Wedding Packages Abroad
Why we use wedding packages abroad.
The Bridal Consultant is one of the original planners of overseas weddings for UK couples.
When the company was founded 16 years ago the industry was in its infancy with very few companies specialising in helping couples get married abroad. We decided to use our extensive knowledge of travel with our events management background and develop a business that offered UK couples a more ‘hands on’ customer focused experience when choosing a wedding abroad over a wedding at home.
In the early years we we’re constantly adapting the way we worked, as there were very few businesses like ours there wasn’t much research or experience to pull from.
We we’re always looking for ways to improve our clients experience and satisfaction with their planning journey and of course their wedding day. One thing became clear from day one and that was clients needed an idea from the outset of how much their wedding was going to cost.
Back in 2004 it was common for couples to use a travel agent who would offer a ‘wedding ceremony only’ service leaving the couples to then source any extra suppliers needed and organise their wedding reception, interestingly the wedding reception being the more expensive part of the wedding.
What looked initially like a low cost wedding would soon turn into one costing 100’s if not 1000’s more once all the additions where added on.
We wanted to work differently from the outset.
We decided to develop our own range of wedding packages abroad as a way of giving our couples a clearer idea of upfront costs for both wedding and reception. We included the basic costs of the ceremony and reception along with any essential legal work costs, the planning team and extras such as bride and groom flowers, photographs and transport too the venue.
Essentially everything the couple would need to get married abroad, along with the help of an expert team to guide them through the plans.
Over the years our wedding packages abroad have grown more detailed and tailored for each destination and venue, now we understand what is popular in each destination and for each venue, we the use them as the basic structure for each wedding we plan.
Today we try to keep the structure each of our wedding packages abroad as similar as possible so couples can compare one venue to another, this is relatively tricky considering each venue has different terms and conditions but it’s as close as we can get it.
How to use the packages to assist in your budgeting
It’s no surprise that the most expensive part of any wedding is the venue hire, food and drinks. These parts are always included in our packages, drinks we only include if they are compulsory as us Brits still tend to prefer a cash bar.
For budgeting purposes we suggest that the basic wedding and reception package not take up more than 70 to 80% of your total budget.
So for example, if you’ve a total budget of 15,000euros, the wedding and reception package should not be more than 10,500 to 12,000euro. Aim for the lower amount if you have big visions when it comes to flowers/decor.
This way you’ll avoid having to stretch things too tight when it comes to considering extras, or having to compromise too much and not ending up with the day you envisioned as your budget just wont stretch far enough.
Having an additional 20 to 30% of your budget left over means you can have fun when tailoring your wedding day. You can really make the day unique to you and although you don’t need to add any extras, most of our couples do, it could be an extra couples of hours with the DJ or live music for the ceremony or even bridesmaids bouquets.
Having the option of doing this makes all the difference, even if you never use it.
How to compare different wedding packages abroad.
This can be tricky as it involves looking at all the finer details of each package and there is really no way to get around this. If a couple are struggling between two venues, we’ll suggest a Zoom chat or phonecall with one of our planners to look at both wedding venues and packages in close detail. We can use our thorough knowledge of each venue and package to point out the key differences so the couple can really compare.
This is only really necessary when you’re completely stuck between two venues and are making a pro’s and con’s list. Luckily it doesn’t happen often, I tend to find couples usually fall head first for their perfect venue once they find it.
Here I’ve listed the items you should pay special attention too.
- Duration of hire of venue – this can vary quite a lot and adding extra hours can become costly especially for venues that charge by the hour. If the venue has a compulsory open bar you’ll also need to add this for the extra duration of hire time too.
- Drinks Packages – as mentioned above, these are compulsory at some venues, for others it’s optional – the price difference can be quite substantial.
If you prefer to have a cash bar, then consider drinks prices, in some 5 star luxury venues the price of a drink can be substantial, make sure your guests will be ok paying these prices, there’s no fun having guests too afraid to purchase drinks at your wedding due to them being scarily expensive.
- Restrictions on suppliers you can use – does the venue insist you use their own suppliers. This might be the case with your DJ/Entertainment, especially in areas where there are noise restrictions. If you wish to provide your own band/DJ this may not be possible.
Does the venue allow live music? Does this have to be acoustic or can music be amplified?
- Guest Transfers – is the venue remote, do you have to provide transfers or can the venue be easily found/located allowing guests to make their own way.
- Menus – does the venue tailor menus? Do they cater for special diets/children. More importantly do they offer the style of food/dining you want.
- Accommodation – Is accommodation at the venue necessary to get married there? This is not something that comes up often in our packages as we don’t work with many hotels, but if you’re marrying at a hotel find out if you have to stay there to get married there and if a percentage of your guests do too.
