How to Hold a Wedding Reception Abroad

Being married abroad is a daring, bold event. Weddings in their own right are considered enormous affairs but when dealing with vendors, locations and legalities long distance, the planning can become even more overbearing. Once you have decided on a destination wedding abroad, you will want to sit down and make a to-do list for your reception. Many factors will enter into the decision making process.

  • Take stock of local customs, rituals and rites. Do you want to incorporate any of the local traditions into your reception? Speak to your coordinator about anything of which you might not be aware and decide whether it would be a welcome addition to your reception or rather one that is not wanted.
  • Review local menus and determine whether your reception meal will have a local flavor or whether you would prefer your own type of food. Remember that when choosing your own food, cuisine is different depending on who makes it. The country or location may not be able to source regularly used food products from your own country. Plus, if the chef has never cooked your cuisine before, there will be a problem in preparing the menu.
  • The reception may depend on the type of wedding ceremony chosen. For example, a castle wedding may have its own banquet facilities so it will be easier to hold the reception in the same location. In the case of a garden wedding, the ceremony may take place in the park and then everyone moves to a fine dining restaurant for the meal.
  • It is very important to understand the details of your destination wedding. Does the packaged price include the meal? What exactly is the meal in terms of type of food and how much food?
    - You do not want to find out at the reception that you are only serving hors d’oeuvres and not a full course meal.
    - Inquire about the meat. Make sure it is something that your guests will find palatable. And this is not the time to try meats with which you and your guests are unfamiliar.
    - Does the meal include soup, salad and breads or rolls?
    - What are the dessert choices?
  • If you are planning on an extravagant cake, it would be wise to see pictures of the cakes in advance from several different bakers.
  • If you are using a wedding planner, how much influence do you have over the decisions? It is very convenient to have someone else responsible for the preparations of your wedding day but you really need to stay appraised of all details. Make sure you receive regular communications and you “sign-off” on the details. Ask questions if you are unsure and let you sentiments known very clearly if you prefer something specific.
  • If you have chosen not to contract a wedding planner, many of the more experienced and qualified hotels will plan your wedding. Some offer wedding packages including your accommodations, ceremony, reception, menu, wedding cake, dessert, tours and transportation to and from the airport.
  • Provide the hotel or wedding planner with your color scheme so that the decorations match. Also, if your wedding is to have a theme, they will need to know so that the decorations and accessories can complement your wishes.
  • All of the details that would be important for a wedding at home are equally important for your wedding reception abroad. The key is to write everything down on your to-do list and stay organized.