Perfect Weddings in A Foreign Country
Have you ever dreamed of getting married in a vineyard in France? Or how about exchanging vows in a 15th century church in Italy? Or how about saying your “I Do’s” on a beach in Greece? Better still… getting married in a castle on the London Bridge in England? Do any of these destinations sound like something you might be interested in? Well guess what? Destination weddings are more popular today than ever before. If you and your significant other are interested in having your special wedding day at a special destination in another country, then you should take time to plan ahead and follow these simple guidelines.
1. What is Your Dream Destination?
Where have always dreamed of going? The 1 thing that sets destination weddings apart from normal weddings is of course – The Destination. Choosing the right locale for your perfect day might be more difficult than you imagined. At the very least, it’s going to take some careful planning and preparation. You probably already have some sort of scenery in mind; whether it’s a beach, a desert, or a waterfall. The key is finding the right location during the right scenery and with the right amount of space.
What if you have a very specific location already in mind? Maybe you want to get married at Ruby Falls or on a beach in the Bahamas. You’ll need to keep in mind that if you start with a location, then you need to be flexible with the date. You obviously don’t want to plan a wedding during the hottest months or the rainy season. You can absolutely use your dream destination, but make sure to research local weather patterns and choose the best possible time of year.
2. How Much Money Can You Afford To Spend?
Budgeting can very tricky with a destination wedding. Not only do you need to worry about local currency exchanges if it’s outside of your country, but you also need to consider travel and lodging for yourself and for non-local vendors. Vendors such as: Church’s, Catering, Music, Flowers, Reception Halls, Hotels For Your Guests… There are so many, it’ll make your head swim just thinking about them all. For example, if you’re using a preferred photographer from your town, then you’ll most likely be expected to pay for their airfare and their lodging during the wedding.
As for vendors who are local to the destination, they will need to be paid in the local currency. Take time to research the exchange rate ahead of time so that you aren’t caught off guard when it’s time to make payments. And don’t forget that those exchange rates can change from day-to-day. Many happy couples have found themselves going over budget because they didn’t keep up with exchange rates. And ultimately, not too happy after all. Especially when the wedding budget goes over by $5,000 – $10,000.
3. Think About Your Guests That Will be Attending.
One of the many benefits of a destination wedding is that it’s perfectly acceptable to keep the guest list to a minimum. Guests are expected to pay for their own travel and lodging expenses, which means that all of your work acquaintances and the next-door neighbor aren’t likely to come. Focus on sending invitations to your closest friends and family and only invest in a venue large enough for the group. Also, be careful that you don’t insult anyone when sending out your invitations for that special destination. Because there may be many people who want to attend your wedding, but they simply cannot afford it. So be very careful in your planning stage that you don’t lose some of your very close friends or family members who may be having a tough time right now financially.
Keep in mind that choosing a destination wedding is going to put extra expenses on your guests. This means you should do everything possible to make their trip easier and less expensive. One way you can do this is by sending invitations as early as possible. Early invitations will mean that guests can plan ahead and secure the best rates on airfare and hotels in the area.
Planning your perfect destination wedding will certainly take more than these three steps, but they are some of the most important. Remember to choose your destination first, send out invitations as soon as possible, and keep local currency exchange in mind when setting your budget.