DESTINATION WEDDING FAQs Your questions answered

It’s no mystery that overseas weddings have become so popular.

Likely owing to the alluring draw of a holiday-meets-celebration with all your favourite people.

Getting started can feel daunting though, and there are certainly a few added complexities when compared with planning a wedding in your home country.

I’ve compiled these destination wedding FAQs to take some of the heat off you (and your phone, with all that Googling you’ve been doing!), and you might just want to bookmark this one to refer back to. 

WHAT DEFINES A DESTINATION WEDDING?

A destination wedding is any wedding planned in a country other than the one you’re living in. And although I’m based in the UK this doesn’t just apply to couples living here!

You might be a UK-based couple planning a wedding in Europe, a US-based couple coming to the UK for your nuptials, or any other wonderful combination of international locations. 

SO HOW DOES IT WORK WITH DIFFERENT TIME ZONES?

No worries on this front, as I have plenty of experience working across time zones.

I helped Bermuda-based couple K&J plan their wedding here in the UK, and similarly the lovely C&D moved from London to Thailand during their wedding planning process.

Meaning that weekend and early morning Zoom calls became the norm. Wherever you, your suppliers and your destination of choice are, we’ll make it work as seamlessly and effortlessly as possible!

WHICH COUNTRIES DOES YOUR DESTINATION WEDDING PLANNING SERVICE COVER?

I work across the UK and mainly throughout Europe. You can find out more about my destination wedding planning service and get inspired by some handpicked venues in Italy, France and Portugal here.

The world really is at your feet, so whether it’s somewhere you already hold dear. Or you’re ready to explore a new, adventurous location, my passport is prepped to support you! 

SPEAKING OF VENUES, HOW DO WE CHOOSE ONE AND WHAT SHOULD WE LOOK OUT FOR?

Of all the destination wedding FAQs, this is one of the most popular. Selecting the perfect venue is the first step in painting the picture you have in your mind for an unforgettable da. There is such a plethora of wonderful choices that it can border on too many!

When you work with me you’re not alone in the process. We’ll spend time talking through everything that’s important to you in your destination wedding venue.

I’ll then compile a shortlist of spots that fit the bill, in terms of location, scenery, accommodation options, proximity to cities/landmarks, capacity for guests and so on.

Every couple has slightly different priorities – and once I know about them, they become my priorities for finding you that dream destination wedding venue!

SHOULD WE BRING SUPPLIERS FROM OUR HOME COUNTRY, OR WORK WITH VENDORS IN OUR DESTINATION COUNTRY?

The short answer to this one is…it really depends! Selecting your suppliers is based on a number of factors, most importantly their suitability for your style and budget preferences.

In some cases couples have their hearts set on a specific photographer or make up artist, for example. If they happen to be living somewhere other than your wedding destination then we can certainly fly them in.

It’s important to remember that bringing suppliers from home incurs extra travel and accommodation costs. 

Working with suppliers in your destination country removes the need for this. You can rest assured that I have a network of contacts overseas who are reliable, trustworthy. And capable of creating beautiful designs for your destination wedding.

Ultimately, the choice about who to work with comes down to how well your suppliers fit the brief – you always have the final say!

IS IT TRUE THAT AT DESTINATION WEDDINGS, SUPPLIERS SOMETIMES GIVE COMMISSION TO THE WEDDING PLANNERS.

Commissions or ‘kick backs’ are certainly more prominent outside of the UK.

However, you can be sure that I will never push you to work with particular suppliers on this basis. And will only ever accept a commission if it doesn’t consequently affect your fee with that supplier.

Why not read more about commission and where, as a wedding planner, I stand on this topic in my guide, which you can see here.

DO WE HAVE TO HOST MORE THAN ONE EVENT AT A DESTINATION WEDDING? 

You don’t ever have to do anything at your wedding, let’s start there!

Many couples do choose to invite their guests to a ‘welcome dinner’ or a post-wedding celebration, simply because they want to maximise the amount of time spent with their loved ones.

