Tag Archives: Destination Wedding

Destination Weddings 101

Some top tips for planning a destination wedding courtesy of Valentina at planning and design studio The Stars Inside.

One of the joys of destination weddings is getting excited about the location. Whether you choose somewhere you know well, from a favourite past holiday or childhood haunt, or you embrace the new and choose a spot that you’ve been dying to see, I encourage my couples to really open that map up wide and consider all their options.

Manage your budget expectations

Some people assume destination weddings are always much cheaper, while others may think it is going to be prohibitively expensive to get married aboard. It actually depends on the location you choose and on the style of wedding you want. You might find that a particular country has very cost-effective catering and venue hire fees compared to what you’ve seen in your local area, but requires a higher-than-average investment for flowers or entertainment for example. Or perhaps the particular style of rentals you want are really tricky to find or are in higher demand, and therefore more expensive. Depending on how well your wedding vision aligns with what that country has to offer, you may need to reassess your budget or revisit what your priorities are. Spend smarter by choosing native, seasonal flowers and local ingredients and specialities where possible.

Give yourself lots of time and hire a team of professionals you trust

Destination weddings have more logistical challenges to plan for and you may also discover that the speed of communication and approach to paperwork is different to what you are used to. Have buffers for possible delays. It’s better to feel like you can go with the flow and making decisions at their natural pace, rather than like you’re constantly chasing up vendors for contracts, responses or translations. If you do find yourself with a short planning lead time, don’t panic – it’s still absolutely possible, it may simply require a little bit more flexibility and quicker decision-making.

Working with a planner that knows the area, or that is experienced with supporting couples internationally, will give you the peace of mind of knowing that every supplier will be managed and briefed, and that everything will come together seamlessly and beautifully on the day.

Become familiar with the legal bit well in advance

Make sure that you spend time researching and familiarising yourself with legal part of the marriage – even before choosing the country. Some countries will have easier, more friendly eligibility criteria for non-residents to marry there, while others may be exceptionally complicated (or may even not allow it at all). Or, you could keep your plans more flexible by doing the paper-signing legal bit locally to you, and having a symbolic (but no less meaningful!) ceremony abroad.

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Colourful Floral Rainbow Punk Wedding in Corfu

With a fun, beautiful but short ceremony overlooking Corfu, Keelin and Darren mixed a love of rainbows with a love of music to create a day that really reflected them.

The couple found wedding planner Aris Papachritou of Belli Momenti Weddings, who was instrumental in planning their destination wedding. Keelin explained, “We wanted to get married in Corfu in Greece because we had visited there when we first began dating. We had decided that if we ever got married, this was the place.  Outside of the location, I didn’t have much of a vision – until I found Aris. Once I hired him and he supported me with the locations and vendors, things really came together.”

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Make Waves: A Destination Wedding Themed Shoot with W Algarve

Perched on Southern Portugal’s iconic cliffs, minutes away from Albufeira and walking distance from three incredible beaches, W Algarve is the latest and highly anticipated addition to W Hotels, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio.

Our photo shoot team were commissioned to shoot a wedding and lifestyle editorial at the hotel and let me tell you, this was my the most incredible experience! It was such a fun (yet challenging!) adventure. Inspired by the style of the hotel itself, we were influenced by elements such as the locally made iridescent tiles which feature throughout the property, as well as the location’s striking natural scenery and local Portuguese artisans. We didn’t want to style the models in a way which would fight with the natural beauty of the hotel and region, we wanted to compliment it.

We hired five models, three from the UK and two locals, making this – by far – the biggest shoot we’ve ever done. It was such a GREAT experience and I’m totally manifesting more destination photos shoots in my future – just you try and stop me!

Here are all the wedding looks we shot, whether you’re having a destination wedding yourself or not, I hope these will inspire you for your own wedding day outfits.

LOOK ONE

Dress: Maids to Measure // Shoes: Primark // Headpiece: Saint Beth // Veil: Rock n Veil //
Suit & Shirt: Twisted Tailor // Sunglasses: Scamp and Dude // Pocket Square: Slaters // Trainers: Koi Footwear

LOOK TWO

Dress: Jeannelle L’Amour via Love in Lace Bridal // Headpiece: Wolf and Moon // Bouquet: Aimee Maxelon Art
Suit & Shirt: Twisted Tailor // Shoes: ASOS // Buttonhole: Aimee Maxelon Art // Pocket Square: Slaters
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Honeymoons on the Move

Lying on a beach or a city break are great honeymoon choices, as are action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled trips. But what if you’re looking for something in the middle; a honeymoon where you get to see and do lots of things, but you’re not falling into bed exhausted at the end of every day?

