Planning a Location Wedding
Is there a place that is very special to you and your partner? Perhaps it’s where you met, or where you took your first holiday together. Perhaps it’s a location that has a strong emotional resonance for you both. This is your wedding: you both want it to be the way you want it to be, and perhaps that will mean that your choice of location is not made on the basis of economy or convenience. ‘People who care about us will travel to be with us’, you tell yourselves, but you also have to tell yourself that it’s more complicated than that when planning a location wedding.
How difficult to get to, is your chosen location?
Unless you are fabulously wealthy and can afford to meet everyone’s expenses, you can’t just stick a pin in a map of the world and expect people to follow you there. The further away from the home territory that you choose, the fewer guests you are likely to have. Even if you give your invitees plenty of time in which to put money aside, say eighteen months, you are still asking people to forego their annual holiday, or at least cut back on it, in favour of attending your wedding. Guests with families face additional expenses and complications and elderly relatives may struggle to make the journey at all. This does not mean that a wedding in a location of your choice is out of the question, it just means that you must be realistic about who will be able to attend.
Will your marriage be legal?
It may be that you cannot be legally married in the country in which you have chosen for your wedding celebrations, this would be the case in France, for example. If this is the case, you might choose to have the official ceremony in the U.K. with a small number of guests and the main event in the location of your choice. This would mean that important guests who might be elderly could attend your marriage without having to travel far.
How much will it cost?
A location wedding imposes additional travel and accommodation costs, but it might also enable you to make savings on food and drink. Remember that all the usual wedding costs: photography, flowers etc. will need to be sourced locally, this may enable you to make further savings or your unfamiliarity with the language and culture may result in overspending. Having someone who is familiar with the local culture and language is invaluable, but even with their help, thorough research and planning are going to be essential.
The wedding party
Maid of honour, best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer, these are the people who are crucial to your ceremony, so you need to be certain that they are able to attend. You are asking these people to give up their time and entail personal expense on your behalf, so it is only right that you acknowledge their act of friendship with an appropriate gift. Give them a high-quality gift which will remind them of your wedding but also serve a practical purpose while they are travelling (some good suggestions here).