STEP 1: Daydream
The world is your oyster when it comes to getting married, and Thomson put it on a plate and hand you a fork. If you’ve not got an idea about where you want to make your vows, it helps to think about the sort of wedding abroad you want. If you like the idea of getting wed barefoot in the sand, then a beach wedding might be right for you. If you want a Hello! photo-shoot-style marriage, then a luxury wedding will tick more of your boxes. At this stage it helps to buy a scrapbook, where you can stick pictures and write notes about the type of weddings you’re interested in.
STEP 2: Shortlist
Reserve a chunk of time on a weekend afternoon, brew the kettle or pop a cork, and sit down to look over your scrapbook with your partner. Read between the lines and search within the pictures and a shortlist of destinations should reveal itself naturally. With that list in hand, it’s time to look at the venues available in each destination. Be open-minded at this point. Remember, you’re not signing on the dotted line yet.
STEP 3: Bite the bullet
This is the clapper board point. You can book weddings abroad by calling our Weddings Team on 0871 664 0131 or pop into a travel shop. Once you’ve done it, the rest of your wedding plans can roll.
STEP 4: Write the invitations
You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelette, but that doesn’t mean you have to walk on eggshells once it’s cooked. This Confucian-like phrase means don’t agonise over who you will and will not offend by way of an invitation. Don’t fall into the trap of inviting great uncle Jim’s former secretary because you met her once at a party 6 years ago. Be select. Invite the people you want to share your wedding day with, rather than the people you feel you have to. If you really can’t cut down the list, hold a drinks and nibbles party for everyone when you get home. If you’re of the mind that more is merrier, however, take a look at Thomson’s Bride and Groom Incentive, which gives you little privileges as your party gets bigger.
STEP 5: Add colour
At this point you’ll have the basic sketch of your wedding. Now’s the time to colour it in. You don’t have to look far to find inspiration for your colour scheme. Even the time of year can inform you. If you’re getting married in winter, log-fire umbers, mulled-wine reds, and frosty blues lead the colour charge. Seasonal flowers also drop hints. In spring, for example, daisies, tulips, and peonies are all in bloom, galvanising brides to consider sunshine yellows, lipstick-pinks and palmer violet-colours.
STEP 6: Go on a shopping spree
Once you’ve found ‘the one’ in the Bruce Springsteen meaning of the word, it’s time to find ‘the one’ of the wedding dress variety. First things first – set a budget, making sure you factor in the cost of veils, wedding lingerie and shoes. Then, before you go wild in the aisles, do some research. Paw at the pages of wedding dress magazines to get an idea of what you like. Some wedding dress suppliers lay out their dresses by designer, too. So write down the names of the dressmakers who spark your interest the most.
STEP 7: Get your house in order
It’s tempting to press the snooze button on preparing the documentation, but it’s best to treat it like a plaster and get it over with as soon as possible. Our Weddings Team are experts at this, and they’ll be your headlights when you feel like you’re in the dark about anything.
STEP 8: Spare a thought for the food
You might not feel like eating on the morning of your wedding, but you’ll want to replace the butterflies in your stomach with something more substantial after the ceremony. In most cases, the venue you’ve booked will lend itself naturally to a certain sort of wedding breakfast. If you’re getting wed on the beach in front of a hotel, it’ll seem obvious to move into the hotel’s function room or gardens for your first meal as man and wife. You can also keep your food miles down by celebrating with a barbecue on the beach. If you’d rather dine at the grass roots level, you can ask your wedding advisor to suggest some local restaurants that could accommodate you and your guests.
STEP 9: Ice the cake
By this point you’ll have done the majority of the legwork. Now’s the time to accessorise your wedding. Discuss the flowers you’d like with your wedding co-ordinator, pick your musicians, arrange a cake and book a hairdresser and make-up artist. Most importantly, book a photographer to capture your day on film.
STEP 10: Put the cherry on the top
Give your single selves the send-off they deserve by making a few special arrangements for travelling to your wedding destination. Book-in to the VIP Lounge at the airport, reserve extra-space seats on the plane, have the cabin crew put Champagne on ice, and book a private taxi transfer from the arrival airport to your wedding destination. If you’ve taken up the Bride and Groom Incentive, some of these added touches will come as standard.