Here are some ideas for couples who want to be on the move, without the need for a potential tetanus shot!

Experience Wonder of the Seas with Royal Caribbean

Wonder of the Seas is the newest and now largest Cruise ship in the world and offers both Caribbean and Mediterranean cruise itineraries. We were lucky enough to be invited to a preview sailing to experience the ship first hand, and let me tell you it definitely has to be seen to be believed! Longer than The Shard lying down, when full, Wonder of the Seas carries 6,988 passengers and 2,300 crew.

We definitely weren’t short of things to see and do. With a vibrant Caribbean-inspired pool deck (which features 19 pools, a trio of waterslides and a kids’ aqua park), a zip line, a surf simulator, a carousel, a karaoke bar, a spa, a casino, crazy golf, a 10-story slide, a games’ arcade, an ice rink, a basketball court, a park with real trees and plants, and even an inflatable laser tag experience (which we absolutely loved!) – our only real problem as fitting it all in to our 48-hour trip!

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Married Four Times in One Week: A Retro Rockabilly Vegas Wedding Extravaganza!

When Rhiannon and Rory decided to elope in Vegas, they couldn’t really decide which ceremony option to go for – the Neon Museum, a classic chapel, a walking drive-in window or one at a vintage car show… so they did all four!

“Vegas was the inspiration in itself I think!” the bride told us. “We’ve both been to Vegas a few times separately, but this was our first visit together. Our legal ceremony was the first one, at the Neon Museum, officiated by Peachy Keen Unions (the other three were technically vow renewals). Berlynn was brilliant, and really matched our vibe. Her words were heartfelt and authentic, and we had space to both read our own vows. We’d written them on Las Vegas postcards the day before. It was windy and completely overcast, but in many ways it just added to the drama! We had no guests, just our photographer Erin Roberts, and the museum staff. They were incredibly warm and really helped to calm my nerves.”

After the ceremony and some photos, they hopped in a taxi to The Golden Tiki, a fabulous Tiki bar in Vegas followed by The Peppermill, an originally authentic 1970s neon restaurant.

Two days later, they were ready to do it all again, this time at A Little White Chapel, where you can get married while sat in a pink Cadillac. Their photographer for this day was Ashley Marie Myers. “She brought with her such a wonderful calm yet excited energy”, Rhiannon told us. “It was just what we needed, as a couple, ironically not keen on posing for pictures. I’d been worried/curious as to whether the vows would feel ‘the same’, or somehow silly, but the ceremony felt just as serious as the first one. We loved the minister’s words, and didn’t at all begrudge the awkward envelope you get handed at Vegas weddings to put your $60 dollar tip in.”

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A Low-Key Leafy Wedding in a Plant Shop

Armed with a budget of $2000, Lici and Jadon had their December wedding in Carrie Lynn’s Plant Shop, in Summerlin, Las Vegas. They didn’t have a formal reception, instead they went to the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace instead. This laid back bride wore a dress and veil which her mum found in a thrift store in Florida – she didn’t even see them in person until the morning of the wedding!

“I think getting married in a plant shop pretty much stands out within itself”, Lici told us hen we asked about their day. “When I tell people they’re usually mind-boggled, trying to picture it. I wanted something natural and I love plants, and Berlynn, our wedding planner, had the idea for Carrie Lynns!”

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Star Wars Inspired Wedding on Lake Como

Lake Como is the perfect spot for an idyllic, traditional wedding, with acres of flowers, a big white dress and hundreds of guests… except Brooke and Brandon wanted to do things their way. They explained, “We chose our venue based on Episode 2 of Star Wars. Our inspiration came from the scene where Anakin and Padme got married.”

The American couple met at a car show in Austin, Texas, and decided a destination wedding was the ideal choice for them, opting for Lake Como in Italy, as a nod to Brandon’s love of Star Wars. Planning a destination wedding in the middle of a pandemic may have presented a challenge, but Brooke told us, “We had an incredible wedding planner, honestly, everything we did and went through was easy.”

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Tropical Inspired Spanish Winter Wedding

Noemí and Iñaki met seven years ago when they were introduced by a mutual friend and have been inseparable ever since. Inspired by their love of tropical plants, geometric shapes and intense colours they worked with planner and stylist Suspiratie to create a tropical theme that worked with the existing styling of their venue.

