Doesn't combining travel with a wedding sound perfectly picturesque? The only tricky part: Planning it. The editors at travel guide and magazine publisher certainly know their way around the world, and in their new book "," they cover everything you need to know before planning a wedding abroad. Read on for their must-know tips.
You imagine trotting through the sand , letting the sun's rays bounce of your shoulders, until... you realize it's hurricane season. But hurricane season isn't the only thing you should consider. In certain locales, high-summer humidity can mean dripping makeup and sweaty clothes, while a might mean bundling up more than expected. Research your destination's weather patterns before you assume all is sunny and bright.
Keep in mind how you and your spouse will spend time after the wedding in your destination. "It's not just your wedding at stake here: Your honeymoon is factored into the bargain too, so it pays to get this right for both of you," says "The Honeymoon Handbook" book editor Jessica Cole. "If one of you is an adrenaline junkie and the other loves the beach, look for destinations that offer both — say, Costa Rica, which promises both gorgeous beaches and jungle adventures."
Even if it seems like a time-suck, don't skimp here. "Guests need a lot more hand-holding when the wedding is abroad, especially if they don't travel often," says Cole. "Provide detailed practicalities and advice, from accommodation and flight routes to packing lists and a schedule of the day."
In some countries, you must be a resident for a certain period of time before you can get married there. An alternative option: Get legally wed at home, and then have the blessing abroad.
Some of the most popular places for destination weddings include Fiji, , Bali, Thailand and the Caribbean. Since these locales expect plenty of destination weddings, they make organization easy, and many hotels offer special wedding packages.
If your name will change at your wedding, keep in mind you won't be able to travel under that new name. You'll have to change your passport beforehand.
If you want to check out the site of your wedding before the big day without actually traveling there (which is completely reasonable), hire an in-destination wedding planner who can Skype with you beforehand.
Even if you treat yourself to five-star service, an elopement is far less expensive than a traditional destination wedding (though some people may feel getting married without friends and family takes away from the celebratory nature of the day). A growing trend is to make an elopement video, which helps you virtually share the day with everyone back home.
If you ask your guests to fly out on any publicly-observed holidays (such as when banks are closed), could be far more expensive for them. Check the dates of observed holidays in both your origin and your destination.
It'll be harder to control every little detail in a foreign locale. "No matter how hands-on a planner you are, if you choose to get married abroad, you'll have to relinquish a degree of control," says Cole. "Since you can't handpick every last detail, handpick the next best thing: your team." That means choosing , caterers, stylists and brands that truly understand your vision for the day.