliable and well-known team before you dive into anything binding. Ask lots of questions, and read your contract well. Be very cautious of foreign companies that ask for up-front deposits. We've put together a short video of questions you can ask any planners you're considering.
Do consider whether you want to sacrifice customisation for convenience
Lots of hotels and resorts offer “packages” with their own suppliers and staff. Oftentimes these provide couples with a stress-free, streamlined process but at the expense of being a teensy bit ‘cookie cutter’. While some couples might enjoy the straightforward nature of these arrangements, others prefer events they can customise and have more control over.
An ‘all-inclusive’ hotel package will often be a cheaper option, but be careful you don’t end up with unreasonable restrictions. If you’re not keen on spending time faffing about with tiny details then a package could be the right option for you. If you’re the opposite, consider asking about bespoke options in more unique venues!
Either way, make sure you find out exactly what’s included in the package you choose – and make sure it’s written in your contract. Keep in mind that in some hotels, these types of arrangements may see several weddings take place on the same day as yours.
If this is going to be a problem or if you want to have a say over everything from the meals and beverages to the decorations – go for the more “a la carte” approach with a proper wedding planning company, one that offers a range of different venues. You’ll find everything will be far more individualised.
Do take an early trip to the destination
We seriously suggest taking an early trip to the destination you have in mind, maybe several trips. If you don’t have a planner, you’ll probably spend the first trip scouting the best venues to hold your reception and dinner - as well as the best hotels for your guests. Then there are the smaller but no less important services to consider, like local caterers and florists, hairdressers and of course, makeup artists.
Note if you’re using a wedding planner they’ll be able to take care of these things for you, and they will even sample everything beforehand! Getting things perfect and having a good feel for all of your vendors is an important factor, whether it’s you or a planner doing the hard work.
Do read the fine print!
Most reputable venues will require you to sign a contract that identifies the estimated number of guests in attendance. The overall costs will be based on this number and you’ll be responsible should there be a shortfall in the number of guests. The deposit you make will be based on the estimate you gave and signed for.
All the extras, such as open bar tabs, will generally be settled at the end of the event. Make sure that you’ve read your contract carefully and know exactly which expenses were paid for upfront and which are paid for in the last settlement. The last bill can often be a substantial one.
Please keep in mind that a country’s VAT may not be included in the vendor price and proposals. Sometimes these taxes end up being enormous, so enquire about any added taxes before you go signing the contract.
Don’t forget the nitty-gritty details
It’s easy to get carried away planning the look and feel of your wedding day but have you taken the time to do the tedious research about the country’s laws and customs? You’ll need to find out whether
You can have a legal wedding in your country of choice
What kind of paperwork will be required and what timeframes are involved
Again, the right wedding planner will take care of these things for you so definitely consider getting an expert on side to make sure you avoid any struggles that could ruin your big day.
Don’t assume that a destination wedding will be cheaper
Oftentimes they are, but it’s important to remember that getting married abroad can cost the same, if not more, depending on how many guests you invite and the venue you choose. There’s something for every budget out there, so if you’re realistic and plan properly, you may well be able to cut costs dramatically with your wedding abroad.
Don’t wait ‘til the last moment to send out Save The Dates!
Destination weddings are exciting for everyone, but they’re also a big commitment. Guests may need time to book days off work or organise a babysitter for their kids, so make sure you send out an early ‘Save the Date’ card to your guest list.
Do consider creating a wedding website
A wedding website is a great way to get all of the information in one place that’s easily accessible for guests. Information about the venue, accommodation suggestions, things to do in the area and all the other exciting details can go on the website. A good website means less questions from guests – making the entire process easier for you and them.
In conclusion, destinations weddings are not only cheaper if done right, they’re also exotic, beautiful and provide guests with a good excuse for a little vacation. You can guarantee that all your friends and family will love that you’ve chosen a wedding abroad. And having your favourite people gathered in a gorgeous location for one of the biggest celebrations of your life is the type of thing you’ll never forget.
We understand there’s always a little bit of pressure to ensure it all runs perfectly. So before you dive into the details of planning your destination wedding, it’s important to consider whether it’s the right option for you. If everything you’ve read above makes sense then don’t hesitate to take the leap.
If you want to speak with someone at Botanica to have a no obligation chat about your big day just click here. One of our team will call at a time that suits you and give you an idea about what your dream day will cost.