If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you may know that around this time last year, I was under a huge amount of stress, deep in the final preparations for our wedding in Santorini on 2nd September.
Things went from bad to worse, when the already useless travel company we had the wedding booked with ended up messing things up even more and, with just a few weeks left to go, we temporarily had no wedding reception venue!
It was an absolute nightmare, and not something I ever wish to repeat, but was it all bad? Did I hate planning a wedding abroad?
I wanted to share with you my thoughts on having a destination wedding, and whether I believe it is an easier option than staying at home to get married.
Ok, so one of the main things that people say about getting married abroad is that it slashes the cost of your wedding. Although this may very well be true for some, it wasn’t the case for us. Our destination wedding cost more the double the amount I spent on my first wedding in the UK.
Although that cost did include the flights and accommodation for us and the three kids, I still think it was more costly than it would have been if we had of stayed here in England.
The Guest List
One of the things I am most upset about when it came to our wedding, was the people who didn’t make it out to Santorini, for whatever reason. We were limited in the amount of guests we were allowed due to the size of our ceremony venue, and this meant I wasn’t able to invite some people I would have liked to have.
However, keeping things intimate meant that we were able to really spend time with those who were out there with us, and it was lovely to have such a close knit wedding party.
Getting married abroad is incredible. Yes, it was very, very stressful for me, but generally speaking, saying our vows in Santorini, overlooking the caldera, is something I will never, ever forget. It was a stunning backdrop for our wedding day, and if I forget about all the drama leading up to that moment, it truly was absolutely perfect.
It wasn’t just the wedding either, we had an amazing holiday out there. Santorini is brilliant, and I really want to go back as soon as possible!
One of the main reasons we went for a wedding abroad was the *almost* guaranteed sunshine. I used to work as a wedding coordinator here in the UK, and one of the most frustrating things for couples was when they had their heart set on an outdoor ceremony, and the weather put paid to their plans at the last minute.
We flew out to Santorini right at the end of August, and the weather was in the late twenties the whole week. I think it was perfect!
The company we went with destroyed any excitement I had for our wedding before we even flew out. We had problem after problem, communication was absolutely dreadful, and they were just awful. I would never, ever recommend them, and although I am not going to ‘name and shame’ them in this blog post, I hope that other brides don’t end up being treated as badly by them as we were.
They didn’t even have the decency to apologise afterwards or offer any form of compensation for the stress they put us through. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t even hesitate when it came to recommending a wedding abroad. They tainted it for me, and I really hate them for that.
Another negative point is the photos from our wedding. Although the ones we did receive were lovely, there just aren’t many of them, and we didn’t end up having some shots taken on the day due to the wedding planner refusing to allow us to stay any longer to get them done.
My friend and bridesmaid took charge of my camera on the day, and she took some absolutely lovely shots throughout our wedding reception at the second venue, when the professional photographers had gone. I am so grateful for these photos as they are lovely and really capture the day.
We may not have a million photos to look back on, but the memories from our wedding will stay with me forever. It was an incredible experience, and I am so glad we made the decision to get married in Santorini.
The views, food, experiences and atmosphere not only during our wedding day, but throughout the week we were there made it all the more special, and I would recommend going for a destination wedding, if it is something you are contemplating. I would go back and do it all again in a heartbeat (but this time I would go with a different wedding planner!).