Planning Your Destination Wedding

Five years ago I was able to marry my soulmate in a stunning ceremony in Kalkan, Turkey. We decided to have a destination wedding, not only because we could more certainly guarantee the weather but also the insane costs of having a wedding in the UK (especially in London & the South East). Fortunately, this was an option for us, and we had a destination in mind.

Wedding planning can be a particularly stressful experience, especially with distance and language barriers.

Here are my first tips for planning a destination wedding:

1. Find your partner!

Sounds pretty straightforward but you need to have someone to marry and who shares the idea of getting married abroad.

2. Think About Your Destination

Do you and your partner share a special place? Somewhere you travelled to before? Somewhere you got engaged? Or is it somewhere you have always wanted to go? Your destination wedding should be somewhere that has some meaning or significance to you.

3. Ceremony vs Blessing

Now you have an idea of where next to consider in what? Is this to be your legal wedding or will you be getting married in the UK before or after your ceremony? There are of course going to financial ramifications associated with this and legal hoops to jump through. To legally get married overseas we would have had to travel to the nearest British Embassy can 8-hour round trip) to get all the paperwork sorted. We would also have to have blood tests with the local doctor and to meet several others. In total this added up to £1,000, not including the actual wedding certificate and translation. These are all things to consider.

Although we decided that getting married legally in the UK was the best option for us with our budget and time constraints, it is entirely up to you. A few years later our friends got married in a different part of Turkey, and the British Embassy was much closer to them, so they did legally get married there.

A work colleague got married in Mexico, and it takes three months to get her translated marriage certificate. So she cannot change her name on anything officially yet (bank account, passport etc…)

These are things to consider as well as any religious or cultural boundaries. Think about religion especially if you want to get married in a place of worship and also now conservative the country is, especially in public displays of affection.

So do your research about your destination and type of ceremony to avoid any surprises. The last thing that you want is to arrive a few weeks in advance of your wedding to find out it cannot be what you want it to be.

Next, in the series, we will talk about planning and logistics organisation.

Have any of you got plans to get married overseas or was your wedding abroad?

3 replies to “Planning Your Destination Wedding

  1. I did get married in Madeira, Portugal last year and I absolutely loved it loved it loved it. I loved it so much that I started a blog about destination weddings, to help other couples have the time of their lives… A destination wedding in places like Madeira is an unforgettable adventure! Not only for you, but also for your guests. A wedding abroad is not only about the half-hour wedding ceremony. It turns into a wedding weekend, or wedding week, together with your loved ones. The decision to get married abroad is a great opportunity to give everyone an excuse for a wonderful holiday, great adventure and wonderful moments together.

    I still smile when I think about my wedding adventure – not only about the short wedding ceremony in Funchal, but about all the trips we took together…. All the late dinners and Poncha drunk in local Poncha bars with our friends and family, who came from all over the world to be there especially for us. It was a busy, intensive and unforgettable week…

    And it was also much cheaper than organizing a wedding back home in the Netherlands.
    I definitely recommend elopements and destination weddings.


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