No matter where in the world you’re intending to get married, there is bound to be some kind of organisation involved. After all, you’ve got to send out invites, book venues and then there are the dresses, flowers and catering to take care of.
Planning a wedding abroad might sound like it will just compound these problems, but if you’re savvy about where you go, you will actually discover it’s much less stressful! If you’ve got your heart set on having a romantic honeymoon in Antigua, have you considered also tying the knot on the Caribbean island?
If not, here are a few tips to help you arrange your exotic nuptials – I promise it’s much more straightforward than it may first appear.
1. Choose your venue wisely
The first thing you have to decide is where you want to get married. This might be a bit tricky as you’re unlikely to be able to fly out to view the hotels beforehand, so do a bit of web-based research, read reviews of the places you’re considering and make sure you look at what they offer in their wedding packages.
Without a doubt, the most important thing to look out for is a dedicated wedding planner. This means you’ll have someone on hand at the hotel to make all the arrangements on your behalf, so you can relax a little and put a bit more of your energy into finding the perfect dress!
2. Look out for extras
As well as finding a resort with a wedding coordinator, you need somewhere that offers the full service. This means all the things you can’t bring over in your suitcase will be taken care of, such as the wedding breakfast, flowers and wedding cake.
It’s also worth asking about any special offers that might be available, such as a free room upgrade for the happy couple, or even the chance to have your special day paid for if you stay for a certain number of nights. All this can help bring the expense of your wedding down, so you’ll soon discover getting married on a gorgeous paradise island doesn’t have to cost the earth!
3. Organise the relevant documents
You’ll be required to bring specific documentation with you in order for the marriage to go ahead, including your original birth certificates and valid passports. Your hotel will be able to tell you exactly what’s needed well ahead of your special day, giving you plenty of time to get the necessary paperwork together.
Be aware that you’ll usually need to present an original or certified copy of a decree absolute if you’re divorced or a death certificate for your previous husband or wife if you’ve been widowed. Should you be under the age of 18, written consent from your parent or guardian will also be requested.
4. Pack sensibly
If you’re jetting off to Antigua with the intention of spending your honeymoon in the Caribbean, as well as hosting your wedding there, make sure you pop some holiday essentials into your suitcase along with your wedding dress, makeup, the groom’s suit and any other items you need for your nuptials.
Getting married is a very special experience, so it’s worth paying for extra luggage if you have additional items you want to bring to make the day particularly memorable and that don’t fit within your standard baggage allowance. It’s not just about what you cram into your cases, though, but also how you pack. Think about how you can avoid overly creasing the dress and suits for the duration of the journey and consider putting any items – like shower gel, shampoo or makeup – that could damage or stain your clothes in a different bag.
Those are my suggestions, but do you have any tips for couples planning a wedding abroad?