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Discover a world of weddings beyond your wildest dreams
Trying to plan your perfect wedding can feel rather overwhelming. It might start with location, location, location - but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some of the things you need to think about before you book your dream day.
Should we get married at home or abroad?
Do you see yourself at a glorious wedding in one of the home counties, or are you after a foreign adventure? This should be one of the first questions you consider. The day is all about you, of course, but it’d be nice to factor in how your guest (or guests) who lives furthest away will be able to join your celebration. Given the average UK wedding is now around the £25,000 mark – it won’t necessarily be more expensive to get married in a far-flung destination.
What’s our budget?
Working out how much you’ve got to spend is crucial. If you suspect that your parents, or another family member, might help you pay for your wedding – or the honeymoon – then it’s going to be helpful to talk to them nice and early. Then get cracking with plenty of online research. There are a wide range of websites, one of the most well-known being the Money Saving Expert, which have tips on how to cut costs on things like the cake or decorations. Remember, any cost savings you can make on the ceremony could be spent on securing that dream wedding location.
How do we plan the perfect guest list?
This one’s completely up to you – only you will know how your loved ones will respond when they find out whether or not they’ve made the cut. Deciding on your ‘must haves’ as soon as possible is always going to be a good thing though. This will give you more time to have some difficult conversations with those who are going to miss out. It may sound intuitive, but make sure that you don’t over invite – just in case no one drops out and there isn’t enough space!
We’re going to get hitched abroad. What’s next?
Great, that’s one off the list! It can be all too easy to get swept away in early romantic thoughts – and there’ll be plenty of time for those on your wedding night – but you shouldn’t forget some of the far less glamorous admin involved. There may well be specific customs and laws about getting married that will be very different than if you were to marry in your home country. For example, each country will set its own rules about the exact legal document required for a wedding to be binding.
In some countries, you can make an official record of the marriage by depositing an original certificate via the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. You can call their General Register Office on 0300 123 1837[ER2] . For areas where you can take this option, it’s likely that there will be a fee charged. This is something you should get used to right now…
What type of wedding do we want?
You’ll no doubt have thought about this a great deal already (probably for many, many years!) but it’s good to be really clear on a couple of essentials. Do you both see yourself and your nearest in an intimate bay on a seafront, or do you visualise a more specific but equally stunning location elsewhere? To help build your own picture of paradise, read about some of the most exotic and romantic destinations you could get married in Asia. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little close to home then Stanbrook Abbey or Kinnettles Castle are two rather grand and stately options in the UK.
Should we hire a wedding planner?
If the admin side of a wedding is filling you with dread (or worse, starting to be a sore point for your relationship) then you might want to think about getting a specialist wedding adviser. These professionals can help with anything, from specific product information to gift ideas. You might prefer the certainty of being able to see and try samples out in person. This will obviously be the more pricey option, so once again you want to take from other areas of your budget - such as your dazzling hotel and wedding combo.
What about wedding insurance?
It’s definitely worth looking into as there are many specialist insurance providers who’ll be able to offer wedding packages. Wedding insurance can help to protect you in case things go wrong, say if you there’s a long period between proposal and wedding day. Policies can cover loss or damage to: the main wedding outfits; gifts; rings; the cake and flowers; as well as personal liability and legal expenses among other things. If you do take the plunge for insurance, read your policy wording with a great deal of care. As there may be some hidden exemptions – especially if you’re getting hitched abroad. Of course, if you’ve decided on a much quicker wedding then you could forgo the insurance and look instead at some of the best ‘runaway’ places across the world to elope.
When and where should we book our honeymoon?
You should book your honeymoon in plenty of time. Ideally, this will be not long after you’ve got the wedding ceremony confirmed. Once again, exactly when you want to escape to will depend on work schedules and other factors. A post-wedding break could be anything from a weekend away to a more daring bit of travelling. Find out why, for us, South Africa is a honeymoon destination that pretty much has it all.
What about the stag and hen nights?
This is one of the more fun parts! There’s been a fair bit of bad press out there about how big and bloated a lot of these kinds of trips have become. Again, it’s really up to your personal preference – and that of your closest pals. Hens, you could try a Spa Hen party in The Malvern Spa. Then there’s the modern day classics to choose from, like Barcelona or Dublin, or party-friendly spots like Marbella or Benidorm.
Or you could start by looking at some of our best-selling wedding destination deals?