Tips and Advice for a Successful Wedding Abroad

There is an old expression “If something can go wrong, it will”, but it does not always have to be that way with a wedding abroad. Planning in advance, researching, talking to others who have experienced problems and listening to advice will help your wedding abroad come off smoothly.

A good place to start when planning a wedding abroad is the internet. Find relevant travel forums and read what others say about a particular destination. Ask specific questions and become a part of the community while in your wedding planning stages. Forums from specific cities where locals frequent will help as well because they will provide an in-depth look at the destination.

Wedding planners in the location also have websites where information can be gleaned. The top venues are usually listed as well as the requirements for the marriage itself. While reviewing the sites, it is probably worthwhile to start communications with different consultants in order to choose the most experienced and qualified person to handle your wedding arrangements.

Use government sites, local, city tourism sites and tour operator sites to ascertain the best times of the year to travel to the location for a wedding. The temperature and weather will be key factors in choosing the right season. When the locals take their holidays will be important as well since the hotels may have limited hours and staff during their off-season.

Verify as much information as possible. Do not operate on blind faith taking the word of the tour operator or consultant as the last word. It is not necessary to act confrontational but in the background, verify points and legalities.

When a location is chosen, determine whether your wedding will be a private affair or will guests of the hotel and other tourists mingle through your festivities. A poolside wedding at a resort for example might pose an issue, as it will be very noisy and distracting from the uninvited hotel guests.

Understand local traditions and know when events are practiced. For example, most of the Caribbean islands hold their Carnival Festivities once a year. Everything is shut down on the islands for the locals to attend. No one is interested in attending to tourists and crime may be slightly higher due to the excessive alcohol and crowds in the streets. The festivities might prove an adventure for the couple if marrying without guests but for a large group, the wedding would be better scheduled another week.

One of the bride’s biggest fears and concerns will be the safe arrival of her wedding gown. Some airlines will allow the gown to be hung in the closets in first class seating but do not assume this is the case. It may happen that the closets are full or there are no closets leaving you frantic wondering how you will get the gown to the wedding location. The gown should be sent in advance or boxed carefully as check-in baggage. Many dry cleaners will steam the gown and properly prepare it for travel and then upon arrival, if needed the hotel or wedding consultant will make arrangements to steam the gown before the wedding.

Purchase everything your need in your own city before leaving. Many items may be much more expensive abroad causing you to spend more money than budgeted. Also depending on the country, your preferred brand may not be available at all or difficult to find.

Lastly, a wedding abroad requires “Save the Date Cards”. Common courtesy suggests that you send cards to your final guest list well in advance to make their travel arrangements, reserve time from their jobs and save the necessary funds needed to make the trip.

And remember, like your wedding at home; do not sweat the small stuff! If little things do not go as planned, they will not ruin your special day so forget them and move on.