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Sights on Santorini: Planning your destination wedding

18 Jan 2019

Drawing on her own experience, Chester-based bride-to-be Georgia White shares her advice on planning an overseas wedding 

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Proposal

After a surprise proposal in April 2018 while on holiday in Greece I wasted no time in planning our wedding – in fact we had our venue booked three weeks later.

I always knew I wanted to get married abroad. Instead of just one special day you get a whole holiday celebration with all your closest family and friends… Oh, and because of the weather of course. 

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As soon as we arrived home from Greece my friends gave me a wedding planner book which has been so helpful, as it has everything you need to think about and plan in it. I went on Pinterest to look at my saved ideas or any new ones. I filled out parts of the planner I already knew I wanted or had decided on and I continue to use this as a tick list. We discussed guest numbers and ideas, and I got into planning mode straight away. 

Choosing a destination

I actually didn’t even look at any other wedding destinations… Since visiting Santorini a couple of years ago I fell in love – and my other half liked it too. Of course, I needed to check on prices based on our budget but after doing so we went ahead and booked our dream wedding. I would always say make a list of your favourite destinations and go from there.

Choosing a date

After choosing Santorini as our destination we then had to decide WHEN to do it. I knew I didn’t want to wait too long so we decided we would get married in 2019. I googled the weather (of course) and based on my research I felt between June and September would be best. As we got engaged last April, June 2019 would be a little too soon, especially because it is abroad and we want to give our guests enough notice. I then ruled out July and the start of August as I don’t want it to be too hot – it wouldn’t be a good look for me in a wedding dress. This left the end of August and September, and I now needed to find a venue and their availability.

Get a wedding planner or do it yourself? 

I decided to go with a wedding planner mostly because I have never planned a wedding before. Plus, in regards to all the legal stuff I wouldn’t know where to start, especially because it is an overseas wedding. I already had all my ideas and plans, so it was a case of putting all of this across to a planner. 

I googled local wedding planners and decided to go with The Bridal Consultant as I felt they knew exactly what I wanted. They specialise in overseas weddings and were really helpful from the first phone-call – and I had a recommendation. Remember that if you do decide on a wedding planner ask away... I think it is wise to use their expertise and experience (particularly supplier contacts and other ideas) but I also think it’s good to speak to others who have planned weddings or had their wedding abroad even if you aren’t friends… I have found that so many girls on social media have helped me so much and I’ve never even met them! 

I was added into a Facebook Santorini Wedding Group which is a group full of girls who have or are planning to get married in Santorini. It’s been amazing, full of useful tips and answers to literally any questions you have. Everybody shares their idea, choices and suppliers. It’s definitely worth looking into groups for your own destination as I didn’t even know they existed. You won’t regret it. 

Finding our venue 

I googled everything and also looked on Instagram for Santorini wedding venues. I made a list of my favourite ones and my wedding planner sent me all the information on each one in regards to guest size, price and what’s included.  

I fell in love with one particular venue, Le Ciel, which was able to accommodate our 60 guests I’m obsessed with its simplicity. It has everything I wanted when looking for a venue.

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Image: The Bridal Consultant

What would I do differently?

Truthfully, nothing. I have loved the whole process of planning our wedding and I know I will be sad when I have nothing else to organise. Maybe I need to change profession…

To-do list for planning a destination wedding

  • Get a wedding planning diary which will show you all the things you will need to plan and decide on. It’s also a way to tick off your to do list 
  • Decide on a destination list and the best month to get married in those locations
  • Discuss budget and guest numbers to determine what venues in those destinations can accommodate 
  • Decide whether you want a wedding planner or do it yourself 
  • Decide on your date
  • Look for groups and blogs of brides or weddings in your chosen destination 
  • Pinterest - If you haven’t got one already, get yourself a wedding pinboard and save all the ideas you like from Pinterest, Instagram, Google

Happy planning for your wedding!

Follow Bride Magazine on Pinterest for all your wedding inspiration.

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