Destination Weddings

Destination weddings adds a touch of exotic cultural flavour

Destination wedding checklist

How far will you go?

  • How far do you want to travel?
  • Will you need a Visa?
  • Are you two whisking off to elope?
  • Will this be an intimate affair with immediate family members?
  • Will it be a large festive event?
  • Do you have or anticipate many elderly, young or immobile guests that will be joining your wedding? If so, consider traveling time and access for these guests
  • Is it an island destination surrounded by water and beach, is it exotic and cultural, is it in the county with a barn-like setting? On the balcony's edge overlooking the caldera in Santorini; a barefoot beach wedding on an idyllic sandbank in the Maldives; in an overwater chapel in Bora Bora; in the lush rice paddies in Ubud Bali - what's your style?
  • Where do you want to honeymoon afterwards - think about the flight paths and what is logical, your travel specialist will be able to assist you with this; nobody wants to spend more time in the air or in airports than they need to

When's the best time to go and to plan

  • Whilst it may seem really cool to get married on New Year's Eve, the festive period between late December and early January is the most expensive and chaotic time of the year for travelling to any region of the world
  • Does your wedding day coincide with the destination's peak travel season?
  • Some destinations are very family friend and hence will be very busy during school holidays - is your proposed wedding day during school holiday periods?
  • Is it during a national holiday period of the destination? For example it's a great idea to to get married in Bali during Nyepi (Day of Silence) or in Japan during Golden Week when every Japanese national is also travelling
  • Of course no one can predict weather patterns but at least consider what the typical climate is at that particular time of the year. Unfortunately, if the weather is perfect at the proposed time of the year, it's also likely that it will be the destination's high season. If the weather is not at its best then you can enjoy some savings (but the trade-off is you will also have to deal with the weather). You can wing it and book in the destination's wet season and hope for the best but when Mother Nature calls, she will!
  • It's important to give your guests plenty of notice with save the date announcements if you want as many friends and family to be able to join you. We've had couples that have planned spontaneously with only 4-6 months prior all the way through to couples that have planned 1.5 years plus in advance.
  • If you have your heart set on a sentimental date or on a globally popular date like Valentines Day then yes, you will need to plan earlier to ensure you have your desired date locked in.
  • One of the best things about a destination wedding is that unlike at home, you're no longer bound to having the wedding date to fall on a weekend - a destination wedding opens up a whole new plethora of days for you!
  • Do note that for religious reasons, some establishments and resorts will not hold weddings on a Sunday

Legalities can (almost) take care of themselves (with a little help from us)

  • Do you want your nuptials to be legalised at the destination? Some destinations do not legally recognise wedding nuptials of foreigners/non-residents. In this instance, your nuptials would be purely ceremonial and you will need to legalise your wedding at a local wedding registry in your home country either prior or post travel. The Maldives is a good example of this.
  • Each country will have different procedures for completing legalities - many will require that you are in the country for at least 1-3 days prior the event and require you to visit the destination's Town Hall or your country's Embassy or Mission.
  • In terms of pre-departure paperwork preparation, at the very least you will need a Certificate of no Impediment, Birth Certificate (translated into the destination's local language and with an apostille), Passports, Divorce Certificate (if applicable)
  • If you book a wedding package, you will be guided by your travel specialist in your home country on how to prepare the documents correctly, when to prepare them (if you prepare them too early it can be voided) and when you are at the destination, you will be supported with transfers and assistance to the required local offices with interpreters if necessary

Dollars and sense

  • There are so many reasons to celebrate your special day in an exciting locale overseas and often than not, it can cost less than holding the event at home. If you would love to have a destination wedding overseas and like the idea of saving a few dollars simultaneously then opt for a destination with lower living costs than your home country. For example, if you're in Australia consider Fiji, Thailand and Bali. If you're in the USA consider Mexico or the Caribbean. The proximity will also save on airfares and make it more affordable for friends and family to join you
  • If budget doesn't really come into the equation then you may want to subsidize or even pay for some of your family members and close friend's travel expenses and/or accommodation or deliver welcome packs to your guest's rooms or a thank you breakfast or lunch the following day
  • Always budget a little extra for contingency and if you don't use it, treat yourselves on your honeymoon!