Wedding Packages Abroad and how we tailor them
When we start our first stage planning we really get stuck into the details of each wedding, to decide what each couples priorities are and where they wish to spend more of their budget, or less.
The package is used as a foundation on which to build their wedding day, we take each element of the wedding package such as the flowers and ask the couple to send us their ideas, this could be the bouquet, buttonholes, bridesmaids and bridal party flowers, to the decoration they want for the gazebo, the table flower centrepieces they imagine, flowers at the entrance, maybe on the guest book table, or to decorate a sweet table.
More recently we’ve even been asked to hang flowers from trees, to decorate welcome signs and table plans and even create a flower wall that couples can use to take photos against.
The sky is the limit, as long as your budget matches it!
Flowers can be expensive and their not to everyones taste, we once had a groom with a flower allergy which was challenging when it came to finding ways to decorate the venues. In the end we used lots of candles and greenery.
With each couple we take ideas, we request quotes and we find what works within budget and for anything a over budget we’ll look at alternatives. This is the fun part of the planning, and due to the way our packages work, you can allocate a flower budget from the outset for any extras your considering.
It’s all completely optional and every wedding is unique, and that’s what we love.
This process is repeated for every part of the day, with the photographer we look at the style of images you’d like, the duration of your time with them, a 2nd location photo shoot, even pre/post photo shoots. Or with entertainment, when and where the couple want it, the style of entertainment etc there are a hundred different things to plan and consider and we walk our couples through each.
Food and Drink is often a key element of each wedding, some really prioritise this part of the day, others have a very casual approach to food, it’s interesting for us as planners to see how each wedding is moulded and shaped to suit our unique couples.
It’s one of my favourite parts
Once we’ve made all the adjustments, agreed any extras it’s them time to put the whole day together, at this point the couple will have a good idea of exactly how their day will be. This is when things really start becoming real!
Deciding between using wedding packages abroad or going fully tailor made
Some couples prefer to stay away from wedding packages feeling they are too restrictive and they want to feel that their wedding is completely tailored to them. I hope the above assures these couples that even though we use wedding packages no two weddings we plan are the same.
The power in using a wedding package is that you know where you’re starting from, so you can plan with confidence. The result is having an amazing wedding you can afford and a stress free planning experience.
However if after saying all this you’re still tempted to go down the fully tailored option, here’s a few questions you should ask.
- Make sure you add VAT and local taxes where applicable.
- Ensure all your suppliers provide you with a contract with full details of your order and pricing.
- Ask if any annual increases will apply if your wedding is booked more than a year ahead.
- Ask for dates to finalised orders and make deposits and final payments.
- Speak to your venue about any restrictions that apply to sourcing and hiring your own suppliers or services and ensure you communicate any restrictions to your suppliers.
- Make a budget with your best ‘gestimates’ and update it frequently. Make sure you have at least a 10% contingency in the case of price increases, unexpected costs and exchange rate fluctuations.
One of our wedding packages abroad explained in detail.
Here’s an example of a wedding package for one of our most popular venues in Greece. The notes in red are what you should consider when looking at a venue in detail or comparing to another venue.
Wedding Packages Abroad Example.
T H E N E C E S S A R I E S
Some companies charge extra to administer your legal work, whereas because it’s such a fundamental part of the day and is essential for every legal wedding it’s always been included in our wedding package basic costs.
UK based wedding planner to arrange all the details of your wedding before you arrive for your wedding.
Help with all wedding paperwork to ensure your wedding is legal. (see this link for UK government advise on getting married abroad)
Unlimited emails, SKYPE and phone calls.
Wedding information pack to help with your wedding planning
Booking wedding date and time
Reserving of wedding location/s
Arranging for Registrar and two witnesses (complementary)
Pre wedding meeting with the wedding planner
Venue visit prior to the wedding including transfers
Town hall fee
Personal escort to the after wedding appointment at the town hall in Fira to collect you marriage certificate – transfers included.
Transportation to the wedding location for the bride or groom and up to 3 others in an air conditioned car
Wedding co-ordination for your wedding and reception
All taxes and VAT
C E R E M O N Y & R E C E P T I O N S E T U P / D E C O R A T I O N
Understand what’s included in the package including items provided at the venue, hiring furniture/chairs/cutlery can soon add up, so it’s a great incentive if these are already included.
