Destination weddings continue to be popular among couples tying the knot. In its annual Real Weddings Survey, multi-platform wedding resource The Knot found that 24 percent of the nearly 16,000 brides and grooms who participated in the survey and married in 2014 had destination weddings, the second year in a row nearly a quarter of all survey respondents acknowledged taking their vows away from home.
Destination weddings often benefit from picturesque landscapes and idyllic backdrops during ceremonies and bridal party photo sessions. But there are some things couples should consider before they decide to tie the knot in a faraway land.
Whether you're getting married in your current country of residence or overseas, you must allow time for paperwork to be processed. Wedding license applications may not be processed as quickly on a remote island as they are in a major American city, so be sure to get a firm grasp of the application process and its timeline before opting for a destination wedding. In addition, some countries may mandate that personal documents, such as birth certificates, be translated into the official language of the country where couples will be tying the knot, and such translations typically must be conducted by approved translators.
Some countries may allow couples to tie the knot the moment they step off their planes, while others have residency requirements that can be as long as several weeks. If your budget is tight or your work schedule is inflexible, then try to find a country that does not require you to spend several weeks within its borders before you can legally marry there.
Many couples who choose destination weddings ultimately get married at a resort, and such resorts typically have wedding planners or coordinators who are well versed in local laws and customs governing wedding ceremonies. Such professionals can make it easier for couples to navigate the sometimes complex laws regulating destination weddings, and their services are often included in resort wedding packages. If no such service is included in the hotel package, consider hiring a local wedding planner to make the process go more smoothly.
Couples hoping to have a destination wedding should expect to have a longer engagement than those getting married closer to home. The longer engagement period gives guests more time to arrange for travel and couples more time to navigate the requirements of getting married overseas. When sending save-the-date cards to guests, include brochures on the area where you will be getting married so guests can see what the area has to offer.
Many couples choose destination weddings because they are attracted to the local culture in a given place. When planning your destination wedding, embrace this culture by choosing local foods, flowers and entertainment. Not only will it make your big night more unique and authentic, but also buying local will save you money and benefit the environment at the same time.
Destination weddings are significant undertakings, but couples can ease some of their workloads by taking certain steps to make the planning process go more smoothly.