If you’re reading this blog, chances are you said “Yes!” to THE big question over the holiday period. You’ve celebrated in style with your nearest and dearest, you can’t stop looking at your engagement ring and you’re completely loved up.
With the festivities over and the New Year resolutions in place, it’s time to gently bring yourself back down to earth and address the serious business of getting organised! But before you dive headlong into planning your wedding, just stop for a moment. Whilst many of us have at least thought about (if not completely planned) our dream wedding from when we were little, do consider your fiancé and their dreams for their BIG day as well!
Photo credit: Weerayut Janthai
So first things first, sit down with your SO and have a real and meaningful discussion with them. A wedding is about two people and you both need to be open and honest about your expectations not only of your wedding day, but also your ensuing marriage; after all that’s the important bit. Communication is key to any relationship, so kick start this next phase of yours with a no-holds bar discussion so that you’re both singing from the same song sheet.
Next, start discussing roughly when you want to get married. Do you have a particular season or destination you’d prefer? Are there any dates in your lives that you’d rather avoid? Also take into account any family or friends’ events coming up in the next couple of years – their weddings, big birthdays, special anniversaries, holidays and baby arrival dates. Don’t forget to check with each other if there are any annual family traditions that you need to avoid as well.
Of course, you can’t plan for everything, but by factoring in all the things you’re pretty sure about, you’re more likely to find a date that suits, with a minimum of fuss. Do try to be flexible with your preferred date as you still need to factor in venue availability; have a couple of alternative dates to give yourself the best possible chance of getting you and your nearest and dearests all together at the venue of your choice.
If you know you’re planning on a destination wedding, check out the public or religious holidays for that country as your chosen time of year may clash with a big festival or a popular holiday time that may impact your finances, as well as your choice of venue and vendors.
Our lovely couple, Jiajing and Xinxin tying the knot in paradise
You then need to decide how much you’re willing to spend on your wedding. Do some initial research to get an idea of the budget you’ll need to finance your wedding. Be realistic about how much you’re both able to spend – don’t forget that whilst your wedding day is a key milestone in your life, it is just one day.
Financing your wedding will vary by couple: the bride’s family, the groom’s family, contributions from both families, you and your partner alone, or perhaps a loan of some sort. Talking money with loved ones can be tricky. Don’t automatically assume that the bride’s family will be footing the bill – times have changed. If your parents or other family members are contributing, it’s usual that they’ll tell you straight away (if they haven’t already). If you find yourself in the situation of having to ask if they’re planning on contributing, whilst you may feel awkward, it’s better you know now, rather than find out later on that you’ve got a shortfall in your budget.
It’s at this point that many couples look into the option of employing a wedding planner. Let me guess – your first thought is that this is just an extra cost – think again! Using a wedding planner, whose sole job is to plan weddings, will help to focus your vision and, more importantly, will save you time and money.
White and greenery table setting, Monkey Flower Villas, Koh Tao
Check out a couple of wedding planners in your chosen locality as they’ll be better positioned to provide you with inside knowledge on your chosen venue or destination. Select the one who responds to your questions directly, makes practical and sensible suggestions and who immediately gets you and your vision for your wedding day. Go with your gut – your wedding planner is going to be your new best friend!
Overall, what we’re really trying to say here is that communication is paramount; have that key conversation with your other half early on in the process, so that you both know what you’d like and what you definitely don’t want for your BIG day and for your marriage. Check out and agree a date for your wedding, but don’t be surprised if you end up changing it. Get your budget secured, and be realistic about what you can achieve with it and stick to it!
Nikki and Jeff travelling in style! Koh Tao Elopement - Photo credit: Aidan Dockery Photography
Finally, do remember to take the time to enjoy your engagement, your love for one another, and try not to get too lost in the wedding plans!
If you are considering a destination wedding in Thailand, download our FREE GUIDE full of hints and tips to help you on your planning journey!
Today’s weddings are more and more a reflection of you and your style, rather than simply conforming to what used to be traditionally expected. Whether you want go all out with a theme, or just want to add a little bit of flare here and there, check out our top tips on how you can make your wedding stand out from the crowd.
1. The Dress
There are some stunning alternative wedding dresses readily available on the market and many brides are starting to play with colour by experimenting with blush tones.
Dress: Chantel Lauren Designs
Photo credit: Tyler Rye Photography
Following on from our previous Blog “Should You Consider an Elopement Wedding”, we wanted to share our top Dos and Don’ts for elopement weddings because, let’s face it, there are going to be those within our inner circle of family and friends that would prefer you to marry at home; however, there are also going to be those that’ll be so excited to join you on your destination wedding, if you’ve decided to invite along a limited number of those you love to share your day with you.
1. Do have a Reveal Plan
Whether it’s before or after your BIG day, telling your family and your closest friends personally will go a long way to saving hurt feelings and getting them on board. Make sure you’ve planned what you’re going to say and ensure you’re both in agreement. You don’t have to explain yourselves, but consider their feelings when they realise that they may be missing out on seeing you on such an important day
2. Hire a Local Wedding Planner
Photo credit: Duke Photography
Deciding who to invite to your wedding is difficult and even more so for a destination wedding.
We are here to help! Our latest blog is designed to help you make those all important invitation decisions. Though it's not always so cut and dry; it may go some way to help you decide who to invite abroad and who to celebrate with at your pre or post-wedding bash at home.
To elope or not to elope? That is the question! There are so many options for weddings nowadays, from the full traditional shebang to the local Registrar or City Hall to getting hitched in your favourite field with a celebrant. However for some of us, we’ve realised that we’re hankering for something else, which, after much discussion, unfolds into an elopement wedding.
This option no longer means disappearing off to marry in secret, without a word to anyone. There are pros and cons to any wedding, whether you’re at home surrounded by family and friends, or it’s a spur-of-the-moment decision; but in reality most ‘elopement’ weddings aren’t spur of the moment at all.
Photo credit: Lauren Fair Photography
Elopement weddings have become ever more popular for a variety of reasons. The most obvious one is that the costs involved are a lot less than a big wedding, thus enabling you to really get everything that your heart desires. They enable you, as the couple, to focus on what’s really important to you, i.e. each other. It’s also a way to cut down on the number of guests; elopement can mean a small number of guests, rather than just the two of you.
For those of us with wanderlust, combining a wedding and a dream destination is what it’s all about. What better way to celebrate your new life together than combining the trip of a life time with the love of your life! And of course, don’t forget that fabulous party when you get back home so that you can celebrate your nuptials with your nearest and dearest.
I’ve known a number of couples who’ve ‘eloped’ and only one was a real spur-of-the-moment affair - a Las Vegas wedding where they drove up to the chapel in the morning and decided if it felt like the right thing to do - they did! The rest of them needed planning in advance: a beach-side ceremony in the Caribbean combined with a two week honeymoon, an intimate wedding with both sets of parents in Mauritius; another Vegas wedding mid-way through a six month round-the-world trip; even a couple living in Thailand who ‘eloped’ to New Zealand for their wedding so that immediate family living in Australia and New Zealand could attend. All of them required planning, and, for sure, a local wedding planner will pay dividends to help you create the perfect ‘I do’ day. Hiring a wedding planner means you won’t forget something crucial, like the wedding meal - yes, this really did happen, and a family feast from McDonalds was the result!