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Un Marriage A L'Etranger
Destination weddings are all the rage, and for good reason: they offer couples a wider range of venues that they might find at home and allow them to personalise their big day by choosing a location or a country which has special meaning for them. Below are some pointers for choosing just the right wedding locale.
Choose a venue that is easy to get to get to
It happens all the time: people choose a gorgeous, remote, medieval castle as a wedding venue and forget to take into account the fact that it will take their guests a whole day to get there! Remember to consider logistics - ideally your wedding venue will not be far from an international airport with lots of connections. The easier it is to get there, the more guests will that will attend.
Choose a venue which offers lots of accommodation possibilities
Being able to offer your guests lots of hotel options at a wide range of prices is really vital. Some wedding venues do offer some on-site accommodation, which is great, but it depending on the size of your wedding party you might want to pre-book some rooms in the surrounding area. Plus, if you have the guests staying in hotels not far from the wedding venue you can arrange transportation for them before and or after the wedding reception so as to avoid anybody driving when they shouldn’t be!
Give your friends and family lots of notice
As soon as you have your dates set make sure to send out your Save the Date cards. Most people jump at the chance to attend a destination wedding – all they need is enough advance notice so that they can book their flights and make the necessary arrangements. In fact, as opposed to feeling “put out” because you are getting married abroad, your friends will probably thank you for giving them a good excuse to get away from it all.
Another big bonus
Another benefit to getting married abroad is that you can turn the event into an entire wedding weekend, with a get-together the night before and a brunch the day after. If you were to get married at home you probably would only see your guests on the day of the wedding, whereas a destination wedding will provide you with ample time to spend quality time with your guests. Remember: the wedding ceremony and dinner goes by in literally the blink of an eye and additional events will also allow guests an opportunity to bond with each other, definitely an added bonus when two families are going to blend together.
Choose a venue to which you have a strong affinity
I personally plan weddings in the South of France, so of course I think it is the best place in the world to get married! The couples who choose the Riviera do so for many reasons, either they have always heard about the glitz, glamour and romance of the area and want to add a special “French touch” to their wedding, or else they have family here and want to incorporate that element into the celebrations. Oftentimes people choose the Côte d’Azur because they can imagine themselves coming back in the years to come to celebrate their anniversaries. I also think that the Principality of Monaco will be getting a lot of publicity this year as a wedding venue with the nuptials of Prince Albert II and Miss Charlene Wittstock this coming June.
Frank Damgaard and his wife Grisel run Monte-Carlo Weddings, the premier full-service wedding planning company on the French Riviera.
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