Organising a wedding abroad yourself
This means that you will look after the booking of the travel and the venue and some, or all of the facilities for the day.
DIY - a good option if..
* You want to save money
You can save the cost of employing someone by dealing directly with the hotel. You should be able to secure a good and transparent rate, plus they will not always require the balance too far in advance.
You should also have more control over room booking and allocation and get help with your honeymoon.
* You want to personalise your wedding
As you won’t be restricted by pre-determined criteria already chosen by a travel agent, you have more freedom and control to create a bespoke wedding.
* You are web savvy
There are many websites, forums and applications that can help you plan, including many that will allow you to compare travel, accommodation and supplier costs and reputations. Our advice is to use them!
* You are planning to have your wedding and reception at the same venue
This means less people to deal with and fewer logistics to manage. Almost all venues have a preferred supplier list so you don’t need to worry about sourcing local contacts yourself.
* You would struggle to trust a complete stranger to organise the biggest day of your life.
* Your fiancé wants to be involved in the planning too – organising together could be more exciting than trying to do it all yourself!
DIY - not such a good option if..
* You are worried about the insurance
Depending on how you book your travel and accommodation, going down the DIY route can leave you exposed financially should the airline or hotel go bust. You will have to pay for your airline ticket again if the company were to fail and of course you will have to pay for new tickets with a different carrier.
It is possible to ensure you don't lose out, but it will require a little research first to make sure you're covered.
The ABTA website, especially the advice in their 'consumer services' section is essential reading for any couple wanting to make sure they are protected. Click here to find out more.
Also, read the Which? guide to wedding insurance for some fantastic independent advice. There's also a useful comparison table on there to help you weigh up the pros and cons of the different policies.
* You’re short of time or you’re disorganised!
You will need time to research different venues and suppliers, contact & contract them and pay them (much as you would for a wedding in the UK).
You will also need to keep track of all the conversations and deals you have made, as well as keeping your guests updated.
* You are planning a wedding in a non-English speaking country
Although there are a growing number of translation companies in the UK offering services for foreign marriages, there is no denying that hiring a professional who can speak the lingo will help.
* Not the most ideal option if you’re after a quickie (wedding that is!)
* You don’t have regular access to the internet
Tips for organising a wedding abroad yourself:
* You're going to need a single contact at the venue to answer all your questions in advance.
Many hotels have their own in-house wedding planner. Even if they don't have an official one, find out the name of the Manager or the Events Manager. Make them your new best friend and they will do most of the work for you.
* Organising the wedding yourself doesn’t mean the same has to apply to your honeymoon.
You can always hand this over to a tour operator or travel agent (or, if you’re the traditional type, your future husband!).
* If you are happy doing all the prep but don’t want to be organizing everyone on the day itself, why not consider hiring a local wedding planner just for the occasion?
Many planners offer various tiers of service – some are happy to be brought in as an event coordinator on the day. See the Where in the World section for country-specific wedding planners.
* Use all the professional (and free) resources available to you.
Industry bodies like ABTA exist for the consumer - i.e you! Browse their fantastic website and if that doesn't answer your questions, just get in touch with them personally. Click here to have a look at their expert tips for organising a trip abroad.
* Take photo copies of your passport with you and keep them in a separate location to your passport itself (you could always scan a copy of the photo page and email it to yourself – then it's impossible to lose!).
Same goes for all your insurance documents, venue information and contacts. If you're feeling super organised, write a schedule with all these details on. Email a copy to yourself as well as popping a hard copy in your handbag.