Beach themed weddings

Many absolutely adore heading to the seaside as a relaxing day out away from the troubles of modern life. Be it diving head first into the waves or sprawling out on your towel, it’s fair to say that we as a nation love going to the beach – we even spend money to sit on the sand abroad – but have you ever considered a seaside themed wedding?

You can’t actually get married on the beach in the UK without jumping through a few hoops. As such, it might be better to merely theme your wedding around the seaside instead, opting to exchange vows at a cliff-side stately home.

Strolling entertainment

A strolling musical act is a very popular act of all – For example you could book a strolling act comprising two guitarists and a saxophonists, the group have a pre-prepared repertoire that they hand out to guests as they stroll about your wedding venue. Like the look of a song on their sheet? Request it! A bit like a live walking jukebox. We can readily assure you that guests will not stop talking about your wedding day for many months to come!

Acoustic Band

An acoustic band is perfect for the beach because let’s face it, electronics and water don’t really mix. Or rather, they do mix a little too well and that is very dangerous for all concerned. A summer party down on the sand after your wedding ceremony might just be the order of the day and with this in mind, they can stroll around with your guests and everybody can have a marvellous time!

Mermaids

Let’s be honest, a wedding is often a somewhat magical affair and to that end, why not take it from the realm of reality by hiring a mermaid or two to swim elegantly in the waves? At first, guests won’t be totally sure of what they’ve seen but after getting a glimpse or two of the tail, we are sure they’ll absolutely love the surprise! A fascinating act that is performed by experienced aqua performers, your wedding photos will be a sight to see, keep this in mind when planning your wedding entertainment.

Ice Cream Van

What’s a trip to the seaside without an ice cream? No trip to the beach is complete without a Mr. Whippy with 99 flake or a few scoops in a cone and your wedding is the perfect timing to hand one out to everybody! With the sun beaming on your wedding day and the sea breeze cooling everybody down, an ice cream will surely make a welcome change from the bottles of fizz doing the rounds!

 

Romantic honeymoon ideas

There are many wonderful places to go on honeymoon why not make it as romantic as you can:

Make the most of your honeymoon and explore your beautiful holiday island taking you to wonderful places of interest where there are sunset bars or take a catamaran cruise, or a classic gondola. You can both experience the most beautiful sunsets in the world, together.

A romantic meal for two;

Don’t scrimp on this, enjoy fine dining and experience tastes that you have never tasted before, from a selection of both elegantly casual and formal restaurants, where service is attentive yet unimposing, where creativity and presentation of gourmet cuisine is proudly supervised with passion by the world’s most celebrated chefs.

If you don’t fancy dressing up and want to give the fine dining a miss, go bohemian and have a barefoot chic evening! From a Beach Grill, throughout the night you can have casual dining and be being served delicious local specialities and the catch of the day.

The ultimate in romance is the intimate, private dining experiences on the beach, with just tiki torches and stars twinkling down on you whilst being served by your personal attentive waiter. Combine that with your favourite cocktail, wine, or a glass of champagne while you listen to the Caribbean gently welcoming another stunning sunrise, and you’ll know you’re in paradise!

Spa treat;

And don’t forget to book a pampering day for the two of you.  There are many holiday packages that have this included; massages, hot tubs, facials, this would be such a wonderful intimate thing to have together.  Just maybe, this could be the last relaxing holiday you have for a while before the patter of little feet will take up much of your time!

So, when planning a wedding don’t forget to plan a honeymoon to remember..

 

Honeymoon trends for 2018

New York

Want to celebrate your nuptials in style? Head to New York for the best shopping, big nights out and breakfasts that last all day. It’s all about Brooklyn, pretend you live in a beautiful brownstone apartment, enjoy all day eggs at Café Collette, eat dinner at the Ides, drink cocktails at the Clover. Then indulge in some drunk shopping for vintage finds you don’t really need at the amazing Brooklyn Flea market.

