Top tips for planning a wedding overseas

So, you are thinking of having your wedding overseas? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Planning a wedding in the same country can be stressful let alone planning one overseas so hopefully this post will help take some of that stress away.

First things first, congratulations on your engagement! How exciting…

A bit about my wedding story…

I am Scottish, I live in Melbourne and got married in Spain, all without visiting my venue or meeting my florist, cake maker, make up artist or hairdressers beforehand. I guess this makes me pretty qualified to offer some advice, so that you can (dare I say it), actually enjoy the whole planning process.

Some of the advice I’ve given is with the benefit of hindsight, but hopefully these tips will help some future brides (and couples to be) out there who are feeling a bit overwhelmed.

So, you’ve picked your location and now it is time to start planning.

First things first..

1. Go with your gut!

This is so important. I know it can be hard as everyone wants to have an input; but you want to look back knowing that your day was the most accurate reflection of you and your partner so stick to your guns. If people are worried or confused about something, talk them through it and soon enough, people will get it ;).

Three bouquets of beautiful pink wedding flowers taken from side angle on bridesmaids laps.
Copyright: Broganeliz blog (flowers from my wedding day)
Photographer: Anna Gazda
2. Ballpark budgets

It’s all fun and games until you have to start paying for things – now that’s when shit gets real. If you are like me and ended up working with a few different currencies, then take time to jot down the numbers. Even if they are not 100% accurate, it will be a good to start noting down something that will guide you on your merry way. It’s always good to get clarity on what is included with your venue, for example, versus any additional things that need to be handled separately.

Some things to consider:

  • Flights – do you need international, domestic (or both) outside of your wedding arrangements?
  • Luggage – check all the airlines you’re flying with. You want to be prepared with suitcases and hand luggage
  • Travel insurance
  • Pre-wedding hair and beauty appointments
  • Currency – Spending money, exchange rates
3. Look at legalities

It is always good to double check the legalities in the country you are choosing to marry, as some places require specific documentation and others need you to stay in the country days before to enable the marriage to take place. Give yourself enough time to research this piece and to collate all your info.

Bride placing wedding ring on the groom.
Copyright: Broganeliz blog
Photographer: Anna Gazda
4. Consider a wedding planner

This is the route we went down & it was such a huge help. Having a wedding planner means that for the most part you will have one central point of communication. They will/should help you with refined list of professional and trusted suppliers like caterers, bands, stationary and more. This helps aleviate a lot of pressure; will help you relax a bit more and breeze through the selection process. They’ll also have local knowledge of the country and place you’ll be staying and having your wedding – for example, there may be music curfews on certain days of the week which you’d have no clue about unless you live there. Of course if your location is somewhere that you know inside out then you wouldn’t have this consideration, but it gives you an example of the intricacies you may not be aware of.

5. Give your guests plenty of notice

So you’ve found your dream destination and now its time to reveal it to your nearest and dearest…

It’s always good to give your guests as much notice as possible, before sending any official save the date’s, so they can prepare themselves financially and logistically. Typically, booking flights and local accomodation in advance is usually better value than waiting last minute & potentially risking not securing their favourite hotel or apartment.

6. Think about your travel arrangements

This is another biggie and links back to my last point about your guests.

For us, we chose to stay in a venue that could host up to 30 guests. That meant the majority of people staying with us were on the same flight.

If you’re plans sound similar, consider how you will all get to your venue. Do you need to look at transport from A to B? Will you need a hire car for getting around local places when you get there? These questions are not always apparent at the start of the planning process but as you start receiving your guest RSVPs, these are the things you start to think about.

It’s also worth mentioning that its good to consider what day you get married as some airlines may only fly on specific days.

Picture of bride and groom facing each other during wedding ceremony.
Copyright: Broganeliz blog
Photographer: Anna Gazda
7. Get wedding insurance

This is definitely worth looking into. Unfortunately were not able to get this due reasons that would need a separate blog post haha, however companies like John Lewis (if you’re in the UK) and Easy Weddings (if you’re in Australia) both offer wedding insurance that covers you on different levels.

8. Ask questions

When it comes to weddings, no question is a silly question! Contact the venue again, just so you are 100% clear. Follow up on the unanswered emails in a friendly manner.

Even the things that pop into your head randomly at 4am in the morning (is anyone at that fun stage yet?) – that you try to push out your brain to avoid burdening anyone. If you can remember, write it down then put your pride aside and get those questions asked!

And finally…

9. Enjoy every minute

The one thing I was adamant about through the whole wedding experience was “no drama”. If it was toxic, I was having none of it, so try to stop and smell the roses. Read more wedding content here.

Every decision you are making is for you and your other-half. You’re crafting your dream day/night/week (however long you are celebrating for) – try not let anything dull your sparkle because after all, YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED and that’s a bloody beautiful thing to celebrate.

Picture of bride and groom facing each other talking during their wedding meal.
Copyright: Broganeliz blog
Photographer: Anna Gazda

On a little side note, have you picked out your wedding dress yet? Read about my experience here.

Congrats again and I’d love to hear all about your wedding plans! Drop me a comment below x

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