OT Wedding Wednesday: Things To Keep In Mind For Planning An International Destination Wedding

The amount of money, time, and energy that goes into making a destination wedding successful is challenging. Here are some expert tips on how to navigate wedding planning in a foreign country
Planning An International Destination Wedding
Planning a wedding is no piece of cakeWeddingNama

Every woman has imagined how their dream wedding would look like at some point in their lives. It's all gold and glitter with the big, jazzy finale and the following happily-ever-after in your head. But planning a wedding is no piece of cake. The amount of money, time, and energy that goes into making the event a success is challenging, especially when it is a destination wedding. With social media playing a huge role in influencing decisions, people who can afford to splurge are not holding back for their special day. International destination weddings are the new normal for the affluent, with places like the UAE, Azerbaijan, Thailand, and France being some of the popular choices.

"There is a lot of scrambling around for a destination wedding, even for the ones within the country," said Prakriti Kumar, a Prayagraj-based corporate professional. "For my wedding, I sourced all local vendors from the destination city, like makeup artists and photographers. It might compromise quality a little but saves the cost of flying them from elsewhere and their lodgings, etc."

Here are some expert tips on how to navigate wedding planning in a foreign country.

Selecting the Venue

Popular venues get booked quickly, so making reservations beforehand is ideal
Popular venues get booked quickly, so making reservations beforehand is idealWeddingNama

Arguably, the most important part about planning a wedding is the choice of venue. According to Devanshi Patel, Founder of Shreem Events, a luxury wedding and event planning company specialising in destination weddings and artist/entertainment curation, the venue should reflect the couple's personality. "Whether it's a beach wedding for those who love the water or a picturesque fantasy wedding in Italy for those who enjoy chilly weather. Guests appreciate the personal touch since it gives them a sense of the hosts' personalities," said Patel.

Booking in Advance

It is crucial to secure all bookings way in advance to avoid a last-minute muddle. Especially for destination weddings, popular venues get booked quickly, so making reservations beforehand is ideal. "For example, if you're eyeing a picturesque villa in Tuscany or a beachside resort in Thailand, securing your spot well in advance ensures you get your dream venue without any last-minute disappointments," said Patel.

Consider Auspicious Dates

For Hindu weddings especially, planning the ceremonies around auspicious dates is essential. As these dates are limited and highly sought after by couples, Patel recommends booking venues and services early to avoid scheduling conflicts. "This is especially important for couples who want to adhere to cultural or religious traditions." In international destinations, since there might be limited resources for authentic Indian rituals and traditions, with many people eyeing the same set of experiences, thinking well ahead is advantageous. Similarly, booking travel and accommodations ahead of time saves a lot of hassle.

Coordination with Vendors and Local Partnerships

"Coordinating with vendors across different time zones can be challenging," says Patel. She adds that communicating effectively and thorough planning are essential to smoothly managing logistics across countries. She also mentions how helpful local partnerships can be when planning a wedding abroad. "A Cannes wedding under a tight deadline was among the most challenging for us. We collaborated with the city's mayor to speed up the visa process and leveraged local tourism support. This experience taught us the importance of flexibility and the power of local partnerships in simplifying complex international events. Even small details, like expedited visas and personalised airport treatment, significantly impacted the success of the wedding."

If you're planning a wedding in Italy, consider organising wine tastings to create a memorable guest experience
If you're planning a wedding in Italy, consider organising wine tastings to create a memorable guest experienceShutterstock

Curate the Best Guest Experience

Take advantage of the region's rich cultural heritage to create a memorable guest experience, says Patel. "For instance, if you're planning a wedding in Italy, consider organising wine tastings or local culinary tours for your guests. In Thailand, you could arrange for traditional Thai dance performances or boat trips to nearby islands, adding a unique local flavour to the celebration."

Weather Contingency

Weather conditions can make or break your plans, and having room for backup is always advisable. "For example, if you're planning an outdoor ceremony in the south of France, ensure an elegant indoor option is available in case of rain or bad weather. This ensures the wedding can proceed smoothly, no matter what," recommends Patel.

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