Europe is a great and colorful place to plan your destination wedding, but where do you start?
Planning a destination wedding in Europe can seem like a great idea at first. But soon enough it starts to feel overwhelming.
Having a destination wedding doesn’t need to be complicated or stressful.
The PROs of having a destination wedding in Europe
- It gives you a chance to plan an unique wedding in one of the cool destinations in Europe
- Planning a destination wedding gives you the opportunity to shorten your guest list. That way you can invite only the guests you reall want there.
- A destination wedding is a multi day event. Why have a wedding that lasts only a day? Traveling to a remote location gives you the opportunity to celebrate your love for multiple days.
- Destination weddings are a great decision if you want to see a new corner of the world, with all the people you love.
- When planning a destination wedding you are in control, not only of the guest list, but of the vibes and activities.
- You can be more unique, and spice up your wedding with personal touches.
The best destinations in Europe to plan a wedding in
We will try not to be to biased here, since we are a wedding planning company in Croatia. Some of the most popular destinations in Europe to get married in are:
- South of France
How to plan a destination wedding in Europe?
- Decide on the vibes.
Based on your personal preference, you need to decide what kind of location suits you the best.
Is it the mountains, the sea, the woods, is the perfect location warm or is it colder?
Do you want a family friendly location, or more of a party location?
This way you will narrow down the countries that are suitable for your perfect destination wedding in Europe.
2. Make it convenient
Is the flight to the said location available from your country? This is the biggest factor you need to think about when you start planning your destination wedding in europe.
3. Think about the guest list
Having a clear guest list is going to take you a long way. You can choose to have family and friends there, and plan for a 80-150 people wedding. It gives you a chance to invite only the closest circle and you will have approximately 30-60 guests. You can elope and plan for a 2-4 person event. Deciding on what you want early on is going to be so helpful in the wedding planning process.
4. Who pays what on a destination wedding in Europe?
Talk to your partner, and think about your guests. Will you be paying for everything including pre and post wedding events, acommodation and the wedding day? Or will the guests pay for their acommodation, acitivities and transport? These are important details to decide before you go on this adventure.
5. What is your realistic budget for a destination wedding in Europe?
Even though compared to some places in the USA, Canada and Australia, a destination wedding in Europe might be cheaper, it is still not super cheap.
You need to think about a REALISTIC budget early on.
You can expect to pay more in places such as Italy, France, Switzerland and Nordic countries. While you will be paying less in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro.
Just because you are paying less, doesn’t mean that the budget can be unrealistically low.
For example, an average spend for a destination wedding in Croatia is between 20.000,00 eu up to 100.000,00 eu (for luxe and big weddings) depending on many factors.
You can read more about it here:
6. Talk about wedding vendors
Talk to your partner about wedding vendors. What wedding vendors matter the most? Is it music, decor, lights, food, drinks, photography or something else?
This will help you in the future to determine, where you want to spand your money, and where you can save.
7. Hire a LOCAL destination wedding planner
I can’t stress enough how much this is important. A local wedding planner will serve as a bridge between you and the local culture.
Local wedding planners are life savers when it comes to destination weddings. They can also save you some money, and a LOT of time.
Local wedding planners have good contacts for venues and vendors. But most importantly, they are actually there, and they speak the language.
You can use the wedding planner for planning acommodation, pre and post wedding events, activities etc.
And who is a better choice for that then someone who lives in the country?
Personally, I have been asked to plan weddings outside of Croatia. Our company does not do that, because of the above reasons.
If you have a wedding planner in mind from another country, you can always pair that wedding planner with a local one, to get the best of the best.
Some tips and tricks to hire the perfect wedding planner for your destination wedding:
- Write as many information as you have in your first email. This way the wedding planner will know the best way to help you out.
- Contact multiple wedding planners. Ideally you want to choose a wedding planner you actually like. This person is going to be by your side for multiple months/years.
- DON’T book a wedding planner only based on price. If one wedding planner is the cheapest, but you don’t really click, and you don’t trust them it will be a disaster. Booking a wedding planner only because of their price is one of the biggest mistakes. If you feel a good wedding planner costs too much, you can always plan the wedding yourself.
- Take your time. This is a big decision, book your wedding planner when you feel like you have found the right one.
- Listen to their advice and guidance. A lot of the time you will be asked to make compromises. They are sometimes required so you can have the best day.
