Glamorous and oh-so exciting, a destination wedding can make the happiest occasion of your life that much more special. Sun, sea and I Do’s - what’s not to love? But if orchestrating a celebration in the UK is tough, one in foreign lands can be even harder. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best luxury destination wedding experts to map out your route to Big Day bliss.
Pick a location with meaning
Whether it’s where you went on your first trip away, you just can’t get enough of the views, or you want a sneaky 2-for-1 on your honeymoon, decide on a venue you both adore and your guests will love too. After all, where you host your wedding will be a setting you’ll remember forever.
Give your guests extra notice
“Sending Save the Dates 12-18 months before gives guests enough time to plan,” says luxury wedding stationer Dimitria Jordan. “If your wedding is in peak times like summer, I advise 18 months ahead. Your guests will want to book flights and hotels as soon as possible, as well as ensure they can take the time off work.” A destination is more commitment on a guest’s part and some may not want to use their holiday allowance, so wait for guest numbers to settle before paying for anything major. Include firm deadlines, and don’t be shy in chasing them up. Missing out on suppliers you really want is what happens when you’re waiting for late RSVPs.
Dimitria Jordan Bespoke Save the Dates: £2.50 each, min order 35, www.DimitriaJordan.co.uk
Check dates with suppliers
If you’re sure you want a particular makeup artist or photographer, check they have your dates free ASAP. If they’re popular, they get snapped up fast, as Dubai-based makeup artist Nina Ubhi reveals: “My destination brides always book early so I usually know a year in advance how my following year is looking.” Don’t forget to factor in their flight and hotel costs as well as extra charges you may incur for the additional days they’ll be with you. It may seem pricey but as with everything, you get what you pay for. Plus, a silver lining: you’ll have beauty and photography on standby for every moment, not just the ceremony.
Research marriage laws
Different countries have different marriage requirements so if you’re planning to legally tie the knot there, listen up. For instance, India’s Special Marriage Act 1954 means one of you must live in India for at least 30 days before applying to get married – now that’s commitment! The easiest option is to get legally married at home and have a blessing abroad. On the other hand, if you want to elope to Las Vegas, all you’ll need is ID, prove that you’re not already married and be over the age of 18.
Sync to your setting
“Incorporate as much local culture in your celebrations as possible,” says luxury wedding planner Bruce Russell. “That may be a special location for one of the events, or a fabulous destination influenced menu.” Sophie Hale from Quintessentially Weddings agrees: “Don’t be afraid to blend the traditions of the destination with your own culture; this makes your celebration extra personal. ” I Do’s in Tuscany could mean serving authentic Prosecco bubbles and Italian olives or views of the skyscrapers if marrying in Dubai.
Maximise photo ops
Luxury wedding photographer Zohaib Ali says: “I push myself to create unique images so doing that in new destinations is exciting. I fly a few days earlier to scout locations, which also means I can also cover pre-wedding events.” Make time for a shoot that’s separate from the official celebrations so you can find the prettiest spots and the best light to get those iconic images, all at your leisure. After all, capturing those incredible ‘it-could-only-be-here’ moments is part of why you’re there, isn’t it?
It’s a game of chess
Talking to vendors overseas can be tricky, especially across time zones. Vanessa Hutter-Lakhiani from planning specialists Eventures Asia says: “We set calls with UK-based couples over the weekend to catch up on feedback. That way, we can take care of it during the week when they’re at work.” Be concise, send images and ideas, and always think two steps ahead. What if your cake can’t be made with a crucial ingredient or your flowers aren’t in bloom? Give alternatives and Plan Bs for efficiency.
The little black book of luxury destination suppliers
Destination wedding photography and cinematography by Lumiere Photography
International luxury bridal and party planner By Bruce Russell
Luxury stationer Dimitria Jordan
Luxury South-East Asia Wedding Specialists
Dubai Makeup Artist Nina Ubhi
Luxury Indian Wedding Photographer Zohaib Ali
As seen in Khush Wedding Spring 2018 KW18. Buy this issue here