More and more people are choosing destination weddings and there are plenty of reasons why couples can have the day of their dreams overseas.
When couples decide to get married, one of the first things they are likely to do is book the wedding venue. After all, if they have not set a date and decided where to hold the ceremony, they cannot send out wedding invitations and start making other arrangements for flowers, decorations and transport.
While churches, hotels and country houses are likely to be top of the list for many brides and grooms-to-be, the range of options is becoming increasingly varied as people become more adventurous and look for unique and unusual places to tie the knot.
One way to make a wedding a truly memorable occasion could be to combine it with a holiday and tie the knot aboard.
This has many advantages for couples, as while the average cost of a ceremony, reception and all the trimmings has risen to around £20,000 in the UK, it can often be much cheaper overseas.
If they can save money on other areas of the event, such as the wedding venue, catering or alcohol, the bride will not have to compromise on her wedding dress and the groom can still arrive at the venue in style in a vintage car if he chooses.
However, as Cathy Howes, deputy editor of You & Your Wedding magazine, points out, nuptials that take place overseas are only cheaper depending on where the couple goes and how many guests they decide to take with them.
“Cyprus, Italy and Greece are very popular — in which case you can save money, especially if guests pay for their own flight/accommodation costs and stay on for a mini holiday,” she explained.
But if the couple are paying for everyone themselves, they should remember that “guests are one of your sliding costs — the more you have, the more expensive it becomes wherever you get married”, Ms Howes said.
Couples will also have to take into account that many of their friends and family may not have the funds to fly out and join them for their celebration. One solution to this problem could be to hold another reception party when they return to the UK so that everyone can toast the newlyweds together.
It does seem as though the promise of saving a few pennies is appealing to more and more people, as Ms Howes pointed out that 15 per cent of brides and grooms are now choosing destination weddings, although often for slightly different reasons.
“There are plenty of couples who go for the low-key wedding in Europe with small numbers, say ten to 20 guests,” she added.
Wherever the bride and groom decide to exchange their vows, they will still have plenty to organise and this may certainly take more effort if the ceremony is taking place in a foreign country.
However, if guaranteed sun and saying “I do” on a beautiful beach appeals, then there is no reason why people should not embrace the idea of a destination wedding.