It also allows guests to settle into your destination country, and some people believe it feels more ‘worth it’ to ask people to travel if there is more than one celebration to attend.

Like everything, It all comes down to personal preference. You can alternatively help arrange activities for your guests in the local area to give them some structure before/after the wedding day.

We can talk this all through when we work together and decide what is right for you. 

My Multi Day Wedding Planning service is perfect for you if you want to host several days of wedding fun for your guests. Including  a relaxing welcome party and/or post wedding day brunch.

WHO PAYS FOR GUEST ACCOMMODATION?

You might not be surprised to hear that this one is also entirely your choice. It really depends on your budget and how much (if any) you want to allocate to ‘looking after’ your guests.

Sometimes couples ask guests to arrange their own accommodation. In which case it’s generally a good idea to allow them to stay wherever they want to fit their own budget and preferences.

On the other hand, some couples request that their guests all stay in the same hotel or around the same area. This can make transportation easier, or just allows them to be close to loved ones. In this scenario, you might choose to at least subsidise the accommodation costs.

AND GUEST TRANSPORT?

In terms of transportation You may wish to arrange coach or taxi transfers from the airport, between accommodation and wedding locations. Or even any pre-booked activities.

This is a great way of ensuring your guests all arrive somewhere at roughly the same time!

Once again, if requesting that guests use a particular mode of transport for a particular journey, it’s courteous to cover or subsidise the cost.

As always though, this is completely optional and you can also leave guests to their own devices and simply let them know what time they need to arrive at your wedding or pre/post wedding event.

WHAT SHOULD WE TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION REGARDING THE WEATHER?

I’ve added this into my list of destination wedding FAQs because it’s something couples often overlook in their wedding planning.

It’s common to assume that just because you’re getting married somewhere in the Mediterranean, for example, you’ll experience beautiful blue skies and sunshine.

One of two things can happen – either you will experience that, in which case you need to put some things in place to account for the heat, or the weather will do something slightly different than expected…

If marrying somewhere like Italy or Portugal, I often advise that my couples avoid choosing hotter months like July and August. After all, even most Italians escape the cities in the height of summer!

PREPARATION IS KEY – PLAN B

For a holiday it can be wonderful to bask in the sun, but on a wedding day it can often be too much Remember there are often periods of waiting and standing, and the last thing you want is for you or your guests to be wilting under a cloudless sky.

If you are really keen to plan your wedding in one of these months, prepare for the heat by figuring out where you can seek shade or cool indoor spaces, and perhaps offer fans and definately extra water for your guests.

Conversely, you may also be caught out if the weather isn’t quite what you’re expecting!

Even in traditionally balmy climes you can experience changeable conditions, including sudden rainstorms and high winds. This is why I’ll always work with you to create a plan that doesn’t involve your celebrations taking place al fresco, as a backup just in case the heavens open.

When it comes to the weather, you can’t be too prepared!

Weddings by Mary- Essex wedding planner

There is a lot to consider when planning a destination wedding isn’t there?

Which is why I strongly recommend you work with a wedding planner. I’m a little biased of course, but putting such an important occasion in expert hands hardly sounds like a bad idea.

When we work together there’s no such thing as a silly question, and I’m basically your personal destination wedding FAQs page throughout.

You’ll be fully supported as you embark on this exciting adventure, culminating in an unforgettable wedding in a gorgeous location.

If you’d like to chat, pop over to my contact form to drop into my inbox. 

Mary Briscoe of Weddings by Mary

Find out more about the Weddings by Mary Experience

Hello

I’ve spent most of my life in the wedding & events industry. Helping couples in love to celebrate in style is something I adore and am hugely proud of being able to do.

At the very heart of my job is a love of people. A chance to connect with couples is one of my favourite parts. Being a wedding planner means being able to balance the detail-focused organisation and expert problem solving with the chance to have a good chat and a laugh with couples over a cuppa or a glass of fizz.

Mary x