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General info about weddings abroad

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From marriage dream to dream marriage

So now you're engaged to be married, and it's your dream to celebrate your most beautiful day together with family and close friends in some - usually sunny - country.

We've been fortunate to make this happen for hundreds of couples since 2010, and we know that it's not easy for couples to find complete and accurate information on the internet.

That's why we've decided to build this website, which answers to more than 600 of the most frequently asked questions.

One of the first questions is often about budget

Of course, you can dream of inviting all of your family, friends and colleagues, but usually, that's not very realistic, nor desirable.

One of the many advantages is that marriages in another country are more private, more intimate because they're not subject to the social obligations you're facing in your home country.

As a result, the groups are usually smaller ( on average between 50 - 100 persons ) which means that you don't have to pay for guests you hardly ever see, or only needed to invite out of social obligation.

That being said, there are of course extra costs of travel and accommodation, but according to etiquette, each guest will pay for these costs himself.

Logically, also their budget is not unlimited, so the farther you decide to go, the higher the cost will be for them, and often the more days they need to take free from work.

Then there is also a huge difference in cost between countries.

France and Italy, for example, are known to be very expensive, whereas Spain is considered to be one of the countries offering the best value for your money.

So one of the first things to do is to determine your total budget, from which you then subtract the 'local' costs such as dress, jewellery, ...

What remains is your budget to spend on your most beautiful day!

Then start creating a temporary guest list, dividing persons in 'must-attend', 'desirable' and 'budget allowing'.

Now you're prepared to look at the various countries you're interested in, and do some research about the costs in each of them.

For Spain, we've made it easy for you, since our free online budget calculator will give you an immediate estimate of the total cost based on your estimated number of guests.

You can use the budget calculator several times, for example once with your 'must-attend' guest list, once more for 'must-attend' + 'desirable' guests and finally a third time for all persons on your list.

Allow for some margin, because at this point, you don't really know who will attend, nor have you chosen the venue, menu, decorations, etc, but it does give you a pretty good idea of the options within your budget.

Now it's time to talk to one or more planners

Now that you have a good idea of your budget and guest list, it's time to find the country and the person or organisation who will be able to convert your marriage dream to into a dream marriage.

Unfortunately, this is not the easiest decision, but probably it will be the most important decision.

It must be a perfect match!

Deciding on your dream country, while putting your confidence in a person or organization you really don't feel 100% comfortable with is a very bad start.

Remember, that you'll be working closely with him or her during the coming months and that you'll need to rely on him or her to translate your wishes and preferences into a workable plan that meets your expectations and budget.

What makes it even more challenging is that most couples don't, or perhaps once travel to the chosen country to visit the venues and meet the planners personally.

Last but certainly not least, anyone ours is not a profession regulated by law, so anyone can start an agency claim to be professional planners.

Fortunately, good planners will have lots of good reviews from former couples on the internet, but it's important to read them in detail because there are companies selling reviews as well.

So my advice; do your research, and then make an appointment to talk in person, preferably during a video call.

Convey your wishes and dreams to him or her, and ask yourself following questions;

  • Does he or she take the time to listen to your wishes and dreams, and does he understand them?
  • Does he or she give you detailed information and tips about them?
    After all, some of your wishes may not be realistic, either because there is no such venue, laws don't permit them, or they will exceed your budget.
    In any of these cases, it's important that he or she will tell you straight away since you don't want to enter into a contract, to hear a few weeks of months down the planning that your wishes and dreams are impossible to achieve.
  • Does he or she have photo's or video's of former marriages, showing that he or she has the venues, decorations, vendors and experience required to make your dream come true?
  • Is he or she a professional, or just doing this as a side-job?
    In the latter case, he or she may prove not to be available when you really need him to be.
  • Does he or she have the tools to make the whole process of planning, not only for you but also for your guests easy and stress-free? 
  • Did he or she give you a quotation/plan, with detailed information and price of each service, instead of a global total cost?
    This is imperative because, during the coming weeks and month of planning, you'll undoubtedly refine your plan, guests will RSVP, etc and you should not be in doubt about the resulting changes and costs in your plan. 
  • Does he or she takes care of the whole planning, taking responsibility for the whole event, or is he or she just a middle man or woman where ultimately the burden, responsibility and stress still remains on your shoulders?
  • Finally, but certainly not less important, what are the payment conditions and guarantees?

All of this may seem pretty demanding, but do you really want to take the chance with a person that does not meet all the above requirements?

Decide only when you're ready!

Some persons or organisations may pressure you to make a decision, but unless a specific venue and date is really very important to you, my advise is don't let anyone push you into a decision when you're not ready for it.

Take your time, do your homework, and when, and only when you're 100% sure that you've found the ideal combination of country-venue-planners-budget for you, decide.

And then it's finally time to actually start planning

Once the decision is made, it's time to start planning, deciding on which and when to share the info with your guests.

After all, you do want them to block the dates in their calendar as soon as possible, and ideally RSVP, but you don't want to share all the details with them, right?

They need to know, the where, when and how, so that they can start making request days off from work ( if necessary ) and make travel arrangements.

Ensure that you know what's happening by doing regular follow-ups

It only works when there is a perfect 2-way communication between you and the planners. 

When you advise them of any changes in your wishes, dream, preferences or guest list.

When he or she does a perfect follow-up of them and advises you constantly of the recent developments and status of the planning, and if necessary reminds you when some decisions or choices are due in order to avoid chosen but not ordered services or vendors no longer being available.

Make sure that you're in constant control of the total cost so that there are no surprises when it's time to pay.

If necessary, send reminders to RSVP to your guest. 
Some guests may be very late in confirming their attendance, but any changes in your guest list may influence your plan, but certainly will influence your budget.

Don't wait until the last minute to close the planning

Traditionally, the last month is always the most likely to create stress, so you want to make sure that everything is set and organised before that occurs.

At Costa Blanca Events, we close the planning approximately 6 weeks before the big day, but that does not mean that any last-minute changes are not possible. 

Of course, they are, because there may be unforeseeable changes due to a change in employment, illness, etc. 

But it does mean that the couple and their guests will make sure that the whole foreseeable planning is done so that during those last weeks, there is no need for stress.

Enjoy an unforgettable experience

And then, finally, it's time to travel, and get ready for an experience which should create lasting memories for many years to come.

And if you've chosen the perfect combination of country-venue-planners then that's exactly what will happen.

If your choice has been Spain-one of our venues-Costa Blanca Events then you can be 100% sure that we will create those long-lasting memories for you and your guests, and you'll become one of many couples who have written a 5-star review on facebook for us.

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Getting married abroad

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Weddings abroad are a totally different experience. It's not just one day.
The experience starts as soon as you leave your home, heading for your wedding destination.

Over the years we've bundled hundreds of questions form wedding couples who considered a wedding abroad.
On this website, we've tried to answer all of them, but we're open to new questions.
If so, we'll add a topic to the website, so that future wedding couples can get even more answers.
 

Related pages on our site or useful links to other sites :

Best places to get married in Spain (page 34-02)
I want to talk to a wedding planner (page 23-01)
I would like to visit the venues (page 24-01)
Getting married in Spain (page 32-01)
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