Destination Wedding Planning Tips for Brides: Destination Weddings in Greece, Greek Island Weddings
Greek Island Wedding
Thinking of having a destination wedding? Not sure where to go?
According to Helen over at Weddings in Greece, destination weddings in Greece are becoming very popular with brides!
Find out some of the helpful tips discovered on how to make your Greek wedding a wonderful experience for all involved, and how to survive the destination wedding planning experience.
Weddings used to be all about having a small ceremony in your home town with your closest family and friends and vacationing for your honeymoon to somewhere close to home - like your local coastline.
Nowadays, more and more brides are opting to get out of the Cinderella ballgown and slip off those diamond white designer pumps and trade them in for crystal foot jewelry and flowing beach goddess gowns at a destination wedding venue.
No matter your reason for wanting to have your wedding in a remote location, it can be done any way you can imagine.
Some brides choose to have a wedding on a white sandy beach with just their fiance and themselves at sunset, or throw a huge festive event right on the beach with everyone they know.
There are even couples who go into the mountains for their special day.
A destination wedding will be one of the greatest memories you will ever have if properly planned; so find your dream wedding venue and enjoy the experience!
The tips below can help many brides in planning their destination wedding in any location, not just in Greece.
Great weather, unique landscapes, rich culture and wide open spaces create a perfect canvas to paint your wedding ceremony onto.
Be aware that some islands now bar tourists from getting married on certain Greek islands, and there are laws that forbid weddings on archaeological sites.
For example, you cannot get married at the Acropolis.
Heading to Greece
Sometimes heading to Greece or any destination prior to the wedding day is impossible for couples as they have tight budgets, work commitments, children and other commitments that pose a challenging situation when planning a wedding across the world.
That said, it is highly recommended to hire the services of a wedding planner no matter where you decide to marry if it's far away.
There are many brides who to this day swear by their decision to hire a wedding coordinator for their destination wedding, noting that it would have been a disaster otherwise.
Be sure to check out Weddings in Greece linked at the bottom of this article for more information on hiring an excellent planner for your destination wedding!
When planning your far away wedding keep in mind that it takes time to prepare for your event and any barriers that would be easier to overcome in your home country (language, familiarity with culture, how common a wedding is at the location).
Making sure you plan ahead is a must - and is so with any destination wedding!
For most destination weddings and elopements it is recommended to plan at least 12 months prior to your event.
The reason for this time frame is so that you can prepare guests, vendors and venues for the event that is coming; as well as plan your lodging and flights in a proper amount of time.
Most of all, be flexible with your wedding date. If you are flexible you have a better chance of getting deals with wedding vendors and venues that you would have otherwise missed out on.
Popular days go quickly and are usually more expensive, like Friday and Saturday - and they usually require a guaranteed spending minimum for food and drink services.
Weekday weddings can get you the same amazing service and goods, but can sometimes net you a 50% difference in your total cost!
With flexible dates you are able to access off peak season wedding deals, discounts and even freebees; a good wedding planner will have no trouble finding these for you.
Getting a wedding planner book will go far in helping you plan your destination wedding as it will assist in ensuring that things do not get out of control. You will be able to scan and send your long distance vendors your notes, while keeping them organized in one place.
My husband and I purchased Te Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer and it was definitely beneficial to planning our destination wedding. While we did not marry in Greece, being able to travel with the binder to where we did get married and have everything organized for our coordinator upon arrival was a blessing!
Budget, budget, budget!
One piece of advice given when researching with wedding planners in Greece for a destination wedding is that the biggest warning needed is mind your budget.
Foreign brides underestimate the costs of having a destination wedding and tend to miss details that would not be an issue at a local wedding until it's too late and their wedding budget is busted.
Again, can't stress this enough, having a wedding planner who is aware of the location and your budget can really put a stop to the out of control bank accounts. A local Greek wedding planner will know the best hotels, venues, restaurants, weather situations that might arise to need backup locations and will be able to provide on the spot advice and be able to make those choices that will keep your wedding from flopping.
Did you know that stocking your bar at the wedding reception with local wine and beer will cut your wedding beverage cost nearly in half? No? A local wedding planner would.
Would you consider a destination wedding?
Check out residency requirements where you plan to get married. Many countries require you to reside in a certain length of time before your ceremony.
According to the Knot, Turks and Caicos is 24 hours, and England is 7 days. France even requires you to arrive a minimum of 40 days before marrying!
Another shocking one is Spain, you cannot legally marry unless you have been resident in the country for 2 years or you are Catholic and marry in the church.
It has been stated by other sources that you must be in Greece at least 8 days before the wedding date, but this is usually the time it takes to secure and issue a Greek marriage license. If you have your own marriage license or hired a wedding planner to secure a Greek marriage license in advance, the 8 days is not always necessary.
And remember, if you marry in Greece you must stay at least 1 working day after the ceremony to register your marriage at the Greek Registry Office (Lixiarxeio). Which means if you marry on the weekend you must stay until Monday and cannot leave the island until Tuesday.
Be Part of the Fantasy
Marrying with a Greek island wedding where you are able to partake in the land of legend and myths of an amazingly rich culture is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The memories that a couple and their guests can take home with them afterward will last forever and it is no surprise that it leaves many coming back for future vacations.
Destination Wedding Extras
Aside from a Greek wedding there are many other necessary situations that must be thought out when planning to leave your local area for a wedding.
- Consider shipping any decor items to the location. Sometimes it's cheaper to pay the shipping charges and buy online than it is to buy local to the destination venue.
- It's also helpful to work with a travel agent, who can arrange travel plans and accommodations for you and your guests, as well as provide brochures and other information about your destination.
- Look into activities the locale has to offer your fiance and you prior to the wedding and to your guests around the wedding, such as hiking, skiing, snorkeling or boating.
- Don't sweat the small stuff. Sometimes the trip is just too expensive for some people and they may not be able to join you. Consider throwing a small wedding BBQ when you get home to share your joy with family and friends who could not travel.
- Send your guests save-the-date cards and information packets as early as 6-8 months in advance.
With the right planning, there is no way anyone could go wrong with a destination wedding - there are too many options to choose from!