Getting married abroad is one of the best ways for a bride and groom hoping to avoid the stress of wedding planning. Whether they opt for a hot and exotic getaway or a chilly historical location, tying the knot away from the home creates a sense that the ceremony and celebration is a holiday in itself.
Although a wedding in the local church parish is beautiful in its own right and opting to wed at home often provides more peace of mind for the couple by giving them more control over the event, travelling abroad simply adds that extra splash of sparkle and magic.
The only downside of a holiday wedding is the fact that couples often find they have to be selective when it comes to dishing out the wedding invitations. More than often, a bride and groom will be satisfied with just their parents, siblings and closest friends present — but that is sure to put some distant relative’s nose out of joint.
Even if money is no object, it is still considered nicer to have a more intimate ceremony and reception while abroad. The idea is to get away from everyday life and to feel comfortable and relaxed in your own skin — and bridal couture of course.
However, take Hollywood star Salma Hayek as the exception to this rule. Not content with marrying Francois Henri-Pinault once at a chic civil ceremony in Paris, the Mexican actress had a second wedding two months later in Venice, in one of the city’s oldest and most stunning buildings — La Fenice Opera House. It was at this ceremony that the couple invited some 200 guests, including A-listers Bono, Charlize Theron, Stella McCartney and Penelope Cruz.
For those who fancy a more low-key, lazy beach break than a city escape, there is nowhere better than a far-off tropical island. Take Denise van Outen for example, last week she wed Lee Mead in the Seychelles. Only the couple’s parents and closest friends were in attendance and as a result, they all enjoyed a close and relaxing celebration, not having to worry about keeping their composure in an overly formal function.
An alternative, although somewhat less exotic, is a traditional Celtic-style wedding in rural Ireland or Scotland. Take Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson for example, they tied the knot in an eerie gothic castle in County Tipperary, which provided the perfect dramatic backdrop to all their wedding photographs. When Madonna wed Guy Ritchie, they opted for a grand estate in the Scottish Highlands, for a real feeling of isolation and exclusivity.
Finally, no wedding location conversation would be complete without mentioning the anti-romance capital of the world — Las Vegas. Fair enough, most celebrity couples to have ever tied the knot at The Little White Chapel filed for divorce before the holiday was over — think Britney Spears and that guy whose name no one can remember, and Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman. But just because their trips to the desert often included getting drunk in the casino before exchanging vows, does not mean that a Las Vegas wedding spells disaster for everyone.
Wherever a bride and groom choose to pledge their life-long love to one another — whether in Timbuktu or their back garden — the most important things to consider are: Does this feel comfortable and is it right for me? Are my nearest and dearest here to share it with me? And is my other half happy too? With those questions in mind, every husband and wife-to-be is sure to make the right decision when it comes to planning the biggest day of their life.