Bora Bora

Looking for a heavenly escape? This is it. White sands, turquoise seas and nothing, nothing, nothing to do but lose yourselves in the paradise that is Bora Bora. Its remote position in the middle of the Pacific Ocean does mean it’ll take you a day to get there but once you arrive you’ll discover pure peace, ridiculous relaxation and unlimited luxury. Your only chore will be to choose whether to sleep on land – in a bungalow with private beach and pool – or on water – in a hut on stilts overlooking the crystal clear sea.

Costa Rica

Whether your wildlife enthusiasts, animal lovers or adrenaline junkies, Costa Rica has it all. A Jurassic landscape, eco accommodation and jungle activities mean you can get as close to nature as you dare! For unrivalled romance stay at The Pacuare Jungle Lodge where you can sleep in a secluded bungalow nestled in the rainforest canopy, watch the wildlife from the comfort of your candle-lit terrace, soak in your private plunge pool and cosy up in a hammock made for two. By day you can organise a range of rainforest experiences with expert local guides. So whether you want to zip wire through the clouds, climb rock faces, ride the rapids or take a gentle tree-top tour, you’ll find the perfect level of adventure to get your hearts racing.

Family Honeymoon

Want to combine romance and relaxation with some quality time with the kids? Family friendly, boutique hotel Caserio del Mirador is the answer. This picturesque farmhouse, set amongst almond and olive groves in the Spanish mountains, offers you and your children a chance to get in touch with nature in a safe and serene setting. Half an hour from the beach, with gorgeous gardens, a child-friendly pool and ponies, goats and a pet pig to play with, there’s plenty to entertain the children during the day. Then once they’ve gone to bed, you can sit back, relax and enjoy being served a delicious dinner every night, knowing your kids are safe, happy and loving the familymoon as much as you.

Puglia

Rolling hills, winding streets, fine wine and food like your own mama does not make. Puglia is the perfect place to relax, unwind and put an end to the pre-wedding diet. If you really want to escape head back 300 years to Lama di Luna, a fortified estate set in 190 hectares of organic olive groves, overlooking the coast. Deliberately cut off from the modern world, this once-working farm feels more like a monastery than a hotel and provides a heavenly escape for food lovers looking for peace – and the world’s best pizza! Eat at the Michelin starred Antichi Sapori just down the road, bring books, borrow bikes and relax with the one you love.

 

Honeymoon on a budget

When planning a Wedding, you have to plan a honeymoon. When you are on a budget you want your destination to be as romantic as it can but don’t feel you need to spend a fortune to have a wonderful time.

Wooldown Holiday Cottages, Cornwall

There are so many beautiful and historically interesting countries in Europe and surrounding areas, and while exploring far-flung shores can be wonderful, so is travelling closer to home. You could not only save money on travel but get an extra day or two of your honeymoon!

For those looking for a luxurious retreat closer to home with outstanding countryside and sea views, Wooldown Holiday Cottages Offer cosy country cottages and ultra-modern apartment style barns with super-king size beds, spa baths, walk in rainfall showers, some even have copper baths in the bedroom to make your honeymoon that extra special!

Explore all Cornwall has to offer, from romantic walks together along part of the stunning south west coastal path, to the pretty fishing villages of Port Isaac, Rock and Padstow and take a stroll through the Victorian seaside town of Bude with Summerleaze and Crooklets beach. The world famous surfing beach at Widemouth Bay is not far away and offers the perfect opportunity to surf the waves before enjoying a candlelit dinner.

Gadlys Coastal Cottages, Wales

Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, near the beautiful Church Bay,Gadlys Coastal Cottages offer peace and comfort in a pretty rural setting near Church Bay in Anglesey, North Wales. A small delightful bay with rock pools and sandy beach and beautiful coastal walks it is an ideal place for relaxation or activity from boating, fishing, hiking, horse riding, windsurfing and more.

The newly renovated and extended Gadlys Farmhouse has gorgeous sea views, a traditional oak inglenook fireplace to enjoy a warming log fire, master bedroom with balconette overlooking the sea, relaxing spa bath, all within five minutes’ walk from the beach and fantastic seafood restaurants.

