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A Caribbean Wedding Do's and Don'ts Before The I Do's

Updated on September 7, 2014

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.

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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....

However

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?

Top Tip

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!


  1. DO NOT hand carry your beautiful, expensive, Wedding Dream Dress onto the plane!
  2. 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!
  3. 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!

Lesson learned.

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.


Caribbean wedding
Caribbean wedding

The Wedding Day

chillax

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

Wedding Music

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

Must Dos

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.


What Digital Camera is Right for Me?
So you want to buy a digital camera, but you don't know, what digital camera is right for you? Are you confused by the options of cameras available? Can I ac...


....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.

I love it when people let me know they were here, whether you are a member of Squidoo or not, please leave your message.

© 2012 Lisa Auch

Thankyou For Attending My Caribbean Wedding - So what brought you here? Are you a Bride to be, or are you looking to get Married Abroad

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    • weddingplz lm profile image

      weddingplz lm 

      4 years ago

      amazing lens very informative ideas

    • profile image

      zayeraye 

      4 years ago

      Love this! My Fiancee and myself are both Scottish and I was a bit concerned about the kilts because of the heat and I was not sure how the Caribbean would accept them, this has put my mind at ease however. Great info and great tips :-)

    • profile image

      tropicalvows 

      4 years ago

      Love all your tips and photos! I got married in Turks and Caicos in 2009 and loved every minute. The laid back attitude is so true, but also what helps to make a destination wedding less stressful! Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi We are planning on getting married in cuba & wondered how did yours go?what part was it?thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I'm planning on getting married in cuba so your advice was great!thank you! We are scottish & hubby to be was thinking of taking a kilt so your advice has helped make the decision :-)

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 

      5 years ago

      What a gorgeous wedding abroad you had Lisa! It looks like you were/are truly happy. Thank you so much for sharing your tips and ideas for having a wedding abroad.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      5 years ago from United States

      What a beautiful wedding with so many wonderful memories! I am so glad your brother was able to be there with you! You have given us all so many wonderful tips, suggestions and advice based on your own experiences. Truly wonderful! Makes me want to get remarried (to the same man, of course) just so I can have a Caribbean wedding! Oh! I completely agree about the upgraded plane seats. Makes a world of difference on those long flights! May I offer belated congratulations and well wishes for the beautiful couple!

    • LisaAuch1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa Auch 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      @bo-abo: Fantastic an dhow Beautiful it wil be in Bali too

    • bo-abo profile image

      bo-abo 

      6 years ago

      @anonymous: wow, thats wonderful. congratulation :)

      im in this november, and plan it in bali

    • LisaAuch1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa Auch 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      @KathyMcGraw2: Awh thanks Kathy!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for your tips, we are getting married in Cuba in April 2013 so its nice to read about someone else's experiences. I am so excited!!

    • aliciamaggie54 profile image

      aliciamaggie54 

      6 years ago

      Nice:) Thanks for the tips.

    • mysweetjane lm profile image

      mysweetjane lm 

      6 years ago

      bride to be looking for wedding ideas - I really like the idea of an informal beach wedding just for family and a few close friends

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 

      6 years ago from East Central Florida

      I think a Caribbean wedding is a wonderful idea!

    • MuddyMutt profile image

      MuddyMutt 

      6 years ago

      Looks like a very romantic idea!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 

      6 years ago

      OMG how amazing!!! Thanks so much for sharing this with us! Blessed!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Great tips! Wonderful reading your wedding story -- so glad you were able to be walked down the aisle by your brother. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Beautiful pictures, Beautiful Lens :) thanks for sharing

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 

      6 years ago

      Beautiful photos and sounds like a great wedding. I'm so happy for you that your brother attended. I'm sure that will always be a lasting memory.

    • profile image

      productsandreviews 

      6 years ago

      Definitely a dream!

    • profile image

      MichelleFriend 

      6 years ago

      Lovely wedding and good pics,Wish both of your a happy life!

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      One hell of a fine collection of Caribbean wedding tips!

    • alex89 lm profile image

      alex89 lm 

      6 years ago

      great lens, and congrats on your wedding! I wish you a happy life with him and your daughter

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 

      6 years ago

      Congratulation! It is so wonderful to be able to have a Caribbean wedding.

    • profile image

      vBizeso 

      6 years ago

      this is a very good lens

    • profile image

      Eliterocks 

      6 years ago

      great photos, Congrats. thanks for the lens

    • allenwebstarme profile image

      allenwebstarme 

      6 years ago

      What a beautiful lens.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      6 years ago from California

      Lisa I loved reading this. I felt like I was there too, and if I were to need to plan a Caribbean wedding your tips are right on. Besides this, your gown was beautiful, and I got a big kick out of the boys going out to the bar in their "skirts" :) Anyway, I too am happy to know that your brother was able to go, and walk you down the aisle. I know that means the world to you now. We just never know...anyway, loved your wedding vacation, you looked beautiful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      What a treat to share your caribbean wedding tips - loved the photos!

