7 tips for planning a wedding abroad 🥂
Since we’re currently planning our destination wedding, I thought I’d write a blog post on what I’ve learned so far. This will hopefully be one of many wedding posts. As many of you know, we’re getting married in Dubrovnik next year, and after almost a year of searching for the perfect location, venue, dress etc. here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way…
- Research your location
If you know you want to get married abroad, but aren’t sure where, research loads of places. Get in contact with local planners and asks about prices, weather, local customs, etc. When researching, we found that some places didn’t quite fit with what we had in mind for our wedding. Different countries and cities have various rules and regulations about getting married so it’s important to be informed before booking any flights. Wedding forums can also be a great help. Weddingsonline.ie have a section on weddings abroad and loads of other useful info too.
2. Get a planner
Some may not need a planner, but if like me, you intend on getting married somewhere where you’re not entirely familiar with local customs or the language, a planner can be invaluable. Even though I love researching and planning, having a planner has made organising everything from Abu Dhabi so much easier.
3. Research your planner
Before hiring a planner, make sure to do your research. Don’t just go with the first one you find. Read as many reviews as you can, and if possible, try get in contact with some of their previous couples…it’s amazing how easy it is to find people on Facebook😳 If the planner is proud of their work then they shouldn’t mind you contacting any of their clients. Get prices and compare packages from various planners. Some packages include everything from planning services to wedding dinner and drinks. Others only charge for the planning.
Be clear from the beginning about what you expect from your planner before you sign a contract with them. For example, you could set up a standing time each month to Skype and discuss progress, BUT…make sure to get everything in writing! Planners have loads of weddings and it’s easy to forget what was discussed on Skype. I’ve set up a separate email account just for wedding related stuff, that way I can always check back on what’s been agreed on and have proof of it if necessary.
If your planner provides services like photography or music, for example, make sure to check out their work before you agree. I decided not to go with the photographer that my planner had provided and researched one on my own. A bride told me before that she went with a make-up artist recommended by her planner and hated it so make sure to research everything. Wedding service providers usually have websites, youtube, instagram or facebook accounts where you can get an idea of what they do.
4. Ask about tax
MAKE SURE TO ASK IF PRICES INCLUDE TAX. It seems many planners and service providers provide quotes that aren’t inclusive of tax! This could greatly affect your budget. Also, make it clear to your planner that you want all quotes from photographers, musicians, etc. to include tax so that you don’t get any nasty surprises later down the line.
Also, before booking your venue, consider extra costs like transport for guests, catering, lighting, etc., these services may be beyond your budget and could affect your venue choice.
5. Sign up to Pinterest
It’ll be your best friend for your wedding. You’ll get ideas for decor, dresses, bridesmaids…everything!!! Create a Pinterest board where you can pin everything and have easy access to it later (these can be private or public).
6. Visit your location
Try to visit as much as you can to get a feel for the place. Speak to locals, they often know much more than planners do. We learned loads in Dubrovnik this summer from asking locals working in cafés and bars about the area.
7. Set up a wedding website
Some planners do this for you, mine didn’t, so I set up a website for free on Wix.com so that I could keep guests informed about the venue, accommodation and transport. It’s easy to use and your website remains active for up to two years.
There you have it. If you have any other tips or advice, please add them in the comments section below.
Happy planning 👰🏽