Narelle Williams, founding director of Global Weddings, is Australia’s guru in destination weddings, and recently planned Jennifer Hawkins and Jake Hall’s dream wedding in Bali! With over 25 years experience in the travel industry Narelle’s team coordinates over 150 weddings a year overseas.
While couples often think destination weddings are a way to save costs they’re still not cheap, especially with the DIY décor trend not going anywhere. Here, Narelle weighs in with her top money-saving tips for brides planning a destination wedding:
- Pre-plan the planning: Think about every aspect of you and your guests’ travel to ensure it’s all on your to-do list and avoid unnecessary stress and costs.
- Budget for the shipping of items overseas and decide what details are important to you for the day. If it’s not worth the hassle, forget about it.
- Use Etsy to order small décor items online and take them with you.
- Use Candles instead of flowers for decoration, they’re cheaper and look extremely romantic (no one remembers the flowers anyway).
- The dress – you’ll need a special dress box to have freighted to your destination – check your dress maker to see if they have one otherwise you can discuss your boxing needs with your shipping company, give Pack & Send a try, they’ll sort out everything for you – just bring them your dress and they literally pack and send anything, anywhere. Otherwise, full service airlines will allow you to take the dress on board and hang in their business class cupboard even if you’re flying economy but you do run the risk of it getting squashed.
- For your Bonbonnieres go with something simple and inexpensive that your guests will use on holiday; try fans for the ladies and hats for the men.
- The details – The likes of Thailand, Fiji and The Cook Islands don’t specialise in crafty DIY items – no origami cranes, mason jars, fairy lights, craft or vintage stores for your finishing touches. You’ll need to think about how you’ll get the goods to your destination safe and sound if there’s more than what will fit in your suitcase.
- Shipping –Do your research and cost comparisons to decide on your shipping company now, this will come in to play with coordinating. Your other option is to carry whatever you need with you, so move those new bikinis and shoes aside to pack it all in! Or see whether checking additional bags or paying for extra weight there and back is cheaper than shipping.
- Ask your guests to take wine to the resort and pay corkage (some caterers don’t even charge it) it’ll be much cheaper than buying wine there.
- If having canapés you don’t need dessert, just serve your cake. Only 40% of people eat the dessert at a wedding overseas – they’re having too much fun dancing anyways
The images in this post are courtesy of Erin and Guy who recently returned home from their destination wedding in Cabos San Lucas, Mexico where they were joined by 40 friends and family from Canada, Australia, USA, UK and Sweden. Their personal touches and vision for the day meant everything to them. Erin said “I didn’t want to go with the cookie-cutter wedding package the resort offered and wanted the day to showcase our style. I discovered late in the process that recreating my vision would be next to impossible because of the logistics and cost of getting it all there. I had to decide which touches would make the difference and relied on friends to bring some items while Pack & Send handled all of the delicate and awkwardly shaped items that we sourced from Australia. In the end those items completely made the difference for us and for our guests.”