10 Tips For Getting Married Abroad

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Paradise Cove, Lake Buena Vista

As I type this it is just over 10 months until my wedding day, it feels like a lifetime away but everyone keeps saying how the time will fly by, which hopefully it doesn't fly too quickly as I haven't even got my dress yet! 
We are doing things a little bit different to the traditional British wedding in an old, stately home and jetting off to Florida to tie the knot, I'm so happy to be getting married in my favourite place in the world but with an abroad wedding comes the anxiety that you wouldn't normally get the big day was in your own country. I have done so much planning that I have gained some excellent knowledge when planning an abroad wedding, so for anyone thinking of or doing the same, I have put together my own top tips to hopefully help you along the way!

1. Do Your Research. You are thousands of miles away from your wedding destination, so if you cannot take a quick trip to scope out some potential venues, you are literally basing your booking on a picture online. The more research you do, the more confidence you will have that your chosen venue is 100% what it claims to be. Looking at reviews from other brides will also really help. I personally wouldn't book somewhere if I couldn't find any reviews on the place.

2. Trust Your Wedding Planner. Like I said in my previous tip, you are thousands of miles away so will likely have no clue on what exactly things will look like and how smoothly the day will run. This is why having a good wedding planner is important, but trusting them is key. Small things like how quickly they reply to your emails I see as a really big thing, if they cannot do the minimum then I would be panicking about how they are handling my wedding day.

3. Budget. The same as any wedding, a budget is important. An abroad wedding can often be really cost effective but don't get carried away because of this. You also need to consider exchange rates when paying in a different currency, the rate when you book might be better than when you actually pay the balance so make sure you factor this in and prepare for the worst rate.

4. Pick The Right Time Of Year. Make sure you know what the weather is like in the country you are planning to get married in. As I am getting married in Florida I needed to consider the heat, humidity and storm season, this is why I picked May, as it will still be really warm but it wont have the humidity of July or August and storm season is usually May through September.

5. Travelling With A Dress. Many bridal shops will help you pack your dress into your hand luggage if they do not have a special box for you to take it in. You can also order a box cheap enough off Ebay, Amazon or if you are flying with Virgin they also provide these at a cost. Do not pack your dress and items like wedding rings in your main suitcase in case it gets lost, keep these in your hand luggage so you can keep an eye on it.

6. Small & Intimate. One of the negatives about getting married abroad is that usually not many guests will be able to come. At my wedding there will be no more than 20. Don't take this to heart, as many people will have genuine reasons why they won't be able to make it, cost being the biggest factor. Usually with abroad weddings the friends and family who really care about you will be there, and you won't be paying for a load of 'plus ones' like if you were having a local wedding, wahoo!

7. Don't Forget Your Honeymoon. Make sure you factor in some special time alone with your new husband/wife. My partner & I are booking into a Disney World hotel the day after our wedding to start our honeymoon for a couple of weeks. We will still be spending time with family while we are there but are making sure we have a few special meals booked to celebrate being Man & Wife.

8.It Is Still YOUR Wedding Day. This point is something that I in particular needed to keep reminded myself and others during my planning. Just because you are not having the 'traditional' wedding ceremony in a church with loads of bridesmaids, ushers and an organist playing 'here comes the bride', it doesn't mean it is any less important. I am still making my husband-to-be and dad do speeches at the meal afterwards, they wasn't getting away with it that easily!

9.Dress Appropriately. If you are getting married in a hot climate you might want to consider a slightly different type of wedding attire. This can be suits without jackets or even shorts and flipflops for the men. You also might want to forget about that big & heavy princess dress you had always dreamed of, unless you want to collapse of heat exhaustion!

10. Relax. One of, if not the best thing about having an abroad wedding is how stress free it is. Yes, you will still have worries that only come natural to a bride to be, but make sure you trust your wedding planner and stay relaxed, and everything will fall into place, simple!


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