Olympic Lagoon Hotel, Paphos

All-inclusive honeymoons can be great value for couples looking for luxury without additional hidden costs.  The Olympic Lagoon Hotel is a new and highly innovative five-star hotel in a truly fascinating resort.  Featuring an array of sublime swimming pools and water features, this hotel has a premium all-inclusive programme with five fabulous restaurants and five bars to choose from. An island paradise and a unique hotel-within-a-resort concept featuring romantic facilities and services exclusively for adults.

Royal Palm, Mauritius

The most prestigious of honeymoons can be booked for substantially less when you take advantage of latest special offers and deals. Said to be the finest hotel in Mauritius, Royal Palm is a tranquil haven ideally located on the sheltered north-west tropical coast. Stay in an elegantly decorated suite with a stunning sea view. This 6-star hotel by the sea is surrounded with pure white sandy beach, and offers the ultimate luxury honeymoon experience, boasting a choice of three pools, spa, sports centre and an award-winning chef for the finest in haute cuisine.

Greek Islands

You could save hundreds of pounds by honeymooning for one week instead of two when you jet off to a hot climate just a short flight away.  A gorgeous coastal setting in the Greek island of Skyros.

This is a honeymoon for couples who can choose to hide away from the rest of the world or join a vibrant community and take part in classes in yoga, paths to finding happiness, windsurfing and even trapeze. Courses are held outdoors by the sea, on stone terraces surrounded by pine forests. Enjoy the tranquillity of the bay during the hot daytime and then choose to attend local parties.

 

A seaside wedding

Many absolutely adore heading to the seaside as a relaxing day out away from the troubles of modern life. Be it diving head first into the waves or sprawling out on your towel, it’s fair to say that we as a nation love going to the beach – we even spend money to sit on the sand abroad – but have you ever considered a seaside themed wedding?

You can’t actually get married on the beach in the UK without jumping through a few hoops. As such, it might be better to merely theme your wedding around the seaside instead, opting to exchange vows at a cliff-side stately home. Sure, you’ll have views of the coast but it might not be as seaside-y as you first imagined.

Acoustic Band

An acoustic band is perfect for the beach because let’s face it, electronics and water don’t really mix. Or rather, they do mix a little too well and that is very dangerous for all concerned. A summer party down on the sand after your wedding ceremony might just be the order of the day and with this in mind, hiring an acoustic band is a no brainer. They can stroll around with your wedding guests and everybody can have a marvellous time!

Eden

A close harmony made up of 2 accomplished vocalists, you’ll enjoy harmonies. Taking their inspiration from Katherine Jenkins, Il Divo, Sarah Brightman and All Angels, they combine each of their influences to create a unique and beautiful act. A Classical/Crossover duo with a difference, will be a wonderful choice for your seaside wedding you won’t find a better act to have your guests swaying in the sun!

Ice Cream Van

What’s a trip to the seaside without an ice cream? No trip to the beach is complete without a Mr. Whippy with 99 flake or a few scoops in a cone and your wedding is the perfect timing to hand one out to everybody! With the sun beaming on your wedding day and the sea breeze cooling everybody down, an ice cream will surely make a welcome change from the bottles of fizz doing the rounds!

 

Weddings Abroad

While a destination wedding may be your lifelong dream when planning a wedding, remember without your guests there is no event. Consider travel costs and accessibility from where the majority of your guests will be traveling from when selecting a destination.

Knowledge is power

Ask the hard hitting questions before making a commitment when shopping around for a destination wedding.

Peaks and Valleys

The best time of year to travel to the Caribbean and Mexico is the fall. Room rates are lower and some hotels reduce their wedding package pricing or offer added perks/concessions.

Strength in Numbers

Most hotels will offer reduced rates, incentives and concessions for wedding groups who commit to a minimum number of rooms under contract.

