With one Daily Mail report suggesting that as many as a quarter of couples now marry abroad, you might be contemplating such a plan yourself – especially if you happen to be reading this on a drizzly August day in the UK.
However, planning a wedding even in the UK can be stressful enough, attempting to do the same for an overseas destination can simply rack up the pressure even more.
It can be a complicated and confusing endeavour, so here at the leading French wedding venue Château Bouffémont, we thought we would take a look at some of the things you need to consider.
First of all… sketch out your ideas
Your wedding is supposed to be one of the most special, if not the most special thing to happen to you for as long as you live, so you shouldn’t be afraid to dream big. However, it’s important to be clear with yourself about what you want from an overseas wedding.
It might be that you’re in love with the idea of getting married barefoot in the sand as part of an exotic beach ceremony, or something a little more traditional – such as a historic French chateau wedding – may be more to your taste.
Get a scrapbook together, or use a site like Pinterest to gather ideas and inspirations in one place. Keep an open mind as you pore through the images and information with your partner, so that you can decide together what kind of ‘vibe’ you want from your wedding.
Remember that a foreign country is a foreign country
It’s easy for Brits attempting to organise their dream overseas wedding to forget that the customs and legalities can be very different on foreign shores, so you will need to consider whether you, your spouse-to-be and guests will be genuinely comfortable with them.
You may not have realised that in Malta, for example, weddings only start in the late afternoon, whereas in Italy, they typically last from midday until late at night. There can also be differences in how venues operate, with some in Europe requiring you to pay for all of the alcohol for the entire day. However, the alcohol may also be much cheaper than in the UK, so you will need to account for the various ways in which matters can vary from what you are accustomed to in Britain.
Visit the venues yourself
The factor of geographical distance means you probably won’t be able to meet all of your wedding suppliers in person before committing to them. However, we would urge you to take a different approach to the venue – it really is just that important to see it ‘in the flesh’ in advance.
All that you need to do is whittle down the venues you’re considering to a manageable shortlist, and spend a weekend or two visiting each one. It’ll enable you to get a feel for the place and appreciate aspects of the venue that pictures can’t always convey.
In the process, you’ll also be able to ask the venue staff about all of those knotty aspects – like security, catering and pricing – that you would like to be informed about by an actual human being, rather than simply the venue’s website.
Before you choose to have your wedding in France at Château Bouffémont, for instance, you may want to check out for yourself our stunning property’s charming interior decor and enchanting setting in carefully manicured French gardens.
Keep the points above in mind, and you will be able to maximise your chances of landing the ideal venue for your overseas wedding, while ensuring that every other aspect of the big day goes without a hitch.