The ceremonial moment

  • Do you have a preference for a celebrant or a minister or priest?
  • Do you want to have a traditional wedding ceremony in the style of the local destination? For example, if you're getting married in Thailand would you like to receive blessings from Buddhist monks?
  • What type of setting would like? For example, a ceremony on the beachfront, garden setting, lush rainforest, on the cliff-side with dramatic views, by a spectacular pool, in a quaint chapel, on safari, underwater... the options are truly endless!
  • Do you want to have the ceremony at the hotel/resort/villa that you are staying at or at a restaurant?
  • Will it be a sunrise, midday or sunset wedding ceremony?

"I must have flowers, always, and always" - Claude Monet

  • So your all-time favourite flower happens to be the beautiful Etched Salmon Peony, let's be real here, unless you want to spend exorbitant amounts flying them in, you may have to work with flowers that are available to local to the destination (but if you have the budget, anything is possible).
  • How big a part will flowers play on the day? Bride's bouquet, bridesmaids and flower girl's (if you are having any) bouquet, corsages, buttonholes, reception centrepieces, flowers at the ceremony, throwaway bouquet etc
  • Some wedding packages will have a range of flowers included - this may include the bride and maid of honour's bouquet, the groom and best man's buttonhole and floral arrangements at the ceremony, and then from there you can add more as required

Shall we take a seat?

  • Will the reception be a cocktail event or a sit-down dinner party?
  • If it is a sit-down reception, will it be a relaxed sumptuous buffet feast (like a Luau in Hawaii) or an alternate drop menu or a decadent a la carte menu of 3 choices?
  • Do want an open-bar & cocktail hour with canapes prior to sitting down?
  • How many hours do you want to allow for the beverage package - 2 hours, 3 hours...

Do you have a theme in mind?

  • Will there be wedding favours / bonbonnieres and will these have a local flavour?
  • Will there be any entertainment at the reception? - DJ, live band, trio / quartet orchestra, fireworks, releasing lantern wishes.... also consider entertainment that is specific to the destination to remind yourselves and your guests where you are; for example fire walking & Meke dance in Fiji, Polynesian dance in Bora Bora, long drum processions
  • Also note that some entertainment (like fireworks or lantern release etc) will require you to apply for a local license
  • Will there be many children at the reception - do you require childcare / nannies?
  • If it is an outdoor setting, have you considered the back-up wet weather options?
  • Alternatively, if you two lovebirds are getting married in secret (how exciting!) how would (you) like to do celebrate after the ceremony.... on a private sunset cruise, a romantic 4 course candlelight dinner on the beach, a secluded cave dinner?

A piece of cake

  • Do you have a specific cake in mind?
  • Most wedding packages will include a basic single tiered wedding cake and will work with you regarding flavours, and style of the cake design and you can add tiers to the cake as required

I could stay forever

  • Will your ceremony and reception be held at the hotel / resort / villa that you are staying at?
  • Do you opt for a 5* resort and stick with the basics or do you go for a 4* and do the works? If you have a limited budget and you want a certain level of luxury and attention to detail, in our experience, go for a 5* property and opt for the basics. Why? Everything is governed by the standard of the establishment from level of service, the attentiveness of staff, quality of food and beverage offerings, all the way through to housekeeping - you will have a more luxurious stay and experience
  • Did you know that some resorts require that an X number of guests also stay at the property so keep this in mind too. At the very least, you as the wedding couple must stay at the resort you are holding the event at
  • If your guests are all staying in various hotels and resorts, do you want to make provisions for transfers to the venue?
  • Will you and your fiance be in separate rooms prior to the wedding day?

A picture tells a thousand words

  • How many hours do you require a photographer to be present?
  • Do you require a videographer?
  • Many wedding packages will have an hour of photography included, if you require more, you can easily book more time

A bride shall always look her best

  • Do consider whether your dream fairy tale ball gown is befitting with the destination; you may not look your best if you're bathed in sweat from the tropical heat and humidity. A big dress is also going to present a number of traveling challenges on the airplane (but that's a whole other story that your travel specialist will provide you with information about)
  • And in regards to beauty and spa, we promise you there will many local hairstylists and beauty specialists options at the destination that will ensure you will look and feel your absolute best!