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!
‘First Look’ photography is the new kid in town and it’s growing in popularity. If you’re not sure what it is or if you’ve have never heard of it, it’s that magical moment when your spouse-to-be first sets eyes on you, the beloved bride, and both your emotions come rushing out. For me, it is one of the most powerful photos taken at a wedding where I make sure I have the tissues ready! A growing trend is to have this intimate moment privately BEFORE your ceremony, with just your wedding photographer, to capture that special, candid first look between you both.
Photo credit: The Youngrens
This is something that will split most people into one camp or the other – you’ll either be blown away by the idea and be calling your wedding planner right now to make sure you include this in your wedding, or you’ll be wondering why on Earth you’d want to lose that moment when you first lock eyes coming down the aisle.
This decision is down to the both of you because that first look will take your breath away; your heart will want to explode with the overwhelming wave of love that you’re both feeling for each other in that single moment of time; you may forget to breathe, or burst into tears or simply be grinning from ear to ear. However you both react, this is one of the most intimate moments of your life together, so deciding if this moment will be before the ceremony, or as you walk down the aisle, has to be the right call for both of you.
Here’s our lowdown on the pros and cons of having a First Look photo shoot:
Throughout our lives, we regularly employ others to help us pick our way through major (and minor!) events in our lives: an estate agent to help us to buy or sell our home, a car dealership to buy or sell our car, a travel agent/website to arrange our annual holiday, delivery companies to ease the effort of getting our purchases to our door, apps to help us get the best online deals, to name just a few. We use intermediaries practically every day to help us to achieve our objectives without even thinking about it. So when it comes to your wedding, why wouldn’t you hire a wedding planner?!
Your wedding day will be one of the most elaborate events that you’ll plan in your whole life, whether it’s an elopement, a simple affair, or something larger with all the bells and whistles. Whilst most of us brides-to-be would like to think that we can do everything and organise the Wedding of the Century as well as carrying on with our already ‘bursting-at-the-seams’ lives, the reality of planning a wedding soon hits home, and for those of us dreaming of a wedding in a far-off land, it can seem like an even more daunting task.
This is when having a wedding planner for your destination wedding will very quickly make you realise that having eyes, ears and feet in the locality are not only a necessity, but a true blessing! Not only will a wedding planner be dedicated to listening to what you want for your BIG day, they’re be able to guide you through what to expect at your selected destination, the legalities of getting married abroad and all those little things that only someone living in the locality will know.
Whether you know the destination or not, having a wedding planner who lives at your chosen destination, who understands the local culture and more importantly, knows who to contact and how to get things done, means that you can have your cake and eat it – literally!
Whether you’ve planned it well in advance, or you've spontaneously decided that now is the time to pop the question, then what better way to surprise your other half than with a romantic proposal on a tropical island! Koh Tao, in the Gulf of Thailand, is the perfect place to provide you with that once-in-a-lifetime and jaw-droppingly beautiful backdrop to your proposal.
Here we’ve put together a list of ideas for proposing on Koh Tao, or on any tiny island – wherever that may be!
Feeling adventurous and don’t mind a bit of a hike? Koh Tao enjoys some of the most stunning views in the world, so why not take advantage of them and make your proposal and the obligatory proposal selfies as breathtaking as the vista.
We’ve written all sorts of blogs to help you with your destination wedding to Koh Tao and now we’re hitting the big topic of all weddings…the dress! With so many things to think about - the style, the cut, the fabric and, of course, the weather - where does a bride even start? Well… here would be a good place!
Award-winning, couture wedding dress designer James Steward has kindly provided us with some simple guidelines to help you, our Forever Lovestruck brides, think of every eventuality and to ensure that your dress is simply perfect for your tropical island destination wedding.
When my friend asked me to be her Maid of Honour (and only bridesmaid), I was delighted…and terrified! What did I have to do? What would the bride’s expectations of me be? What would the rest of the guests expect of me? OMG…I had to organise the Hen Party! My biggest concern was that it was a destination wedding, so I wouldn’t be able to check things out in person beforehand. As with the majority of destination weddings, it’s pretty normal that most of the guests won’t have been to the destination, so for them it was going to be a great holiday with the added bonus of a wedding. For the wedding party, it’s also going to be super exciting, but there will be a number of additional steps that they’ll need to plan for as they may not be personally familiar with the location, or know what to expect regarding the local culture.
I was lucky – I had previously lived at the destination and the bride, groom and most of the guests were still residing there; so at least I knew what to expect, but I was now living in the UK…!! How was I going to be a supportive bridesmaid from a distance? As it turned out, it didn’t really make any difference – it’s not uncommon for brides and their bridesmaids to live in different parts of the country; so just like them, we messaged, Pinterested and WhatsApp called…a lot!