Home Or Away?

Issue 49

White sandy beaches, turquoise seas, sun- kissed horizons all sounds utterly blissful and make the perfect backdrop for any wedding

As I write this, I am sat layered up to keep the cold from my bones, the wind is howling around the garden and the rain is battering at the windows. It’s British Summertime, it’s mid-June and we live in an era of climate change which has done away with our seasons, forgotten are the long warm summers of generations gone by, you’d have brighter, warmer and sunnier memories if you had married on Christmas Day last year. The weather is the main reason many choose to pack up and take their vows in foreign lands.

Destination weddings certainly have many positives. The world is full of beautiful places and you can achieve the wedding of your dreams wherever you wish, however you wish and find it is legally binding too. But as with everything you need to be cautious, don’t lose yourself to the excitement! Do your homework or even better still, use an independent travel advisor that guarantees a personal service but most importantly added protection. Here in the North East we have many fabulous travel experts, some are skilled in destination weddings and come highly recommended.

Now, I’ve listened to some horror stories and witnessed them too (none of my weddings I may add!). Package deals in exclusive exotic locations look beautiful in the brochure but the care and attention you are used to at home may not be present elsewhere. That secluded private beach in Mauritius you were promised for your ceremony is because it rains at 4pm everyday and whilst the sunbathers take cover in the all-inclusive pancake hut, they wheel the weddings out, more rain drenched than sun drenched. The private villa looked spectacular online with enough space for your guests positioned in a quaint little village with a chapel you can get married in turns out to be very much in need of TLC and a major health risk to boot, even the local wildlife dodges the pool. The wedding coordinator you are told will take care of everything, doesn’t exist nor does the four-tiered cake or five course banquet. I could fill a book!

But I could also tell you many fabulous tales. Destination weddings open a world of choice from very intimate romantic elopements to thrillseeking wild celebrations to the indulgence of many amazing cultures. Destination weddings capture the most unbelievable memories, some food for thought; you can get married in a helicopter flying over the Grand Canyon or head to Kruger National Park in Africa for a safari wedding. For a truly white wedding head to Lapland and take your vows under the Northern Lights or if you are already blessed with children, have Mickey and Minnie as your witnesses for a magical Disney celebration where dreams really do come true. There are endless opportunities to creating the most fantastic experience. Get it right, do your research, hire a wedding planner, use a travel counsellor and visit the location of choice (if you can) to make sure it’s not a mirage, connect, engage, get insurance, check your protection, double check and check again. You have language barriers, cultural differences, time implications, health regulations and legal restrictions all to consider.

The other reason people opt to marry overseas is to escape the big bash dramas and the never-ending guest list. It is also an effective way of managing a budget. Once you commit to your decision please do remember that some family members or close friends will not share your joy of getting married in the Ice Hotel in Norway and will decline your invitation because they can’t afford the time to jet away or simply can’t afford it. Those tense emotions you hoped to dodge are now very much at your door.

Not everyone will be happy with your choice, but it is your choice, your wedding whether it’s home or away.

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