A Caribbean Wedding Do's and Don'ts Before The I Do's
Getting Married Abroad? A Must Read for All Brides to Be
Getting married abroad is the perfect wedding. Romantic, idyllic and not stressful at all. In fact choosing to get married abroad you may think it takes immense planning, but it is actually very easy to organize and doesn't need to be complicated, or stressful. You just want your special day to be the most wonderful, memorable, day of your lives. And it can be!
This page is written for you if are thinking of getting married abroad. Or perhaps you have already booked your dream wedding in the Caribbean Islands. Maybe you are about to set off for your Caribbean wedding and just want to know what to expect.
Are you starting to get nervous, wondering if you have everything organized to take on the journey to your new beginning? After all you are actually taking your wedding in a suitcase, so you have a lot to pack. Are you worried about keeping to the weight allowance of your airline? Well relax, and take some time out from your pre-wedding stress and read this humorous take on having a wedding, written by a Caribbean bride,
who did indeed have a dream wedding abroad.
I have included some of my top tips, from my own experience, to make sure your Caribbean wedding goes without a hitch. All of us Brides, and Brides to be want that perfect wedding, and often we stress about it. My tips will help you de-stress and learn what to expect for a Caribbean Wedding.
- Image Credits: All photos on this page, unless otherwise specified, are the copyright of lisaauch.com and may NOT be copied or used anywhere else without prior permission.
Getting Married Abroad - survey
Have you been married abroad or thinking of it
Traveling Abroad For Your Wedding
Top Wedding Tips
No matter where you are going, I truly suggest from the bottom of my heart, book Premium Seats. The flight for us was nearly 10 hours, so you can imagine how nice it was just to stretch out. Move my arms and elbows about without worrying about the person next to me! Having a younger child with us meant she was also able to move around, as kids do, but not annoy anyone.
No matter how many of you are traveling, the extra comfort for your wedding trip is important. My daughter and I had great fun on that plane, can you tell? This made all the earlier stresses seem to disappear.
Top Booking Tip:
When booking your wedding if it is a wedding package, ask there and then for an upgrade, to premium, my friends recently asked this and cheekily asked was it included and did indeed get the upgraded sets, just leaving it to the day of the flight on the off chance is a bit risky.
Also ask for extra baggage allowance. This is a must!
When we decided to get married, we wanted to have our wedding abroad, just ourselves. This was because I had lost my adopted mum and dad and had a complicated family life having basically 2 families. My husband had also recently lost his father. However this wasn't to be; we didn't have a wedding by ourselves.
One of the reasons we changed our minds was because of a couple things. In a little twist of fate the date we wanted to get married on wasn't available. We had to choose another one, and ended up choosing the same day that my birth Mother and Father got married, so we felt they should be included too.
Another reason was I had a daughter from a previous relationship and we wanted to make her feel included as much as possible. Her father had gotten married, with a huge family wedding. His wedding ended as a bit of a disaster, as family get together's sometimes do. My daughter was a bit traumatised, so she was more than happy we were not having a large wedding, and it would just be us. It was also going to be her Birthday whilst we were in Jamaica, so we wanted to make time for her, a holiday. She had always dreamed of swimming with the dolphins (so had I) so It seemed natural for us to book this type of wedding / honeymoon / holiday all in one.
We went swimming with the Dolphins and Stingrays two days before our wedding. Now that was a great way to relax before the wedding! It was an awesome holiday, one I would love to repeat, wedding and all!
Vacation to Jamaica in the Caribbean Islands
To me Jamaica is the best Caribbean Island holiday vacation destination, Whatever you wish from a holiday whether to relax on the beach, swim with dolphins, ...
Relaxing before your Wedding Abroad
Another Important Tip For The Bride
If you are wearing a strapless wedding dress, don't sunbathe with your bathing suit straps tied around your neck! You don't want ugly white marks, they won't look good for your photos!
Hair Make-up and Beauty Tips on Your Caribbean holiday Wedding - .....
Some family members were a bit put out at our choice, but it was our day. My husband had just lost his father, and just could not face the day full of family you haven't seen for years, usually only at funerals or weddings, then never see again etc etc....
My big brother, decided to tag along anyway, but in hindsight I was glad he did, as even I did not foresee my brothers sudden passing this year. So it meant all the more that he actually did book up and come.
Many people want to have family with them during their wedding, or at least a few of their closest friends.
