For most people, their wedding day is one of the most important and special days in their lives. You’ve met the man or woman of your dreams and you’re planning to spend the rest of your lives with them and celebrate this commitment with your family and friends. After getting engaged, the planning of this special day can be a huge task for the couple – especially the bride to be. If you’ve both decided that you want to escape the norm of your everyday home town and celebrate this special occasion in an exotic far away location then this can bring about a completely different list of difficulties along the way.
We sat down with Elisa – who recently married her husband Michael in the most amazing wedding of their dreams in Bali – and asked her for her advice, tips and guidance on how to plan the perfect destination wedding.
Why did you and your husband decide to get married overseas?
We both come from European backgrounds and a big wedding seemed to be the inevitable. We sat down and decided we wanted to have a smaller, intimate wedding. After speaking with many couples, they all say your wedding day goes in a blink of an eye so we wanted more of a week of celebrations with our family and friends, so a destination wedding was our dream-wedding scenario.
Why did you choose Bali as the destination?
We have travelled to Bali three times before and adored the country, the people, and the food. So we thought it would be a good excuse for our family and friends to go on a holiday, where it meant not having to travel too far outside of Australia. It is also a big hot spot for family holidays so we knew it would cater to everyone’s holiday needs.
Where should a bride start when planning a wedding overseas?
Social media was my go to. I spent copious amounts of time on Instagram sourcing wedding planners, décor companies, singers, and photographers in Bali. We made a trip to Bali together not long after our engagement to initiate the planning and made numerous appointments with resorts, vendors and businesses, which made the process a lot easier especially meeting face to face. Along the way, we knew there would be a lot of emailing back and forth so it was nice to see and meet whom we would eventually be working with. We then created a website for all our guests where they could access all the details of the wedding, tips for travelling to Bali and contacts to travel agents who had expertise in arranging group bookings.
Did you have local people involved in putting together your wedding or did you have people from Adelaide come along to be a part of the day?
The resort where we held our wedding were mainly locals and they were phenomenal, they went above and beyond for all our needs. As I mentioned, I did a lot of research and picked the brains of many wedding planners so I was able to source the most well-known and professional wedding suppliers. I did however fly over a friend for make-up.
What was your favourite part about celebrating your special day overseas?
My favourite part was seeing all our family and friends enjoy a holiday overseas together. Especially those who were skeptical to travel to Bali in the first place, they were overwhelmed and thrilled by the whole experience.
Were there any problems you found along the way?
We had a bit of a hiccup with flights about six months out from our wedding with an airline, but after all the headaches it was a small factor to our wedding as the day itself went seamlessly.
There’s often a perception that guests won’t want to come to a wedding that is overseas. How did your family and friends react to their invitation?
We actually had the complete opposite reaction. I heard the average number of guests who attend a destination wedding is between 30 to 40. We ended up with over 80 and were nearly at 100 before the flight turmoil. I believe our family and friends jumped at the opportunity as I mentioned above it was an excuse to go on a holiday and for most people a holiday has not been on the cards for a very long time.
What’s the best piece of advice you have for Brides to be planning a wedding abroad?
I would say do your research and be super organised. Speak with travel agents, friends, family and other people who have had destination weddings, anything that would assist you with making the best decisions for your day. In the end, you have to be confident in your choices and have faith that the vendors and companies you select will do the best job they can possibly do and that you both have a mutual respect when working together to create your dream wedding.
Having now had your special day, if you were to go back and do it all again would you still do a destination wedding?
Honestly, I would. It was a trip of a lifetime and something people are still talking about and will continue to talk about for many years to come.
Any last advice for brides (and grooms) to be?
At the end of the day if you chose to have a local wedding, a large wedding, a small registry wedding, or even a destination wedding it is a small factor to the day itself. After all the work, stress, tears and of course many arguments it is about you and the person you are marrying and having your dearest friends and family there to witness such a momentous occasion filled with so much joy, love and happiness.
As you can see, planning a wedding overseas is not the easy way out! However, judging by Elisa and Michael’s absolutely beautiful photos all of the hard work is definitely worth it.
If you want to take the hassle out of getting all of your family and friends overseas for your special day, we can certainly help you with all of the planning and group booking requirements here at Peregrine Travel Centre SA. Contact us today and let us help you with your dream destination wedding.