Booking an exotic place for your big day guarantees spectacular scenery, delicious food, the injection of local tradition and flair, and of course you can kick off your honeymoon straight away!
But, whether your destination is a few hours or a few time zones away, there are a few things to consider before you lock it in.
The first thing to consider is your guest list, it's fair to say that the further away you have your wedding, the more likely it is a few people won't be able to make it - for finacial or other reasons. You'll also need to consider older guests who may not be keen or able to travel to faraway places, and the rules for visiting certain countries and obtaining visas.
You can still get that faraway feeling minus the long-haul flight, with a wealth of gorgeous destinations right here in WA. Margaret River and Yallingup offer scenic vineyard or beachside locales, while up north Broome can give you that dreamy beach wedding. Further afield, there is an abundance of delightful places in Tasmania, the Whitsundays of the country regions around Melbourne and Sydney.
OUR TOP TIPS
*Be up to scratch on all local laws regarding legal and bureaucratic procedures to have all your paperwork in order.
*Be sure to take out travel insurance and cover both yours and your groom's rings.
When choosing the venue think about ease of transport from airports, road connections, language barriers, religious aspects and of course, the accommodation at different price points. It's a good idea to also consider what activities are available for your guests in the days leading up to and after the wedding, as they'll probably want to stick around to make their journey a real holiday.
THE PERFECT TIMING
Give some thought to the time of year in regards to the weather, seasonal travel variations and that destination's events calendar.
While choosing an off peak time for your big day can mean more affordable accommodation options and less tourists, it may also not be the most ideal time of year weather-wise.
Make sure you're familiar with the climate - pledging your love at an outdoor ceremony in extreme humidity may not be ideal for you or your guests! And, of course be sure to have a contingency plan should the weather be less than perfect, such as a sheltered or indoor ceremony and reception space and alternative photo spot.
Also have a look online to check if any large festivals or events are scheduled close to your day - this could mean inflated prices, less available accommodation and over crowded resorts - which is not exactly romantic.
Your guests have shown how much they love you by travelling to share your special day, so make sure you show them how much you appreciate it! A little welcome bag waiting for them when they arrive is the perfect way to do this.
Fill it with a welcome message, personalised water bottle or wines, local produce, maps of the area and maybe a season-appropriate accessory like sunscreen or a pair of thongs. It might also be nice to plan a post wedding lunch, barbecue or dinner to chat about the festivities and enjoy spending time with your guests.
LEAVE IT TO THE EXPERTS
Many resorts and hotels have comprehensive wedding packages which may include the cake, decorations, some flowers and special discounts for the bride and groom and the bridal party and/ore immediate family. Many include romantic extras for the special couple such as breakfast in bed or an intimate dinner.
If the venue you desire doesn't have a comprehensive onsite team, we recommend securing your own independent wedding planner to oversee the entire process. Make sure they are local and familiar with your venue and quality vendors, and try to pick a planner who can also style your big day so you can avoid filling your suitcase with candles and centrepieces!
Unless you're tying the knot in WA it's unlikely you'll be able to pop over to your location 'just because' or to make decisions along the way so you really need someone you can trust on the ground - be sure to do your research and hire someone you work well with. There are also specific destination wedding websites, which can organise everything for you.
© The West Australian