Earlier today I posted a deep dive into destination weddings with useful insights from Lesley at Tropical Weddings (Thailand). After years of experience and the vast knowledge of the market that Lesley has developed as a wedding planner to couple who decide to get married in Thailand, I’ve asked her to give us her key advice of what to think about when contemplating the idea of getting married abroad, that dangers and considerations should couples bear in mind and what options couples have in addition to beach weddings.

♥ What would be your top 5 tips once a couple has decided to get married abroad?

1. First and foremost, you should hire a personal wedding planner who is based at your chosen destination and can communicate clearly. Ideally, your planner should have extensive knowledge of the destination and local culture, but also firm grasp of the concept of a Western wedding.

2. Choose a location which is easily accessible and will suit your guests’ needs. Getting married in a remote island is beyond romantic, but your guests who have young children and have flown around the world for your special day, may not find it relaxing at all. It is also important to select a location which offers a good range of activities, dining, shopping and nightlife. This is why it is a good decision to choose a wedding planner based at your destination and who knows the region well, so they can advise you.

3. Consider the climate when setting your wedding date. The weather is a very important factor for a destination wedding as they are usually held outdoors. Once you have chosen a destination, research to find out the time of year which offers the most favourable weather conditions. For example, for weddings in Thailand, the period between November and March is recommended for beach weddings, with January and February being the very best choice.

4. If you plan to legally register your marriage at your destination, check in advance what documentation you should take or arrangements you need to make. In Thailand, it is quite straightforward to legalise your marriage; however, your certificate will be in Thai language, so it is advised to pay for a certified translation so you can use it in your home country.

5. Announce your wedding well in advance. Whether you are covering the expenses for your guests or not, it is still important to provide advance notice. At least six months notice is good etiquette in order for your guests to book time off work, budget for the trip and prepare passports and other documents needed, such as visas.

♥ And the pitfalls that couples should avoid when deciding to get married abroad?

The main pitfall of a destination wedding is when a close family member or friend can’t attend. Many guests may find it too financially difficult to cover expenses or take time off work, there may also be guests who can’t travel for other reasons, such as elderly relatives. This can often be a deciding factor when considering to marry abroad or at home.

♥ What trends do you see emerging with destination weddings?

Destination weddings are becoming extremely popular throughout the world. While beach weddings remain the most popular style of destination wedding, some couples are choosing more action-orientated weddings which allow them to pledge their vows while enjoying their favourite sport or activity such as rock climbing or scuba diving. Now that destination weddings are becoming so common, couples are enjoying the freedom to ditch the big expensive conventional white wedding, and choosing a style of wedding which suits them as an individual couple.

So there is a significant increase in the number of couples choosing destination weddings in countries where the large wedding was previously considered the only choice, such as Singapore for example.

Couples who contact Tropical Weddings (Thailand) often enquire about events and activities to enjoy with their guests, so destination weddings are also bringing a new type of group travel to Thailand. For example we can arrange welcome cocktail parties on the beach before the wedding and farewell sunset cruises with beach barbeques before the wedding party depart. Most couples cherish sharing this special time with close friends and family in this exotic paradise -almost as much as the wedding day itself.