Listen to the Experts

Hotels that are committed to destination weddings will have on-site wedding coordinators. Listen to their advice; who else knows the resort better than they do. They are your eyes and ears during the overseas, long distance planning phase. There’s no added cost to utilize the service and expertise of the resort’s coordinator.

Keep it Local

One of the easiest ways to cut costs is to keep it local. Instead of insisting on midnight blue orchids that have to be imported, use wedding flowers grown locally. Don’t insist on bringing your own vendors. Ask the resort for a list of their trusted vendors and capitalize on the relationships built by the resort with these vendors.

Time is on Your Side

Book at least 9-months in advance for best date selection.  Last minute planning a wedding can result in unexpected costs. Plus, make sure the save-the-dates are in the mail well in advance to allow family and friends time to budget and plan.

Legal is so “Yesteryear”

There is no need to get legally married in the destination you’ve chosen. Take care of the legal paperwork in your home state to save hundreds of dollars on the cost of a legal ceremony in another country. You’ll avoid a variety of other ‘legalities’ such as needing to translate documents and blood tests.

Arrive in Style

Plan on arriving at your destination at least three days prior to the wedding day. Use the extra time at your destination and resort to scope out the place, get to know the staff, and meet with the resort coordinator and vendors.

Don’t Go on Price Alone

Trust in the hotels that are willing to show you their pricing upfront. Every ‘free wedding’ promotion has restrictions and requirements.

 

Tips for your honeymoon

Scared to drive on the opposite side of the road when you’re abroad? You’re not alone! Research reveals that over a quarter of British travellers admit to being afraid of driving on the left-hand side.

 Rules and regulations vary from country to country there is a guide to provide some clarity for drivers including top tips on driving on the opposite side of the road. There is so much to discover off the beaten track so we hope people make the most of it without the fear of driving abroad.

The guide not only includes a list of national speed limits for UK’s most popular holiday destinations but also a list of unusual road signs they may come across as this is cited as the most fearful part of driving overseas. There are also top tips on how to drive on the right as well as a list of some of the more unusual driving laws from across the globe.

Want to brush up on your driving before planning a wedding honeymoon or destination wedding?

Left Hand Driving Top Tips;

  • Repeat the phrase ‘drive on the right’ and remember you want to always be closest to the middle of the road

  • On a dual carriageway or motorway remember that the ‘fast’ lane is the far left lane and the ‘slow’ lane is the far right lane. As a beginner it’s worth sticking to the right lane and take it slowly until you have built up your confidence

  • When approaching a roundabout remember that you must give way to the left and drive anti-clockwise around them

  • It is important to remember that the most dangerous turn is now the left hand turn because it crosses the other lane of traffic

  • Having a co-pilot can be a help. A backseat driver can be more of a help than a hindrance because a reminder to stay on the correct side is certainly welcome as is any help on navigating

  • If you’re headed to Nice this Summer remember to carry a breathalyser in the car as it’s a legal requirement for all motorists in France

  • In some cities in Spain cars must be parked on different sides of the road according to the day of the week so check before you pull up to a spot

  • If you’re planning on holidaying in Spain or the Canary Islands and you wear glasses, the driving laws require you to carry an additional pair when driving

  • In most cities in Portugal and Italy cars must be parked in the direction of traffic so if you’re visiting this summer remember to follow the locals and don’t be caught out

  • The USA is a popular country for road-tips but it’s important to remember rules vary from state to state so it’s worth checking before you arrive. One law, regardless of state, is that it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus, whichever direction you’re travelling in

 

Personal wedding venues

With so much pressure to make the right decision, how does a bride make up her mind? We asked some newlyweds and brides to be to share how they made their choice to shed a little light on this planning selection. These answers which may inspire you:

  • “We visited our wedding venue on a holiday before we got engaged and we both said, ‘That’s the place we want to get married.’ We got engaged there and now we’re marrying there next September!”

  • “We picked an area where we had our first kiss and it held so many sentimental memories for us too, we just had to get married in a place that meant so much to us”

  • “I picked a place that was not only cost-efficient, but when I went to see it, I knew that it was unique and I had it have it. I love my venue and I absolutely can’t wait to get married there!”

