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Never too late for love: Location, location, location

04 Apr 2022

Having been married before, bride-to-be Louise Jones considers a destination wedding ahead of her nuptials to Stephen Evans

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Image gallery

In the early stages of planning upcoming nuptials, there is nothing more important than deciding where you are actually going to tie the knot. The best venues get snapped up way in advance and knowing the setting of where you are getting hitched has a huge impact on the theme and style of your wedding. Starting our research into the potential options has been mind boggling, and pretty overwhelming to say the least.

Having both individually had the traditional white church wedding the first time around, we are sure that we want our day to be more reflective of us as a couple – relaxed, but with the fun cranked up a few notches; little touches that are meaningful to us, our family and our friends; really great food (an absolute must on the wish list).

Put simply, a smaller more intimate affair that we now have the pleasure of sharing with our children, and with a wedding party of around 25 people we clearly aren’t looking for a large swanky manor house or massive marquee venue. So, what options do we have? Well, as it turns out, a huge amount!

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Above: Louise and Stephen on a holiday to Italy, where they got lost in the Alps

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Above: The couple share their love for travel with their children, here with eldest daughter Isobel 

From a town hall ceremony to a destination beach wedding and beyond, we really are spoilt for choice. Festival type wedding? Formal evening ceremony? Rustic barn, country house, vineyard, villa or even, a zoo venue? The options are endless and we are pretty open minded. However, much to the disappointment of my fiancé, I have had to draw the line at getting married at Liverpool’s home stadium of Anfield.

A key factor that is always in the back of your mind when planning a wedding is of course the cost, and it appears that a destination wedding might be a bit easier on the purse strings compared to a wedding in the UK. Opening yourself up to the idea of a ceremony abroad is like unlocking a treasure trove; there are so many beautiful countries with stunning locations and incredible cultures (and do I really need to mention the delicious food?!), that every couple should be able to find a destination that fits the dream they envisage.

To help navigate us on our way, we’ve been in touch with a few planners that specialise in arranging weddings throughout Europe, and they’ve been excellent in answering the hundreds of questions we’ve thrown at them. We’ve looked through hundreds of photos of the most amazing venues across Spain, Italy, Croatia and France, and the fact that you can personalise your ceremony just as easily abroad as you can in the UK is a huge bonus to us. We can still achieve the wedding that we would love to have and celebrate the whole day with our loved ones in our own way.

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Above: A destination wedding in Italy may be on the cards for the couple

A potential issue when considering a destination wedding is organising accommodation and travel arrangements for a large group of people, which you wouldn’t necessarily have to deal with for a UK wedding. It’s a factor that might be off-putting for some, but I’m sure my inner Monica Geller would enjoy taking care of all that.

And so, we find ourselves in a bit of a wedding conundrum: home or away? Clearly, there are positives and negatives for both, not least the ease of arrangements for guests at home, or the guaranteed sunshine of away. But Italy is a country that we have completely fallen head over heels for – we have very special memories of our time holidaying there, and we really want to introduce our children to the place that we love.

Our dream is to run a B&B there one day, and some of our family have always longed to visit Italy but have never had the chance. It would be incredible to live la dolce vita, if only for a short period of time, for such an incredible occasion. We have yet to make a final decision on where we will exchange our vows, but I have a sneaking suspicion on where I believe we will say “I do”. Viva l’Italia!

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