If you’re wanting something a bit different and more intimate, a destination wedding can be a great idea. Options may have felt quite limited for weddings in the past few years, due to lockdowns and travel restrictions keeping us stuck at home. Couples were often left with just a handful of venues to pick from and a short guest list. Now that the world is regaining a sense of normality, a destination wedding is a great option, but there are some things you need to consider to ensure it’s safe and accessible.
Although most destinations are now open to visitors, there are a few that still have some restrictions in place. You should be fine with most of the more popular destinations, e.g. Italy,
Spain, etc. but some may require proof of vaccination or a negative test. There are plenty of resources online to find out the latest travel information, but this interactive map is particularly helpful. It’s a good idea to make your guests aware of any requirements early into the planning process so that they can make arrangements.
Something else to consider is offering self-testing upon entry to the venue. This has become quite common recently, with couples worrying about their wedding becoming a “super-spreader” event. It’s entirely up to you, but if you have some vulnerable or elderly guests attending, it could help to give you some peace of mind.
Local Wedding Regulations
Every country will have different rules and regulations around marriage. If you’re choosing to get married abroad, you will need to be mindful of these. It’s really important to do your research on the country you’ve chosen, as your marriage may not be legally valid if you don’t comply with their rules. Useful resources include government websites, foreign embassies or consulates.
It’s not only your destination’s rules that you have to follow, you’ll need to ensure you are still complying with your own country’s as well. For example, your destination country may allow same-sex marriage but if your home country doesn’t, unfortunately it won’t be legally recognized.
Affordability and Convenience
Your guests may have to travel which can be stressful, both financially and mentally, so it’s important to keep it as affordable and convenient as possible. One of the most expensive aspects is flying, so you may want to consider getting married in an off-peak season to ensure people can get cheaper flights. Although do try to keep it over a weekend or holiday where possible to minimize the time your guests may need to book off from work. If they can get away with only using 1-2 days of holiday, they may be more likely to commit to traveling.
Depending on your budget, you may want to consider booking out a chunk of rooms in a hotel for guests to stay at. Usually, you can either pay for these yourself or allow guests to, either way it ensures they all (or at least most) will be staying in the same place. Some people might prefer this, especially if they’re traveling on their own. It also makes getting your guests to and from the event much easier.
Safety and Accessibility
When choosing your wedding venue, make sure that it is accessible for all of your guests. Someone with a disability can have a much harder time accessing certain venues – even something as simple as moving around the room can be a struggle. We would recommend making a list of questions to ask your venue provider about the accessibility before committing to anything. Although it is your big day, it’s important to make sure that your guests are comfortable and having a good time as well.
It’s not just the venue that you should consider, the climate of the destination and the time of year that you choose to visit can have a big impact on any vulnerable or elderly guests. Temperatures higher than they are used to can be dangerous, potentially causing fatigue, dehydration or even heat stroke. If you are set on getting married in a warmer climate, perhaps consider months where the temperature is typically lower.
Finding a location that fits everyone's needs can be tricky, but it will be worth all of the stress in the end. Having your closest family and friends travel all that way to be there for you and seeing them smiling will make your day all that more special.