  • “We wanted ceremony and reception in the same location, so we saw a few venues, but nothing said ‘us’ that was a romantic setting until we saw our venue. It’s perfect and I can’t wait to get married there. It’s my happy place, we both love it.”

  • “We must’ve seen over 40 venues. We choose Disney because we fell in love with it! And, well we got some pretty amazing pictures.”

  • “My grandparents’ garden where I had pretty much grown up. It had so many memories and sentimental reasons to have my wedding where I grew up and learned so much.”

 

We hope that some of these ideas have inspired you to find your perfect wedding venue, just make it personal, after all this is a special day which you will want to remember for the right reasons!!

 

Small wedding ideas

Small is beautiful and we’ve got 10 top tips to help you plan your perfect wedding abroad. 

 

  • Firstly, you need to choose a destination for your small wedding abroad. Consider the climate, legal requirements such as length of residency, and any restrictions before booking any suppliers in another country.
  • Do your research before you book the hotel? Use websites like trip advisor and our planning section for venue reviews, and make sure that your requirements can be met.
  • Documentation you need to marry will differ from country to country. Your passport will need to have at least six months left on it, so make sure this is up to date.
  • When booking, you should be offered a wedding planner– it will be worth taking this up as they will ensure all bases are covered, paperwork is correct, and everything you need at your destination is in place.
  • If you are planning the whole event on your own, make sure that you fully understand all the contracts you’re signing. You may need to hire a translator to make sure.
  • Check out all the offers available to you when booking, as some companies will offer group discounts. You should also look carefully at what the actual wedding day will consist of – flowers, cakes, cars, photographers and so on.
  • When choosing your dress, think about the journey it will make. Most locations should offer a pressing service, but you don’t want your dream dress to arrive looking less than perfect. Think about boxes to store your gown while you’re in transit. Choose a lightweight fabric like silk or chiffon that will keep you cool throughout the ceremony.
  • If you’re planning a wedding in a cold country, think about alternative routes to the ceremony. You could get caught up in snow or ice on impassable roads!
  • If you’re having hair and makeup done by a stylist at the resort, make sure you take lots of pictures of the looks you like. Makeup should be mattifying to minimize shine.
  • If guests are joining you from the UK, make sure you give them something to keep them cool during the ceremony. Fans are a great idea!

Inspiration if you are marrying abroad

If you’re marrying abroad and you want to create a beautiful wedding with a beach theme – or even if you just want to bring a splash of colour to a travel-inspired wedding theme in the UK – then check out our top buys for a tropical look!

There loads of different theme options for destination weddings – you can always incorporate traditional elements of your chosen destination, such as colours and flowers, into the theme of your day. Try hibiscus flowers, leis and floral prints if you’re marrying in Hawaii, or royal blue and white, olive leaves and goddess dresses for Greece. You could also opt for a nautical theme in shades of blue, white and sandy neutrals, with anchor motifs and rope detailing. We personally love a bright tropical theme, which is one of the most striking – and easy to create!

For a tropical theme, choose bold bright colours such as hot pink, orange, turquoise and lime – don’t be afraid to contrast them! Use white as a base colour to really make them pop. When it comes to flowers, we love orchids for a beach wedding – they come in a range of gorgeous colours and can be used for bouquets, buttonholes and in hair. You could also choose birds of paradise, palm fronds, frangipani or protea for an exotic look.

Take advantage of your seaside theme and use starfish and shells as decoration – they make great place names, favours and centrepieces. Just add lots of candles and scattered seashells to fresh white linens to create chic table decoration. When it comes to table names, why not stick with the travel theme? Name the tables after places you and your new husband have been, or would like to go – or, if you’re lucky enough to be marrying in the Caribbean or in Hawaii, name them after the islands!

Obviously a tropical wedding will need a beautiful beachy dress. Just accessorize with embellished sandals and lots of gold jewellery for a luxurious goddess-inspired look.