Getting married? Did you know destination weddings can be a unforgettable, exotic and often cheaper option? With a Thailand wedding just six months away, I have collected a few tips and tricks along the way to make planning a breeze.
Pick a place
The first and most obvious thing you need is your destination! Choose a spot you’ve been to previously, or at least plan to go to prior to the big day. Going there is a good way to get a sense of the weather, culture and customs. Many countries have different laws when it comes to things such as alcohol, wedding ceremonies and cultural sensitivities. Countries with great wedding packages include Bali, Fiji, Thailand, Samoa, Cook Islands and Malaysia. Thailand was a clear winner for me as I’ve been there a couple of times before and we even have family who live there and speak the language.
Work out the legalities
Kathleen O’Brien, the stylist and floral designer behind Flower Dayz, has had her fair share of experience with organising and styling weddings. One of the most important decisions you will need to make first is whether you want to have a legal ceremony or a commitment ceremony. If you’re considering Bali, Kathleen recommends a quick legal ceremony in Australia first and a commitment ceremony in Bali as the process of getting legally married in Bali can be a tricky one. Just make sure you remember to do all necessary changes to passports so you don’t get caught short. Another option is to do the commitment ceremony first and then doing all the legalities back home when you return.
Check for monsoons!
Remember to check the weather of your wedding destination, it seems simple, however summer doesn’t always mean sunshine. Ensure you know when monsoon season is so you don’t end up with a rainy beach wedding! In Bali, May to August are the best months to miss the rainy season. In Thailand, the hottest season runs through April-June.
Find a venue
Now to pick your location, find three venues that can offer you the style of wedding you want. Options include beach, poolside or even cave weddings! There are areas in Bali that are a lot more expensive than others, for example Uluwatu, Jimbaran and Seminyak may cost more than Kuta and Legian. Look out for hidden gems like Lovina, in the northern part of the island, that are equipped with beautiful beaches and less crowds. Be sure to prearrange permission for a beach wedding before the day!
When booking a venue read any reviews that have been posted by other couples. Get the venue to send you a list of all their packages; this will give you an idea of what it is going to cost you per head and all inclusions. You will have a better chance of negotiating the price if you have all events at the one venue and even more so if they can offer accommodation for your guests.
Make your wedding special
Organising photography, a wedding cake and entertainment for the day are crucial parts of arranging a wedding and the best advice is to do your research. Compare prices, read reviews and don’t always go with the option recommended by the venue.
Destination weddings are a fantastic choice for many couples. While some may think the distance adds extra stress, the all-included packages often relieve you of organising it all yourself. Plus, how can you be stressed when you have a stunning beach and a cocktail in hand!