A destination wedding sounds such a wonderful idea – and it is!
It’s an exciting prospect. Sun, blue skies, the sea, the works … Why wouldn’t you go weak at the knees at such a dream?
However, it is easy to forget that there are a few practicalities to take into account.
I don’t claim to be a travel agent. They are the experts in this field. However, I can start you off with a few givens that you will need to consider: flights, access to the wedding venue, guests, accommodation, catering, and so on. Not to mention budget or destination preferences. But I defer to the experts here.
Where I am much more experienced, as a professional Civil Celebrant, is the ceremony itself. If you’re going to travel miles to marry in an idyllic or significant spot for you, you’re not going to want the ceremony to be an anti-climax or disappointment.
There are various options open to you:
- There may well be a celebrant on the spot that you can use. The hotel can often supply one. How good they will be is open to question. You won’t have met them before, so they’ll conduct the ceremony of their choice (standard for everyone, with just the names changed) and there may be no rapport between you. There may be language difficulties too. Of course, they may be professional enough, but using one can constitute quite a gamble.
- You can take a celebrant from the UK along with you. When you’re buying the flights for your family and friends, you add the celebrant’s fare, and pay for a night’s accommodation (or two, if the return flight isn’t convenient), transfers and meals. The advantage of this is that you will have worked with them in the UK and prepared exactly the service you want, which they will conduct for you. They are professionals. You can relax.
- One of the bridal party may be able to conduct the ceremony for you. You’ll save money that way, but will this officiant do a good job? Most people are not naturals at presenting. They are unlikely to be able to reach the standard of a professional civil celebrant. They may want to help you out, but they may be much happier enjoying the ceremony as a bystander, rather than having to endure stress.
Whichever of the above options you prefer, what about the friends and family you cannot take with you, but who would love to celebrate with you and share your happiness? Have you thought of having a wedding blessing (call it what you will) when you return to the UK? You can book the venue of your choice, the bride can still wear white, you can have bridesmaids, a best man and a procession, the tone will be as formal as you want, you may include ritual (religious or not), you can hold a certificate-signing photo-opportunity – in short, the whole ceremony can, to all intents and purposes, be a full wedding.
So consider what is important to you. Some will be happy to be married by an Elvis lookalike in Las Vegas; others will want something more serious. It’s all good, as long as you get what you want.
But if you’re looking for a memorable, meaningful ceremony – whether at your destination or in the UK afterwards – think about using a civil celebrant . With their advice and guidance, you can enjoy that unique ceremony that reflects your personalities and beliefs, and which will be everything that you want it to be.
Do contact Michael (+44 (0)7931 538487) to discuss this further.