They chose Finca Valdemora in Leon, Spain, to host their November wedding day for its’ easy yet chic, casual but elegant feel. They wanted distinct areas for the different parts of their wedding day – ceremony, cocktails, banquet and party, and based the rest of the décor around the original styling. As they don’t live nearby, they relied on their planner to take care of everything, which they said made the process much easier. “Delegating was our favourite part of wedding planning,” Noemí laughed. “We work a lot and didn’t have much time to dedicate to it, so outsourced everything.”

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Mountaintop Wedding with a Helicopter Ride & Matching ‘Budgie Smugglers’

A sunny summer beach wedding was the initial plan for Ashleigh and Wian, however after hitting a few bumps in the road, the couple decided to do things completely differently. Ashleigh told us, “The stress of having to organise every minor detail myself just wasn’t very fun, it wasn’t coming together smoothly. This is where the plans did a complete 180 and we contacted Shaken and Stirred wedding planners to help organise a winter wedding… in nine weeks! We didn’t have to worry about a thing. We just had to show up!”

The mountains held a special place in Ashleigh’s heart, so a mountaintop ceremony seemed the perfect fit. She explained, “After living in Queenstown for many years, finding my peace and serenity on the mountain tops after many a hike, and meeting my future husband there, I couldn’t think of anything more perfect than saying ‘I do’ on top of those same mountains whilst overlooking that sentimental little town. The wind was our music, and the champagne was our body warmers! But none the less, the scenery was just unforgettable for us. The sunset just starting to kick in, blue bird day, full moon, and a lake like glass. It was such a dreamy evening to be up there.”

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Issue 45: The Destination Wedding & Travel Issue, Is Now Available for Pre-Order

Price Deliver To +Shipping
£5.99 9.95
Cover Photo: Devlin Photos // Art Direction: Kat Williams // Styling: The Bijou Studio // Hair & Make-Up: Love Hair Co. // Dress: Jeannelle L’Amour via Love in Lace Bridal // Headpiece: Wolf and Moon // Location: W Algarve

I love doing photo shoots for the magazine. It is legit my favourite part of my job. It has been a dream of mine for a good few years to get commissioned to put together a wedding shoot abroad and this issue it finally happened! The fabulous people at Marriott, hired us to shoot a wedding and lifestyle editorial for their brand-new properly, W Algarve, which just opened this month.

I’ll be sharing more about the behind the scenes of the shoot itself soon, but the images are featured inside issue 45, which went on pre-sale today! Pre-ordering your copy means you’ll be one of the first to get yours when it’s released (first week of July) so hop to it and grab yours or subscribe right now.

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Glam Vintage Vegas Wedding at the Neon Graveyard

Amber and Christopher are a couple who weren’t afraid to buck tradition so an intimate wedding ceremony, held at the oh-so-cool Neon Graveyard in Las Vegas was perfect for their glam, retro inspired day them!

“We wanted a wedding that was more ‘us’ and was fun”, Amber told us. “We don’t really love dancing or the traditional wedding activities. We were married by an Elvis that we didn’t tell our guests about beforehand! We asked our guests to wear their Vegas best which included feathers, sequins and fun prints.”

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Vintage Las Vegas Elopement Meets Vietnamese Tradition

Meeting 20 minutes after ringing in the new year in 2013, Toan and Sewa decided to elope to Vegas to celebrate with a fusion of Vietnamese and American style. They took elements of traditional Vietnamese and American wedding ideas but made them work for them. “Eloping meant we got to do it our way, without the pressure of what guests may think”, the bride said.

Toan was keen to honour her roots, as well as embrace an American wedding, meaning she got two dresses to celebrate in. She explained, “One thing that was important to me was wearing a traditional red Ao Dai for my wedding. Wearing red is auspicious in my culture and we wanted to make sure our day was good vibes only. Vegas provided us a perfect venue for that. We also included the red element in our florals and instead of a traditional Vietnamese tea ceremony before the ceremony, we opted for an intimate champagne toast which is typically a western concept.”

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Snowy Colorado Elopement at Sunset with Disco Balls & Champagne

Dani and Dacari had been discussing how their big day would look for a long time. Having been together for eight years, they decided to elope because, as they told us, “The stress of figuring out how to include everything and everyone started to chip away at something that was supposed to feel like magic – elopement was the best choice that we could have made for ourselves and our union. We wanted the freedom to commit to each other in a way that felt deeply personal and private.”

The simplicity of an elopement means you can pick and choose exactly what you want (and don’t want!) included, making it deeply personal to you as a couple. Dacari and Dani continued, “The best thing about planning our wedding happened after we broke outside of the expectation of things looking a certain way. We leaned into the idea of choosing things that felt right for us and that felt like fun–and that’s when things really started to fall into place. We enjoyed picking things out and envisioning what our day would look like.”

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