6 Things To Consider When Planning A Luxury Destination Wedding


More and more couples are choosing to say “I do” in exotic locations, creating memories that will last a lifetime. But before you start imagining yourself walking down the aisle on a white sandy beach or exchanging vows in an opulent villa overlooking the mountains, there are some important things to consider when planning your luxury wedding abroad.

With extensive experience planning destination weddings, we know the five essential factors that will help ensure your destination wedding is everything you’ve ever dreamed of – from selecting the perfect location to making sure your guests are taken care of, whilst the mistakes to avoid. So grab a glass of champagne and let’s dive into the world of luxury weddings abroad.

Bride and groom kissing on beach

Why Couples Opt For Luxury Destination Weddings

The allure of luxury weddings abroad is undeniable. It’s a chance for couples to escape the traditional wedding norms and create a truly unique and unforgettable experience for themselves and their guests. One of the main reasons people opt for luxury weddings abroad is the opportunity to combine their nuptials with a stunning vacation. Imagine exchanging vows on a private island in the Caribbean or having an intimate ceremony in an ancient castle nestled in the hills of Tuscany. These picturesque locations not only provide a breathtaking backdrop but also offer endless possibilities for post-wedding adventures.

Another reason couples choose destination weddings is to create lasting memories with their loved ones. By inviting family and friends to join them in a beautiful location, they can turn their special day into an extended celebration filled with love, laughter, and shared experiences. Plus, it gives everyone an excuse to take time off work and indulge in some well-deserved relaxation.

For many, opting for a luxury wedding abroad is also about exclusivity and privacy. These lavish destinations often offer secluded venues where couples can exchange vows without any distractions or interruptions – just pure tranquillity surrounded by natural beauty.

6 Things To Consider When Planning A Luxury Wedding Abroad

When it comes to planning a luxury wedding abroad, there are several important factors that need to be considered. These considerations will ensure that your special day is everything you’ve dreamed of and more.

Bottle of Bollinger on a boat

1. Destination Selection

Choosing the right destination for your luxury wedding is crucial. Consider factors such as weather, accessibility, and local amenities when making your decision. Do thorough research on potential destinations and consult with a destination wedding planner who specialises in luxury weddings abroad. They will be able to provide valuable insights and help you select the perfect location for your dream wedding.

Top tip when choosing your venue – consider the season and weather in your chosen destination. For example, if you’re planning a beach wedding, make sure to avoid hurricane season in the Caribbean or monsoon season in Southeast Asia. 

Bridal Party standing in front of pool by villa

2. Luxury Wedding Venues Abroad

Look for venues that offer the perfect ambience and setting for your dream wedding. Whether it’s a beachfront villa or a luxurious hotel overlooking breathtaking landscapes, ensure that the venue aligns with your vision and can accommodate all of your guests comfortably. Consider the facilities and services offered by the venue, such as catering options, accommodation, and on-site activities. 

It’s also important to think about what you’d like to do before and after your wedding and whether the venue accommodates those activities. For example, if you plan on going on a safari or exploring the city, make sure the venue is in close proximity to these attractions. We’d always recommend booking a stay at the venue before making any final decisions to get a feel of the venue and its surroundings. 

birdseye photo of pool and villa

3. Guest Accommodation and Logistics

When planning a luxury wedding abroad, it’s essential to consider your guests’ needs. Make sure to provide them with all the necessary information and assistance to make their travel and stay as smooth as possible. There is nothing worse than guests feeling lost or confused on your special day. Consider arranging transportation to and from the venue, providing a list of recommended accommodations, and organising group activities or excursions for your guests to enjoy.

4. Legal Requirements

Familiarise yourself with the legal requirements for getting married in your chosen destination. Each country has its own set of rules regarding marriage licences, documentation, and witnesses. It’s important to ensure that all legalities are taken care of well in advance to avoid any last-minute stress or complications. Your wedding planner will be able to guide you through the legal process and make sure everything is in order for your big day. It’s essential to understand these beforehand to avoid any last-minute complications.

5. Budgeting Wisely

Luxury weddings abroad can be expensive, so it’s vital to establish a realistic budget from the start and stick to it throughout the planning process. Research costs associated with travel arrangements, accommodations, venue fees, catering services, décor elements, entertainment options, and any additional activities you wish to incorporate into your celebration. A wedding planner can help you create a budget and assist in finding cost-effective options without compromising on quality.