Thank goodness my brother also brought his best friend with him, a beautician. How's that for a score?
If anyone is going to tag along make sure they have skills that you require like friend who is hairdresser /beautician,
This is me getting a full make over by the pool the day before the wedding, nice one Bro bringing a beauty therapist along.
Actually on the day of the wedding we went to the hairdressers to get our hair done as a treat, it was fantastic and the service was fabulous, they do it all day getting brides ready.
Romantic Wedding Dresses For Your Caribbean Wedding - ...something simple and elegant
I did in fact take my birth Mom around the bridal shops trying on all the gowns, it was sure fun, but it gave me a good idea of what would fit, what would be easy to walk in. But always one to save money I was amazed at the selection of stunning, very reasonably priced wedding dresses online.
I wanted something long and floaty and strapless, as I knew it would be hot! I found exactly what I was looking for and at a fantastic price, I could not believe how shopping online for my wedding dress was so easy, cheaper and much more fun than I thought it would be.
I ordered a few and found no problem returning the ones I did not want.
Okay this is a biggy, as you don't want your husband to see your dress before the wedding, and you don't want to be stressed out worrying about it. I was informed I could carry my wedding dress onto the plane, and the attendants would "hang it up" for me. God knows where they were going to hang it, but that never happened. Lies, it was all lies, do not listen to the ground staff! They assured me it was better I carried it. Image after a 10 hour flight, waiting patiently in the very busy airport, and all the people who apparently just made their way over to me to specifically stand on it, I was an emotional wreck. The experience was far too stressful, and could have been avoided if I hadn't listened to them.
Just a few of my stressers at the airport were getting up and leaving it, nearly breaking my ankle falling over it, and other people standing on it (it had a long trail). Then when we got on the plane, I was stressed over my dress being pushed and crumpled into the overhead cabin above my head. These just about did me in! It didn't help that at the time I was a smoker and not being able to smoke added to the stress.
From my own experience here are what I consider the most important tips for packing your wedding dress!
- DO NOT hand carry your beautiful, expensive, Wedding Dream Dress onto the plane!
- Get a nice suitcase, preferably a hard case to pack your dress in. I suggest getting yourself a brand new, spanking funky, suitcase that will not be able to go amiss from the baggage handlers, and easy to spot on the carousel on arrival!
- Ditch the high heels This was a big mistake I made by wearing them, I kept having to stand and try to walk on my tip toes, all day! Or if you want heels, have a little pair of soft shoes to slip on for the beach photos
Shoes for Your Wedding Abroad
The Best Way To Pack For Your Wedding Abroad
perfect for packing your beautiful Dress in
Are you looking for funky luggage sets and fashionable suitcases for your wedding trip abroad?
I actually got a Hard shell suitcase and it was fabulous, for everything, I just wish I had kept the beautifully packed wedding dress in it!
Funky luggage and Fashionable Suitcases
Out with the old in with the new, there are many to choose from. ......
Suitable Scottish Wedding Attire For Men - .....cool and classy
The men loved wearing their kilts, for the biggest reason to keep them cool. the Jamaican workers who got to know us thought this was fantastic, and the guys were pulled by other guess for photos! My brother, well that night he headed off to a local disco in his "skirt" and had a fabulous time.
But in all honesty it was lovely to have all the boys in their kilts, my brother wore the family tartan and my husband wore Pride of Scotland.
Things To Do When You Arrive At Your Wedding Destination
....no not find the bar!
Once you've arrived the first thing you'll notice is the laid back attitude, which totally freaked me out by the way. Next, after you get settled in you'll want to find your way to the wedding coordinator. I was stressing at this point, "did they have all the documents? What about the flowers?", I wanted to make sure the setting was right, etc etc..but my stress was all in vain. My best advice is to follow local custom, slow down and relax! Trust them!
Your meeting with the Coordinator will probably be the only time you see them, so have all your questions ready. Honestly, you do need to put all your trust in them that your day will go smoothly. They turn over weddings every hour on the hour, so they do know what they're doing, but to make your day special, and unique, you must make these requests at the initial meeting. We wanted special music (I will discuss this later) colored ribbons, and wanted to be married in the Gazebo, not on the beach as we saw so many others do. Discuss your choice of service, traditional etc....
