10 things you need to consider when planning your destination wedding.

wedding tablescape in Southern Spain

Congratulations you’ve chosen to catapult your wedding into one amazing adventure, destination wedding here you come! Celebrating your wedding day over a weekend or a week’s stay in a wonderful destination location with your family & friends is an experience you will all treasure for a life time.

Destination weddings are becoming a popular choice for couples looking to create a lasting wedding experience in a foreign land. Often drawn to the promise of sunshine, budget is also an influencing factor for couples seeking to host their wedding abroad as your guest list if often greatly reduced. Depending on exchange rates your Great British Pound can go further when heading abroad also.

The nature of a destination wedding is a slightly more relaxed event. You are choosing to opt for a different experience for your wedding day, making a break from traditions you don’t have a template to follow and are free to create your own idyllic celebration.


With no traditional path to follow where do you start?

Follow these simple 10 tips to get you going in the right direction…..


Photography Margherita Calati




Photography Mireia Cordomi

1.Guest List

Before getting carried away with the idea of heading off to Bali, Mexico or Thailand, think about who you both want to be with you on your destination wedding day. Establishing who is on your “must be there list “ is crucial to avoid disappointment & stress at this early stage. Considering your guests experience at this early stage will make for everyone being able to join in & enjoy the whole experience. If elderly relatives are on your “must be there list” considering nearer destinations with shorter flight times & milder climates is wise.



I have met very few couples who like to talk openly about budget but it is something that has to be discussed when planning a wedding and that includes a destination wedding. Fluctuating exchange rates can have an impact on your budget so it is important to keep an eye on rates especially if you are booking your wedding a couple of years in advance. Be realistic with your budget, the supplier prices certainly in Europe are similar to the UK.







Like you would for your annual holiday you need to do some research to get the most out of the experience. Thinking about the style of wedding you want will sway you to one country or another and with your “must be there list “ you will be able to consider the suitability of the destination for your entire wedding party. Make use of online resources & explore the wonderful COCO VENUES approved destination venues to get you started.






wedding venue in Italy
Photography Margherita Calati



4.Local Laws & Cultures

We are so fortunate to have so many amazing countries practically on our door step & with quick and affordable flights, France, Italy & Spain are all popular choices for destination UK brides. Europe doesn’t come as a complete culture shock, but It is still important to consider local laws & cultures. When researching your chosen destination make sure you are aware of local laws & marriage license requirements. Many couples choose to do the legal marriage license in the UK before jetting off with a blessing ceremony & celebration at their chosen venue.




With your guest list in hand you can find that dream venue. Obviously aesthetic beauty will be at the for front of your mind & all Coco venues are real beauties but when considering a destination wedding venue, it’s also important to consider the venue from your guests needs. Is it easily accessible & are there a good range of accommodation options close by are factors to consider. Visiting your chosen venue is a must ! Try and visit at the same time of year that you are planning to wed, a spring time venue visit will feel very different to an August wedding in Spain.


Aim to visit your chosen venue 3 times if you can, the initial viewing at the time of booking followed by a second to review designs, layouts, menu tastings and supplier meetings. The 3rd& final visit to walk through your planned wedding day, this can be a few days before the wedding.  



Photography Mireia Cordomi


6.Save the date

Get those save the date cards out early!

8 – 12 months before your wedding date so guests can save, book time off work and take advantage of better flight and accommodation deals. Including a list of nearby accommodation of all budget ranges is really helpful and your guests will be grateful for all the information you can give them at this stage.


Follow up with the official invite once all details are confirmed a minimum of 3 – 4 months before the wedding. Include details of any pre  & post wedding events that you have scheduled along with any dress codes so your guests can pack accordingly & also so they know what to expect in advance of the wedding.


bride in floral dress
Photography Mireia Cordomi


7.Pro Support

The most idyllic destinations can sometimes mean limited resources on the ground.  Having the help of an experienced planner is a sensible investment, someone who has supplier connections & experience to bring your vison together is a must. Don’t get caught out by language barriers or the distance between you and your idyllic venue. The professional help of a planner to support & ensure everything is where it should be on the wedding day is vital to the success of your overall experience & dream wedding abroad.


Get your self some local support !





When heading out dress shopping keep your destination at the forefront of your mind & choose a dress that is appropriate to the climate & style of your wedding. Consider the weight of the dress and the fabric, will it be comfortable & remain flattering in 40 degree heat on your wedding day ? 


Have fun dress shopping but dont forget to consider the climate at your wedding destination when you are standing in the boutique !!




two brides in Rembo styling dress
Photography Mireia Cordomi
Photography Mireia Cordomi


9.Embrace the setting

Enjoy the local magic of your chosen venue & allow your wedding style to embrace the culture & vibe of your chosen location. Make the most of local produce & regional specialities when choosing your menu, this will enhance the authenticity of your experience & be kinder on your budget.


Opt for local produce & regional specialities to give your wedding menu authenticity & better value !




10. Gifts

Your presence is a gift !

Your guests are already investing heavily in your celebration & most destination couples don’t expect guests to travel with wedding gifts. You probably won’t want to travel home with unexpected gifts either, so it is wise to include your gift expectations on the invite.


Enjoy !! Embrace & make the most of every planning moment of your destination wedding. The whole experience should be a joy from start to finish. Hope you find these tips helpful on your exciting destination wedding journey. 








Photography Margherita Calati

Thank you to our two destination photographers for these inspiring images. Ive worked with both of these lovely ladies & its always a joy !

Margherita Calati  is based in Italy & covers worldwide weddings and elopements.

Mireia Cordomi is based in Marbella, Spain & covers weddings & elopements in Spain .

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About the author

British Wedding Designer creating organic & honestly curated intimate events in the UK & Europe.