For many years the average couple only had two locations to get married, the local church or local registry office. Now you can still get married in these places but you can also have the ceremony at a hotel and the registrar will attend to administer the service. Or you can go abroad to get married and invite your guests to come with you.
A church wedding was the traditional way to get married for couples but divorced couples could only remarry at a registry office. Today there are as many couples choosing to have their ceremony and reception at a hotel venue as there are couples marrying in church with their reception at a local hotel or suitable location.
There are also a growing number of couples choosing to marry in beautiful foreign locations with the added bonus of staying at their exotic location for their honeymoon. Also their guests have the opportunity to stay on and treat it as a holiday.
Most weddings abroad are booked in warm climates to take advantage of the all year round sunshine. The two most popular locations are the Mediterranean and the Caribbean with the Far East growing in popularity.
Today many travel operators offer wedding packages which will arrange everything from the flights, hotel, ceremony, reception, photographer, honeymoon suite, even witnesses if required. The wedding can be planned at home and then the travel wedding co-ordinator will ensure all your requirements are arranged with the resort hotel you have decided to get married in.
Choosing the country and resort are the first decisions you will have to make, once you have told friends and family that you intend to get married abroad. Although there will be a wide range of options to choose from there will be some limitations and local customs you may need to observe.
Most resort hotels offer two open air locations where the ceremony can take place. Either there is a custom build area which has been built especially for wedding ceremonies or there is an area on the beach which is set up on the day to reflect the atmosphere of a wedding ceremony.
A wedding abroad is no more expensive that a wedding at home and in fact can be cheaper. Weddings abroad generally have fewer guests which mean the reception costs are lower and your guests probably will have paid for their own travel and accommodation costs. You can always hold a second reception when you are back home for all those guests who could not attend the wedding abroad.
Some couples choose formal dress for the wedding and others choose a more relaxed style of dress for the day. This again can be a saving. If you are using the hotel for your ceremony and reception then you don’t need to hire wedding cars. Although most resort hotels charge for arranging your wedding, it is no more that a church charges to carry out the ceremony.
The main difference between a Mediterranean and Caribbean wedding is the length of time couples and their guests stay. Couples and guests attending a Mediterranean wedding will stay at the resort hotel for seven to ten days. Couples and guests attending a Caribbean wedding will normally stay for an average 14 days. This is probably due to the longer travel time to the Caribbean than to the Mediterranean.
Weddings generally take place during the first seven days of arriving at the resort hotel, which allows the couple to visit the resort wedding co-ordinator and arrange the last minute details. This also allows the couple and their guests a few days to unwind and relax before the big day. One of the nicest things that you do not have to buy when getting married abroad is the holiday atmosphere that you feel from your own guests and the other holiday makers.
Once the wedding day is over you simply move into holiday mode, and enjoy the remainder of the beautiful location and warm climate. Guests that attend a wedding abroad are generally family and close friends and what better than sharing your wedding day with them but also some time together in the days that follow enjoying a holiday together.
Over the years having attended many wedding, all of which were enjoyable, two wedding stand out as most memorable experiences as they were abroad. The first wedding which the couple arranged themselves back in 2001 after a few holidays in Florida over the years they wanted to get married near to Orlando. They found a wedding co-ordinator via the Internet and arranged their wedding via email and phone. There were six in the group and the couples new 10 month old baby and the wedding was planned for January. The ceremony took place in a registered wedding location under a pergola by a beautiful lake. The couple had their own villa and flew with one of the major tour operators and stayed for two weeks.
The second wedding abroad was at the exotic location of Cancun in Mexico in the month of June. On this occasion there were eight in the group, the happy couple, his Mum and Dad, the best man and his wife and two guests. The wedding was arranged three days after the group arrived and took place on the beach, with invited and hotel guests looking on as the minister presided over the ceremony.