Only a handful of things compare to the romantic thrill of jet-setting to an international destination to say, “I do”. Planning an international wedding may take a bit more effort, but most agree it’s worth the extra work. If you are considering exchanging vows at an international location, consider these helpful tips and suggestions.
- Create a Wedding Website
A wedding website is a dedicated online location that offers a simple way to organize and convey important information about planned events to those invited to your global destination wedding.
While creating a digital location may seem like yet another wedding-related task, the reality is that wedding websites are readily accessible, easy to navigate, and are often quite valuable time-saving solutions.
Additionally, wedding websites are customizable. A website dedicated to your wedding allows you to get creative. Tie the website into your wedding theme or anything else. As a result, a website dedicated to your wedding can only be limited by your imagination.
As a digital tool that doubles as a central networking location, a wedding website can also…
- Include the wedding’s essential details related to the wedding – including links to registries.
- Explain the wedding’s itinerary.
- Offer hotel recommendations.
- Reveals exciting places and things to do while traveling to the wedding setting abroad.
- Provides a place to create a FAQ page to address common concerns/questions (about the ceremony and the destination)
- Allow guests to post personal photos of the festivities.
- Offer a digital RSVP, and your database of guest addresses can be used when sending thank you notes!
- Confirm Marriage Legal Requirements for Destination
Marital laws vary from country to country and may be more complex than domestic matrimonial requirements. In addition, certain countries set forth specific residency requirements. A residency requirement refers to a defined amount of time you and your partner must reside in the country before a marriage ceremony can legally be performed.
For example, in England, you must be a resident for seven days before giving notice of the marriage to the proper registry. Once notice has been appropriately given, you must wait an additional 28 days before the wedding ceremony. France requires 40 days of residency before marriage is legally permitted.
Some countries have no residency requirements. However, it is best to confirm the marital legal requirements for a country with the country’s foreign embassy.
Pro-tip: If you hit legal potholes when coordinating an international wedding, consider a small registry office ceremony in your hometown before traveling abroad. This simple step helps to ensure the legality of the marriage. As a result, on your big day – in front of your friends and family, you can be sure of your legal status as a married couple.
- Select the Right Time of Year
It is no coincidence that the best weather of the year in popular international vacation destinations generally correlates with the locale’s prime-time tourist season. So if you select a wedding date that falls within the tourist season, know that this is when there are the most visitors, higher rates, and fewer hotel/venue opportunities from which to choose.
If you are planning a wedding at an international location during the high season, book your preferred wedding venue and reserve a block of rooms as far in advance as possible. Also, airline flights may be more expensive, so book a flight early.
Pro-tip: Consider planning your international destination wedding just before (or just after) the location’s peak periods. This strategy will likely offer more selection in terms of wedding dates and venues. And hotels, local attractions, and area restaurants will be a bit more subdued. Non-peak travel dates may offer you the opportunity of better flight options as well.
- Dress for the Local Climate
When deciding on the wedding’s dress code, do not forget to consider the destination's climate and the fact that guests are traveling across the globe to celebrate your vows. Guests and the wedding party will be uncomfortable if formal attire is chosen for an outdoor ceremony or reception in a humid tropical location. If you are planning on exchanging vows on a beach, give your guests a heads-up so they can bring appropriate (and safe) footwear to walk across the sand.
- Make it a Honeymoon Too
After the festivities have ended, it is time to relax with your betrothed on your honeymoon!
While you are already halfway around the world, try to plan a honeymoon at either the wedding location or a nearby locale. You can maximize the money spent traveling to your wedding abroad by transitioning the wedding into the honeymoon you have always dreamed of. Enjoy!
An international setting for a wedding offers the opportunity to create unforgettable memories – especially if friends & family members are there to celebrate your big day. Be smart and plan ahead to ensure a worry-free wedding day.