Most couples choosing to marry abroad report their experience as being stress-free, fun, and relaxing. However, things don’t always go according to plan. Knowing the challenges you may face and how to overcome them will prepare you in handling any situation that comes your way.
Getting people to come. There will be guests who simply can’t afford to come. This makes crossing off distant relatives or ex-co-workers from your list easy, but what if your best friend is the one who can’t make it? Allowing room in your budget to pay the way for a few V.I.Ps whose attendance is paramount is an option. This could be swallowed up by the great group discounts you’ve managed to secure. For those who are absolutely unable to attend, hosting a small party back home after the wedding is another option to keep them included.
Making plans remotely. Avoiding a cookie-cutter wedding and infusing your special party with your personality can be tricky if you’re handling the details on your own. Hiring a wedding planner who is familiar with the area and can guide you through the ins and outs of venues, caterers, florists, bands, etc. can be a good option. Requesting video conferences with your vendors to “personally” explore options is a fine alternative to not being present. They can show you exactly what the flower arrangements, décor, and even meal options will look like (pity you can’t taste them!).
Travel issues. Missed or delayed flights, lost luggage, jet lag, accommodation complaints, and sickness can happen anytime. The best defense against these problems is a good attitude (if you’re short on that, money doesn’t hurt!). To minimize damages, fly on reputable airlines, schedule your flight several days before your wedding, clearly mark your luggage, and have a backup hotel in mind. Your wedding coordinator should have plenty of resources on hand to help you hurdle these obstacles.
Cultural and language differences. If you’re travelling to a place that is vastly different from your hometown, you may experience culture shock. Adjusting to new cultural norms, currency, and language might take a while. Reading up on the culture, learning a few basic conversational phrases, and memorizing the currency conversion will aide your assimilation. English is a world language and it is rare to find a resort whose staff does not speak it. If your destination is more exotic and remote, make plans with your wedding coordinator to hire an interpreter in advance.
Marrying legally. Understanding the marriage laws of the country you’re visiting is essential in avoiding legal problems before, during, or after your nuptials. Research neighborhood customs which dictate who can and can’t preside over the ceremony. The duration of your stay also determines if your wedding will be legal or not. A wedding planner who has experience planning weddings in the country you’ve decided on will easily be able to guide you through the process.
Problems can arise anywhere, anytime. Don’t let that stop you from planning the wedding of your dreams. Having a go-with-the-flow attitude is necessary in achieving a stress-free wedding you’ll remember forever.