It’s June and the season is well and truly upon us. The first weekend of June we enjoyed a wonderful break in Scotland, then we nipped across Lancashire and we wrapped things up with a trip to Leicester. Three ceremonies in just over two weeks!
It’s a good job that I love a good wedding!
All three were different, and distinctly different to our own destination wedding! Not least in size!
Which has got me thinking back to our own amazing nuptials, almost three years ago.
Top reasons for upping sticks and jumping on a flight!
- Leave Bridezilla at the door: The would-be stressful final week before the big event was spent lounging around on the beach and sipping on cocktails. The day itself, pre-ceremony- was spent with loved ones lounging in the pool. What could be more relaxing or better preparation?
- Quality time: At all of the weddings we’ve attended recently, what was apparent was that- due to the sheer quantity of people and the briefness of the day- the brides and grooms were only able to spend a short amount of time with each individual: even each other! At our wedding, we had a minimum of a week with all of our loved ones (something we don’t even have the luxury of in our home country), which meant that we could spend more time together, guilt-free and, with only 12 guests, we still got far more time with everyone than is usual.
- Cut out the Complications: Do we invite Aunt Beatrice? If we invite James from work, do we need to invite everyone else? How is Leanne going to cope being in the same room with her ex? At anything around £50 per head for the meal, it ain’t cheap to keep everyone happy! But don’t fear: the destination wedding is here! With the cost of flights, that friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend who you feel like you have to invite won’t be coming, and you don’t need to invite Uncle Knob-head because ‘it really is a long way to go’.
- Weather! Although flying off doesn’t guarantee you good weather, it certainly offers you better odds than staying at home (particularly for us in the UK). For instance, 2016 Wedding II was originally going to be in a beautiful bandstand at the centre of a lovely park in North-West England, but what the NW is renowned for is it’s history of being wet: for hundreds of years we were the prime location for a huge Mill industry that was reliant on rain. Sadly for the bride and groom, this was no different and the heavens well and truly opened leading up to and on the wedding day. It was still beautiful, and a miraculous dry-spell coincided with the photo shoot, but sadly the bandstand was a distant memory!
- Bang for your buck: Most resorts will offer you a free wedding package if a certain amount of rooms are booked, so despite the fact that we paid for three weeks out there and for my family to attend, our wedding still ended up a fraction of the price of the average UK wedding. It helped that I’m crafty- so was able to DIY many bits- and thrifty- so I hunted out deals, but even without that, we got a lot of bits included. For booking 5 rooms, we got a wedding planner (who sorted every last detail of our special touches); use of the gazebo and seating for the wedding; a cake (which we chose to upgrade as I wanted two tiers, but meant that we ended up with WAY too much); a bouquet and buttonhole; lights on the beach for the reception; an open bar (as it was an all-inclusive resort- we just had to pay a small surcharge for bar-staff who had been taken from their usual spot); a wedding breakfast and probably lots more besides! We also got a cheeky two-for-one as it worked as our honeymoon as well.
- Sand between my Toes: Who doesn’t want to say ‘I do’ barefoot on the beach?!
Of course, it’s not all fun and games: during the planning stages there were the usual tears, tantrums and dramas; there were close family and friends that unfortunately couldn’t be there; and we had to choose to have a long engagement of three years to allow people the time to save. It was far from plain sailing, but despite all this I wouldn’t do it any other way. In fact, I’m still desperate to do it all again (but apparently three years is too soon for a vow renewal ;))
- Pack dry shampoo (and don’t forget to take it on the day!!): this is my one big regret. Despite the fact that I’d specifically bought a mini spray, I didn’t take it down with me, and the wedding photos show it. In such heat, my forehead was running and my hair became a wet mess! So much so that after the reception, but before we went on to the club, I ended up sat in the bathroom of my parents room with my Dad blowing it dry with the hairdryer.
- Pay for a wedding videographer: the one thing that I’ve noticed at all of the weddings that we’ve attended is an absence of someone videoing the event. As a kid and even now, one of my favourite things to do was watch my parents wedding video. Seeing my late-Grandfather and hearing a voice long-forgotten are very special for me, and seeing the different music, fashions and my parents as ‘people’ pre-me is a lot of fun too. I know that my own will be just as special as time passes and even now it’s amazing to relive one of the best times of my life. How can you put a price on that?
- Add in personal, home-made touches: At our own wedding and the ones that we’ve attended, the best aspects are the unique and individual touches that were added in. Whether it be vows or readings or decorations, they all go towards making it extra-special.