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planning a wedding abroad

With one in four couples now opting for a wedding abroad in
conjunction with their honeymoon, destination weddings are now more popular
than ever. However, should you be planning a wedding abroad of your own, there
are a whole host of practicalities to consider before you even think about
saying ?I do?. Whether you?re planning a stay at our luxurious riads in Morocco
or a lavish ceremony at one of our French chateaux, our advice should ensure
that you?re completely prepared for the wedding of your dreams.

Ensure the marriage is legal

With marriage laws varying between countries, it?s important
to find out if it?s legal to get married in the country of your choice and if
the marriage will be valid both in local and international law. If you?re dead
set on a destination where you can?t get legally married, consider holding a
blessing overseas instead, and a quick registry office wedding back in the UK to
make it official.

Decide on a wedding package or a tailor-made special day

Once you?ve chosen your destination, the next step is to
decide whether to opt for a wedding package, where everything is taken care of
for you, or to make your wedding more personal by organising it yourself or
with the help of a wedding planner. In order to create the best tailor-made
wedding for the destination you?ve chosen to get married in, do your research
and choose a local wedding planner who has expertise of planning weddings in
that area.

Use your wedding planner to their full potential

If you choose to use a wedding planner, ensure your wedding
planner does everything they can on the ground to help you secure your perfect
weddings, from suggesting beautiful locations to arranging the logistics and
booking the registrar.

Ensure you pick the right time of year

Flights and accommodation are easily affected by national
holidays and festivals, meaning that during these busy times, a lot of things
can become more expensive. Avoid the cost and try to plan your wedding just
outside of the peak periods, when you?ll also have more choice and places will
be quieter.

Consider the weather

If you?re planning on having an outdoor wedding, it?s
crucial to choose the right season ? getting it wrong could mean wind, rain and
storms in comparison to a sun-kissed paradise. In case of downpours, make sure
you always have a back-up plan ready.

Check flight times

Check which days and times the major airlines fly to your
destination, ensuring you leave at least 48 hours between when you land and
your wedding day. This way, you?ll have time to adjust to your surroundings and
make sure everything?s ready so your big day goes off without a hitch.

Check your airline baggage fee

Though most airlines will let you bring your wedding dress
onboard as hand luggage, it will most likely be at an extra cost, so it is
worth checking with your airline beforehand. Make sure you buy a good quality
dress bag that can be hung or folded to minimise the chances of the dress
getting damaged, and, if you have to check your dress in, ensure it is packed
securely in a box and marked as fragile.

Keep a checklist of legal documents

Check that you?ve got all of the legal documents required
for your wedding overseas, including visas if required, birth certificates and
at least six months remaining on your passport. Some countries may also require
a certificate of no impediment (CNI), as proof of your single status, when can
be obtained from your local register office.

Buy wedding insurance

Alongside your regular travel insurance, it?s also important
to make sure you?re covered for your wedding-related valuables such as the
dress, rings and gifts in the event that they are lost or stolen. Also check
the small print for the value you?re covered up to and details on the excess
you?re required to pay.

Tie in your honeymoon

To save money and really get the most out of the place you
choose to get married in, try to tie in your wedding and honeymoon together and
see your destination wedding as a stepping stone to your honeymoon. Ensure you
have plenty of time to relax after the wedding for your honeymoon, and enjoy
the holiday of a lifetime!

Image: Merlin
, available under Creative Commons

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