You will probably not meet the registrar just before the wedding, well the groom will, the bride's introduction is when she arrives to become a wife. Honestly do not panic, it will be fine.In Jamaica, you slow down man....I was a bit flustered by this at first but soon I started to relax. We had arrived one week before the wedding in order to have plenty of time to relax and enjoy each other, and get a good sun tan too, so I had time to unwind.
The Extra Touches of A Wedding Abroad: Wedding Stationary
Wedding Stationary With No Minimum to Order
The Extra Touches of A Wedding Abroad: Wedding Stationary Obviously I had no wedding invitations to send out, but I still wanted something nice to say thank you to people who sent us wedding gifts. So I got personalized cards made with our Names and Wedding date, and included a wedding picture.
The Wedding Day
I remember being in the pool at 10am, and thinking how strange it was that today was my wedding day, having a friend and my brother with me meant we could spend the day apart doing our own things, My friend and I and my daughter got ready in our room, it was such fun! with a few cocktails too.
My big Brother arrived 10 minutes before the service looking rather flushed (guess they were at the bar although deny it!)
A rare picture of me and my late brother, who thankfully did come to our wedding and able to walk me down the aisle!
The Scottish touch was brought to Jamaica that day with the boys all wearing their kilts! We certainly did bring a crowd to our wedding, all the hotel guests in our complex (mostly Americans) were standing off to my left as we walked down the path, it was really nice.
The Wedding Ceremony
I thought the ceremony was beautiful, funny in places and serious in the necessary places, the most hilarious thing was the minister could not pronounce my new married name so this caused us all to laugh hysterically as this poor man tried to pronounce a most Scottish name.
For me, it was long enough (even though it was short) as I could barely say the words, for tears! in between the giggles.
It was really that beautiful.
During the service a huge crack of thunder and lightning broke the skies, which the minister assured us was a blessing from the gods!
6 years on and still married to a wonderful man, I think he was right!
Top tip: Wear very little makeup, with the scorching sun and crying it is not a good look to have too much mascara and false eyelashes fluttering around. Do try to get your wedding later in the afternoon after the blazing heat
Not only will it be cooler but as the sun sets you can get dramatic and unique photo opportunities
Stunning Photos of Your Caribbean Wedding
Song with Special Meaning
Well we forgot our music, okay I forgot the CD! Thank goodness for technology lap tops and ipods. we wanted a Piper initially but on the island there was only one piper and he was fully booked
So we had to go with "Flower of Scotland on a CD to walk down the aisle with my brother to, and then Snow Patrol Chasing Cars, once we were married, with little bit of Bob Marley flung in to the mix to....hey mon! we are in Jamaica!
Top tip: Take a CD of your songs with special meaning and remember to take it with you, but more importantly make a back up on your Computer
Remember the traditional first dance as 'husband and wife', you will be surrounded and sharing your wedding night with the other guests.
We hadn't even thought about it, but the guests put pressure on us, and we had to get up and dance so be prepared!
Personally we loved this and it was hilarious at times, they were all great fun. and we actually made friends we still keep in contact with.
Songs with Special Meaning
What is the meaning of a song, and its lyrics? There is something special in the way that word's from a song can inspire you. It may not be the reason the so...
Wedding Abroad Photos
Try to meet your wedding photographer before, if it is a package wedding like we did you will see them around, talk to them and let them know exactly what you are wanting, special photos, where, who with etc.
And watch out for your positioning we got some great shots with the sunbeds in too! NOT!
***Mosquito and insect bites, not a good look on a bride or up a Scotsman's kilt ;-) so make sure you have plenty of my personal remedy and never failed me yet. Avon skin So soft does great for keeping your skin in top condition and keeps the little mites away too
Book your wedding receptions dinner where you want it, we chose the buffet (honestly we did, because it was wonderful and so relaxed, the waiters made a special effort an gave us the best of service too.
Yeah we raised a few eyebrows, standing in line with our plates in full wedding attire, however, boy did we have a great night!
Making it even more special and my husband was over the moon because he wanted the BBQ ribs that they only made for the buffet.
Make sure you have a good camera with you, some of the sunsets are amazing, and the days out are fantastic you don't want to miss anything.
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....and apart from these tips, getting married abroad was the best decisions of our lives, it suited all of us and was a holiday in a lifetime too. the main thing was to realize it is about relaxing, once you're in the swing of how slow and easy going Jamaican life is it is close to heaven.
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© 2012 Lisa Auch