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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Planning a Wedding Abroad?

Thinking of heading abroad for your big day?

What is the reason?

Do you reckon it will be cheaper?

The weather?

Or is it something you have just always wanted to do?

Weddings abroad can sometimes be cheaper than in Ireland. A number of cost factors would not come into play when abroad. For example:

-          Wedding Car. This can cost anything from €200 - €800 to hire a car to bring you too and from the church, most likely you will choose a venue abroad that will cater for a ceremony on the grounds and therefore will not need a car, if you are looking at a church off the premises a car would still not cost near this amount in Spain / Portugal etc.

-          Entertainment. Bands in Ireland, well decent bands, charge anything from €1,200 - €2,500 for 3 hours playing at your wedding reception, sometimes they don’t even include a Dj after. Entertainment aboard comes at a much more reasonable rate!

-          Number of Guests. A wedding abroad (depending on the location) has a 30% - 40% decline rate where as in Ireland you’re only bound to have roughly a 6 – 8 % decline rate on your invitations.

But, this is not always the case. Some venues abroad may not have ‘all inclusive packages’ that most hotels / Venues have in Ireland. Be vigilant of this. Also, you will most definitely need a wedding planner if going abroad, their services can cost anything from €500 - €1,000 – bargain with them, everything is negotiable. Also take into consideration that in Ireland, you receive roughly 55% - 65% of the cost of your wedding back from your guests, this will unfortunately not be the case if you have your wedding abroad.

Tip: Try avoid packages that say €X for X amount of guests for 3 / 4 nights, remember all your guests will be on different schedules, source a package that excludes guests accommodation if you can (obviously just make sure yours is included!)

If it is something you have always wanted to do and if you want as many of your friends and family there as possible then choose a destination that…..

A)    ...has a Ryanair or Aer Lingus flight directly there – this gives your guests the option of flying for whatever amount of time that is plausible to them. If they have other holidays planned then they could just go for the evening of the wedding. This also makes it handy to take a possible trip over before the big day and visit the area / hotel / golf resort / castle you would like to get married in – I would highly recommend this.

B)   ... is English speaking friendly – in some parts of North Spain or the South of France the locals will not have English or they will have very little. If you are both Irish and most of your guests are Irish then this would make things a lot harder to plan for you as well as your guests.

C)    ...would be considered as a ‘Tourist Area’. And I don’t necessarily mean pick a well known place where there is a strip of bars! I just mean make sure there is more than enough accommodation options. The hotel you choose may not be within your guests budget but that doesn’t have to stop them from going, research the area and the accommodation options, let your guests know of the different apartment complexes / hotels / B&B’s in the area, it is then up to them to book it, the last thing you want is to get bogged down with booking everyone’s accommodation, especially when planning a wedding abroad!

If this is not an issue, if it is just about the two of you then the world is your oyster!


The most important thing to remember is that it is your day, you only get to do it once (well, hopefully!), do what makes you happy, if some of your friends and families can’t be there then you could always organise a small gathering when you come home! Hire a function room and have finger food and a Dj, it’s an excuse to wear your wedding dress again J or if that’s not in the budget simple section of an area in your local and invite everyone along!


Tripadvisior is your friend -

Read up on others experiences and tips -

Wedding Planners abroad are worth every penny! –

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