    • Shoputopian profile image

      Karnel 

      6 years ago from Lower Mainland of BC

      What a beautiful wedding...Congrats

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Your wedding abroad turned out so well. Surely, most of it is your planning.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your special day!

    • profile image

      carolperez 

      6 years ago

      Sweet Couple. I love seeing Happy Couple. Congrats! :)

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 

      6 years ago

      Neither-I just knew it would be a great article.I am still laughing over the wedding dress episode at the airport-and just thinking of you in the heels on a very hot day makes me smile

    • profile image

      MissSweety 

      6 years ago

      I married abroad, in Seychelles and it was wonderfull :)

      Congratulation for your wedding and best wishes! You were very beautiful bride!

    • RachelDillin profile image

      RachelDillin 

      6 years ago

      How beautiful! I could see renewing my vows abroad.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 

      6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Congrats on your recent wedding and best wishes to you both! Blessed!

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 

      6 years ago

      Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for sharing this special day with us, and for taking the time and effort to put together these tips. I think people have these romantic notions of what an overseas wedding would be, but they neglect the important and not-so-romantic steps necessary to actually make it happen.

      Also, I'm so glad your brother was there with you - and please accept my heartfelt sympathy for your loss.

      FINALLY... I am THRILLED that you gave up smoking! :) :*Blessed!* Kath

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 

      6 years ago

      Highly recommended lens for all who want to get married on Caribbean island :)

    • LouiseKirkpatrick profile image

      LouiseKirkpatrick 

      6 years ago from Berkshire, United Kingdom

      You looked absolutely AMAZING - sooooo beautiful :) I got married last year and my husband is Scottish, so I empathise totally with your experience of the minister struggling to pronounce your new surname - it's funny to hear the weird things that people come out with :) I understand friends and family being put out when a couple decide to get married abroad, but it's their day not anyone else's! You both look so happy at your beautiful Carribean wedding and have incredible memories to keep forever :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      This should definitely be required reading for anyone planning to travel for their wedding to the Caribbean or anywhere else. You seem to have all the bases covered and what a wonderful way to show off your own beautiful wedding. I especially appreciated your advice on transporting the gown, wearing little makeup, preventing unwanted tan lines and of course, Skin so Soft has saved many an event. Congratulations on your front page honors and the lovely purple star to shine forever here!

    • andreaberrios lm profile image

      andreaberrios lm 

      6 years ago

      Amazing and beautiful wedding!! Blessed*

    • MelissaRodgz profile image

      MelissaRodgz 

      6 years ago

      Wow. How beautiful. This was the perfect setting for a wedding.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Lovely. It looks you had a great time!

    • gatornic15 profile image

      gatornic15 

      6 years ago

      What a beautiful wedding and a very simple, but beautiful wedding dress...just my style! If I ever get married I want to get married on the beach somewhere.

    • SewingMama profile image

      SewingMama 

      6 years ago

      Beautiful wedding! Thanks for sharing!

    • DiscoverWithAndy profile image

      DiscoverWithAndy 

      6 years ago

      My girlfriend and I have been talking about weddings, and the possibility of a wedding abroad. There is something very appealing about being on a beautiful warm beach on your big day.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 

      6 years ago from Maryland

      How beautiful! I had a traditional wedding in my home town, but my brother-in-law and his wife went to Hawaii to get married...their wedding photos are so beautiful. If I ever had to do it again, this is the way I would go! Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures...so nice that your brother was able to walk you down the aisle! :) SquidAngel Blessed!

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 

      6 years ago

      I can't imagine a more perfect setting, a true wedding in paradise. I'm so glad you shared your story with us. Thank you. Blessed.

    • pcgamehardware profile image

      pcgamehardware 

      6 years ago

      Well, I'm already married, but didn't get married abroad though... the cool thing is that we got married 5 months after coming back from Jamaica and my daughter was born exactly nine months after we got back from Jamaica... Needless to say we had a great time in Jamaica... :)

      Great information and thanks for the Caribbean Wedding Tips... Liked And Blessed.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image

      RaintreeAnnie 

      6 years ago from UK

      This is lovely! What gorgeous photos and a wonderful time you had. I am so glad your brother was there with you too...Beautiful memories.....

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 

      6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      I love your wedding photos! That's such a nice idea: Caribbean wedding. You get everything: sea, beach and sun.

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 

      6 years ago

      Oh my... what a beautiful day you had. I am so happy your brother was there with you. That has got to be the most comforting memory. I loved your tips on what to do and not do and I will never believe the ground staff. lol, that bit was hysterical. Love the photos. You are beautiful. A great memory, and great page. Blessed!

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