Hire of the gazebo terrace for up to 2 hours for your ceremony
White canopy adorned beautifully with white tulle fabric
Fabric in either white or light ivory
White or ivory table runner
8 white lanterns of various sizes with candles (candles will be lit after sunset)
Recorded music during ceremony
Chairs for your guests with white chair covers or Tiffany/chiavari chairs – white washed effect or champagne colour
Cushions for tiffany chairs – white or ivory/beige
Bottles of water for your guests during the ceremony
Use of parasols/personal umbrellas on request to shade from the sun (for use during the ceremony only and must be returned on departure from the venue)
Hire of the private Jacuzzi terrace from the end of the ceremony to 11.45pm
White or ivory table linen
Silver or gold charger plates
Silver or gold cutlery
Chairs for your guests with white chair covers or Tiffany/chiavari chairs – white washed effect or champagne colour
Cushions for tiffany chairs – white or ivory/beige
Entrance Easel – a white entrance easel can be placed for you to position on it a decorative wedding sign or anything else your decorations may consist of that would be suitable to be placed there, also available is a frame that within you can write & design a welcome message for your guests
Wedding entrance table. The table is positioned upon entering the reception in sight of all guests. It can be used for decorations, to place your wish book or even for your guest’s gifts.
F L O W E R S
Usually the package will include basic flowers for your wedding day, it’s unlikely extravagant items such as a flower arches or flower chandeliers will be included, if there’s anything you really desire ask for approx prices before you book to ensure you can afford them.
Bride’s bouquet in any choice of colours, local flowers
Matching single buttonhole for groom
Floral table arrangement for the ceremony table and then to be reused on top table.
Simple arrangement of candles and local greenery, one per guest table of 8 people.
P H O T O G R A P H S
Professional Photographer for 2 hours
First hour at ceremony venue
Second hour at location close by for scenic shots
All Photographs in digital format
T R A N S P O R T
If transfers to your venue are necessary or compulsory they should already be included.
Transportation for guests from their accommodation the venue (one way)
C A K E
Modern style Wedding cake with fresh flowers.
W E D D I N G D I N N E R
A mixture of freshly minced meat balls with traditional herbs over a base of cherry tomato sauce and French fries
Cherry tomatoes, caper leaves, sour cheese, virgin olive oil. A layer of cut cherry tomatoes beneath a layer of sour cream cheese covered with capers leaves.
Oven baked layers of sliced eggplant, tomato sauce and minced beef covered with a thick layer of crispy béchamel sauce
Greek Sweet bread bathed in Masticha cream topped with white chocolate mousse and strawberries
Other menus available for a supplement
D R I N K S
This venue has an optional open bar, so here we’ve included welcome drinks and will discuss other drinks options including upgrading to a full bar when we do the planning.
Welcome drink of sparkling wine/Asti or red/white wine – one drink per person
One glass of sparkling wine/Asti following the ceremony – one drink per person
E N T E R T A I N M E N T
4 x 2 meter sparklers for use during the cutting of the cake and first dance
Sound system is available to play soft ambient music during the ceremony and reception (connectable to a phone or laptop)
Prices are given for different group sizes, we can arrange prices for other group sizes, final numbers will be quoted for in the interim planning stage. Always note if minimum guest numbers are needed for your venue.
P R I C E F O R 15 P E O P L E | 8195euros
P R I C E F O R 20 P E O P L E | 8805euros
P R I C E F O R 30 P E O P L E | 9937euros
T A K E N O T E
The notes are filled with important points that need to be considered, such as notes on prices, legal work, min/max numbers and often start/end times and any important restrictions so it’s worth taking a few minutes at least to read and understand these thoroughly.
Prices are for 2021 and may increase for subsequent years.
Legal work – Translations and Apostille stamps are not included in the above price – ask for details.
The package price includes one way transportation from Kamari, Perissa, Vlyhada, Megalochori, Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli to the venue. Transfers from Oia will be extra please ask for details.
Ceremonies can start from 5.30pm – earlier upon request only at a maximum of 4.30pm.
Maximum capacity for this venue is 24 people but 30 people can be granted upon request
Canapés and drinks can be arranged following the ceremony, please ask for details.
This package has no drinks package for the reception, drinks packages are available or you can use the cash bar available at the reception terrace.
Menus can be changed, supplements will apply based on menu chosen
All flowers in the package will be roses, daises and gerberas – other flowers can be arranged for a supplement.
Music must be lowered by 11 pm and turned off by 11.30
You must vacate the premises by 12 midnight.
Photographs included in our brochures are of a variety of weddings and are for inspiration purposes and are not necessarily representative of what is included in this sample costing, please see package details for what exactly is included, please ask for more details if you need clarification.
And that’s it!
We hope you’ve found this article useful in deciding if using wedding packages abroad would suit you or not, if you’ve got any further questions our team are always on hand to help and advise, just give us a call on 01244 316772 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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