- Respect their personal time. Europeans, especially the ones from the Mediterranean, cherish their free time. Try and be respectful of it. Trust me, the planner is going to appreciate it so much,
- Don’t change plans last minute. Sometimes by the end of wedding planning, couples start to question their decisions. Try and not to do it. It’s the stress talking, and usually the new decisions aren’t as good.
- Be CLEAR how much, and in what way you want to communicate. Not all couples have the same time and energy to be involved in the wedding planning process. Make sure you are clear how much and in what way you prefer to communicate.
8. Trust the process
Planning a destination wedding can be mentally hard. You are planning the best day of your life from another country. TRUST is the biggest part of the wedding planning process.
Keep in mind not all cultures work as fast or in the same way you are used to. That doesn’t mean that things won’t be handled in a timely manner. I know it is stresfull to trust a stranger from another country, but that is something we can’t change. Wedding planning can be so fun, but remember, it takes two to tango.
9. Think about the guests too
Destination weddings require a lot of time and effort from you, but also your guests.
Take that into account when you plan your wedding. For example, if many of the guests have children, think about if having a child-free wedding is possible. Try to make it as simple as possible for your guests. Creating a wedding website with a lot of information can be so helpful for your guests.
10. No hard feelings
In many cases couples get really disappointed when someone close can’t make it to their destination wedding. Weddings should be a time of love and celebration, try and not to get mad. Traveling to another country requires a lot of planning, and not all guests can make it.
Q&A about planning a destination wedding in Europe
- Should I visit venues before choosing one? If you plan to hire a wedding planner, it is not necessary to visit the wedding venues beforehand. In todays virtual world, you can get all the info you need online. Of course it’s better if you see everything yourself, but it is not obligatory. It is also not that uncommon.
- Is it crazy to plan a destination wedding in a location I have never been too? Surprisingly, this is not that uncommon too. A lot of couples choose a destination that is on their travel wish list. You will have time to get all the info about the country before the wedding.
- Can I get legally married in Europe? It depends on the country you are coming from. In Croatia almost every foreigner can get legally married.
- What is the cost of a destination wedding? It depends on the location, the type of venue and the guest list. The average cost you can expect is 30.000,00 eu – 60.000,00 eu. Micro weddings and elopements are much cheaper.
- How much does a luxury destination wedding cost? Also it depends on many factors. Average price for a luxury wedding in Croatia is 100.000,00 eu – 180.000,00 eu
- How far in advamce should I plan my destination wedding? Up to a year in advance is enough time to plan a destination wedding in almost any venue. If you want a super popular location and venue then you can start planning two years in advance. However, we regularly plan weddings 9-6 months in advance and it still works just fine.
- Is three years before the wedding too far away to start planning? Yes, everything longer than two years in advance is too long for planning. No one can promise you the same terms and prices for such a long period.
- Should I look into package deals? Package deals really aren’t an option if you’re looking for indivituality on your wedding day. I would never recommend them
- What type of wedding venues are there in Europe? Most wedding venues you will find in Europe are: historical venues, taverns, restaurants, villas, hotels, boats, wineries.
- Should I tip my vendors at my destination wedding? Tipping culture isn’t a huge deal in Europe. Is it nice to get tipped? Yes. Is it expected? No.
- What months are the best for a destination wedding in Europe? If you’re looking for a warmer Mediterranean location, then the wedding season lasts from May to October.
Why Choose Croatia for Your Destination Wedding in Europe?
- Croatia is still a hidden gem in the destination wedding world. It will give you a chance to plan a wedding in Europe, on a new and unique location.
- The price of a destination wedding in Croatia is still more affordable then in some of the more popular places in Europe. Although, it is not super cheap.
- Croatia is divided by regions. All regions are different, and you can choose the one that fits your vision the best.
- A destinatination wedding in Croatia is a great idea if food and wine are on top of your list. Croatia is known for it’s great local cuisine, but also for its winemaking.
- Croatians are great English speakers. You won’t have a language problem here.
- Croatia has great climate. We have countless of hours of sunshine and some places on the coast are known for minimum rain. Looking at you Hvar Island!
You can read more about Croatia here:
If you want to talk more about planning a wedding in Croatia contact us here: https://www.croatiaweddingplanner.com/contact/