Are you thinking about planning and creating your dream destination wedding in the UK, but you live abroad, for instance in Australia, Canada or Dubai?
Crossing borders, counties, countries and oceans – destination venues are becoming increasingly more popular among couples. However, for a modern wedding you need to book a venue that you can trust and has experience of working with couples who can’t pop in and just meet with the wedding co-ordinator.
If adventure is your middle name, with over seven years seamless experience of helping couples plan their destination weddings, at Hayne House we can help you say ‘I do’ here in the UK but plan it from afar.
What is a destination wedding?
A destination wedding allows you to create a dream wedding, usually in another country but can be a county e.g. if you live in Scotland but book to get married in Kent.
If you book a destination wedding, often couples will take a “minimoon” or honeymoon somewhere near to the venue. For example, if you got married at Hayne House you might choose to spend your minimoon on the Kent coast or even pop over to Northern France or go by Eurostar to Paris or Bruges
Why are destination weddings becoming more popular?
Destination weddings have become more popular, as they offer you the opportunity to hold your wedding somewhere that is special. The most important thing is that to start planning your destination wedding you need to lock down the venue.
You might choose a unique destination venue, based on the:
- Country of one of the partners – Maddie from Australia and Mark from the UK, opted to marry here for the beautiful countryside and gardens and proximity to France. For their wedding Maddie combined the most amazing orchids with stunning lilies in her hair, bouquet and table decorations – it was such a beautiful tropical wedding in the Kent Countryside.
- A specialist type of building, such as an Orangery – with thanks to Wedinspire and Coco for their specialist glass house venues and the Evening Standard which has just named us as one of the best venues to get married at in Kent
- Location of one of your parents – for instance you might live and work abroad but one of your parents lives in Kent
- Emotional significance of a location – for instance one of our Bride’s was brought to Kent as a child and had such fond memories of the area around Saltwood they couldn’t imagine marrying anywhere else
How to Plan A Destination Wedding – Top 10 secrets for booking a wedding venue in the UK
Destination wedding planning needn’t be a scary thing so to help you, we are sharing our top ten secrets for putting together your big day from afar.
- Book a wedding venue that has experience of hosting weddings where other couples lived or work in other counties.
- Book a wedding venue that offers packages as this helps keep destination weddings stress-free and simpler. Packages might include the basics, such as food (with a five-star food hygiene rating of 5), drinks, set up and take down and a honeymoon suite – but the venue might also offer upgrades on drinks packages that enables you to personalise your day, for instance you might want to add a welcome drink.
- Plan a visit. It is important to see your top three venues in person. So, we recommend you make at least one scouting trip. However, if you can’t make a trip to the venue, ask someone you can trust to go and ideally video whilst on site, and don’t forget to send in advance to the venue or give them to your visitor a list of questions that might include:
- Is the venue exclusive use?
- Is there somewhere to get ready?
- What time is last orders? Etc
- How many guests can the venue accommodate?
- Entertain your guests. Ideally your package should include some entertainment, for instance an award-winning DJ – as you are probably not going to meet them face to face so you will need to feel confident from miles away that on the night you and your friends and family will be on the dance floor making some serious shapes.
- On site accommodation. Ideally the wedding venue has accommodation for your nearest and dearest as well as good local accommodation that should include a range of hotels, Airbnb’s and traditional B&Bs.
- Recommended suppliers. Book a wedding venue that has a good list of recommended suppliers, local ones who know the area best, that have never let them down, as you will need to be reassured that you are working with suppliers who can be trusted.
- Will host extra meetings. Check that your preferred wedding venue are happy for your suppliers to come to site, will supply measurements etc when due to logistical reasons, you are unable to attend. Oh, and if you are calling or setting up skye calls, don’t forget the time differences!
- Marriage licence. Check with the venue about their licence to marry you and ask for the details of the council so that you can check what you need to do and when and what paperwork you will need e.g. passports, visas, your birth certificates etc. That way you can read up on any legal steps you need to take ahead of your big day.
- Organize shuttle service for day-of wedding. Make sure your wedding venue can provide information on getting your guests to and from their hotels, airports or train stations etc.
- Wedding Planning Resource Centre. For timings etc the best wedding venues should have an online resource centre so when your wedding team are tucked up in bed you still have access to their wedding planning toolkit
Once you have locked down your venue (and received your contract), don’t forget to:
- inform your guests as soon as you book the venue, to give them as much notice as possible to plan their journeys as they may well need to book flights, obtain passports and sort out accommodation etc
- book at translator if you don’t speak English – for a number of our weddings we have worked directly with a translator as no one spoke English
- take out wedding insurance as it will give you further peace of mind.
Do you need a Wedding Planner or Wedding Stylist for a Destination Wedding?
At some wedding venues it might be necessary to book an additional Wedding Planner but at Hayne House, with such an experienced Wedding Co-ordinating team we do not believe it is necessary as we manage and co-ordinate your whole wedding day. However, a Wedding Stylist will help you to bring together your styling or wedding theme from afar.
What is the difference between and Wedding Planner and a Stylist?
Simply put, the difference between a Wedding Planner and a Stylist is the first looks after your wedmin and the second a stylist helps you with your styling, colour and or theme. At Hayne House we believe, if your budget permits, for a destination wedding, you should consider booking one, as they will help you with the look and feel of your wedding to deliver a cohesive look by dressing your venue and bringing together all of the décor detail.
Utilise local vendors who know the venue
If you are planning a wedding from abroad, at Hayne House we have a list of recommended stylists to help you bring together your mood boards etc to help you create your beautiful vision that might include flowers, stationery, flatware and wedding props.
Hayne House Recommended Venue Styling and Hiring
Locate to Create (Read Holly’s fantastic blog for Hayne House)
The best thing for us, about you choosing a destination wedding and picking a venue that is different from your peers, is that we get to make your dream wedding abroad a reality.
Wanting to escape to the beautiful Kent Countryside for your wedding day? Book a viewing with Hayne House now.