As a general rule of thumb, a luxury wedding usually costs around £1200 – £2000 per guest (excluding travel and accommodation costs). However, this can vary significantly depending on the destination, venue, and services chosen.

A wedding in Lake Como will be in the six-figure range with a lot of the ‘Instagram-worthy’ weddings you see there costing millions. Whereas a wedding in Bali will be significantly cheaper, but you will have to consider flights and accommodation costs for your guests. This adds another question, will you pay for these or will you expect your guests to pay for them? 

Common factors which cause your budget to spiral out of control when planning a luxury destination wedding are 1. Failing to set a realistic budget 2. Underestimating the cost of travel and accommodation for guests 3. Not researching local vendors and services and relying solely on imported options.

Luxury cake display at outdoor wedding venue

6.  Cultural Considerations

Embrace the local culture of your chosen destination by incorporating elements into your wedding ceremony or reception. This adds an authentic touch while also showing respect for local traditions.
Asking help from a cultural consultant or working closely with knowledgeable locals can provide valuable insights.

Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your Destination Wedding

At Şenel Besim Event Design, we’ve been planning UK and destination weddings for over a decade and there are common mistakes which we see time and time again when planning destination weddings.

Choosing A Wedding Location Because It’s Popular On Instagram 

It’s easy to get swept up in the allure of a stunning destination wedding location that is trending on social media. But it’s essential to consider whether the location aligns with your vision and budget because a beautiful location doesn’t always equate to a perfect wedding venue. Do your research and visit the venue before making any decisions.

Cake display table with lots of roses covering it

Setting A Short Timeline For Planning

 Destination weddings require more time for planning and coordination than local weddings. It’s essential to start the planning process at least a year in advance to allow ample time for researching, booking vendors, and dealing with any potential issues that may arise. It also means your family has more time to book their travel arrangements and take time off work.

Bride standing in front of bright blue pool

Working With Suppliers Who Aren’t Experienced With Destination Weddings 

When selecting your suppliers – such as wedding planners, photographers, and caterers – it’s important to choose those who have experience with destination weddings. They will be familiar with local customs, regulations, and logistics, making the planning process smoother and ensuring your special day runs without any hiccups. Having a team of vendors you can trust to not only bring your vision to life but also to ensure your wedding day is smooth running and stress-free is absolutely essential.  

Not Thinking About Wedding Insurance

It’s always a good idea to have wedding insurance but it’s absolutely vital when planning a destination wedding. With so many moving parts and potential risks – such as flight cancellations, natural disasters, or vendor issues – having wedding insurance can provide peace of mind and protect your investment.

Being a Little Too Controlling About Guest Activities

People kayaking through blue stream

While it’s understandable to want your guests to have a good time and make the most of their trip, it’s important not to be too controlling about their activities. 

We’d avoid the mistake of trying to predetermine every step of the wedding journey otherwise your guests will probably start to feel like a contestant on a reality TV show called “The Great Holiday Race,” with the host constantly yelling, “You have five seconds to take a selfie in front of that famous landmark!”

So instead, why not create a recommended itinerary to give them a bit of structure but also let your guests have some freedom to explore and enjoy the destination on their own terms.  

Not Thinking About Hair And Fashion For Your Chosen Location

Bride putting on earings

No heels at a beach wedding ceremony and no hair down for a windy wedding at a sky high terrace. These are the small details that can have a big impact on your wedding day. Consider the climate and terrain of your destination when choosing your hairstyle, dress, and footwear to ensure you’re comfortable and able to move freely throughout the day.

Feeling Confused And Overwhelmed About Planning A Luxury Destination Wedding? 

UK Wedding Planner

Planning a luxurious wedding is not easy, especially when you add the challenge of hosting it in a foreign country. If you find yourself feeling confused or overwhelmed with the intricacies of organising such an extravagant affair, reach out to the team here.

At Şenel Besim Event Design, we specialise in crafting unforgettable luxury destination weddings and we’re here to lend our expertise. With years of experience, we possess the intricate knowledge and skills required to transform your dream wedding into a breathtaking reality.

Rest assured that every penny you invest will be utilised to its fullest potential, ensuring that no detail is left unattended. From exquisite venues to stunning décor, we understand the importance of creating a remarkable experience that your guests will reminisce about for years to come.

Reach out to us for a complimentary consultation where our esteemed founder, Şenel, will personally guide you through every necessary step to plan the perfect celebration. With her expert guidance, you can navigate through the complexities and make informed decisions, resulting in a luxury destination wedding that truly reflects your vision and surpasses all expectations.


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