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Visited your wedding location beforehand?

Hi all

Just wondering how many of you have ever visited the place - let alone the country - you are getting married in beforehand?! We are planning to get married in the Canadian Rockies, despite the fact that neither of us has ever been there. However, we have heard good things and both always wanted to go and figure that this is the best excuse of all to make the trip!

We are planning to head off with a small band of close family and friends (another reason for going so far abroad is to avoid lots of family politics shenanigans - but that's for another post!). Most people around us think it's a great idea, but there are a few that are coming out of the woodwork and questioning the wisdom of trying to arrange a wedding in a country that neither of us know and that is a long way away.

For the most part, I feel pretty confident we can pull it off (aiming for Sept 2008) but every now and then, I get a bit of a wobble and think I'm waaaaay out of my depth. Any one else going through something similar?


  • We have been to Cuba twice before & are returning again in 8 weeks to get married. We are getting married at the resort we have previously stayed at. We have just booked our holiday as normal, we are not using the tour operator to book the wedding. We have made all our own arrangements directly with the resort we are staying in & they have been fantastic. We get a better package & it is cheaper than with the tour operator esp as no admin fees to pay for basically emailing them the info required. I dot think ure crazy at all for, at the end of the day it is your day & if its what u both want then I say go for it! Good Luck
  • Hi,

    we are also getting married in Sept 08 and have never visited our location. We are getting married in Hawaii and for us it is not financially viable to go across beforehand. Like you part of me worries that we will hate the venue, island, hotel,catering, flowers (my list goes on) but then I take my crazy hat off and trust y gut instinct. We are getting marie somewhere we have never been but want to see. This is the perfect opportunity. It will be exciting and an adventure and a wonderful day no matter what. (plus it's far away so we wont be inundated with unwanted guests!) Your wedding sounds lovely to me! Good luck xx
  • sylossussylossus Posts: 211 New bride
    Thanks for your replies, ladies. Glad to hear others think it is not a completely crazy idea and that others are in the same boat, missBB!

    The main stress though is that we want to have an outdoor wedding by a lake.We have found a lovely inn that you can hire out for the entire wedding (and which would be a back up ceremony location if the weather was bad) but still need to find an outdoor ceremony site. Apparently, you can get married anywhere outdoors in Canada, which is lovely.

    I am of a mind that it might be a good idea to involve a planner to help out with this bit - at least to get some suggestions of where is likely to be quiet and easily accessible - but H2B seems to think we can just 'rock up' and sort it out when we are there. This might be fine if it was just the two of us but we will probably be a party of about 20, so I think we will need to have ceremony plans set in place more than 48 hours in advance!

    Be interested to know if other people think that using planners when marrying abroad is money well spent or whether it's better to save the cash and plan it all yourself.

  • Pammie6871Pammie6871 Posts: 47
    Im getting married in cyprus in 2 weeks and we have been to the resort 6 x and to the hotel 2 x so I know exactly waht i am letting myself in for. I am the sort of person that needs to plan things and know what is going to be happening and where. Im a bit boring really. I would say that a planner is money well spent especially if you dont know the country/resort. They will be able to take the hassle out of a lot of things for you and if anything goes wrong they can sort it out for you.
  • KenyatwoKenyatwo Posts: 945
    We are going to Kenya booked through a tour operator didn't really think about doing it ourselves. Haven't been to Kenya before never mind the hotel but that was one of the reasons for booking it as once in a life time hol. I asked on here if anyone had stayed at our chosen hotel and got some answers other than that used trip advisor for reviews and just hoping it's all ok
  • MrsRafMrsRaf Posts: 1,802
    I suggest getting in touch with a planner based in Canada - maybe one who specialises in destination weddings. Even if you dont want them to do all the organisation they can give you advice on good suppliers

    we are planning on getting married in France next august. If we were doing it here i would do it all myself but i'm going to enlist the help of a planner as i'm worried about the quality of vendors and about organisation (my french isn't good enough to be confident in negotiating)

    We will be visiting the venue first as it's not too far away but i have to admit that if we were getting married in canada or barbados or something then i doubt that we would fly out first

    just make sure you do your research before booking anything and make sure all contracts are in english and that you read them thoroughly - making note of when each payment needs to be made (apparantly in france they have very different systems to over here)

    good luck!
  • Hi

    We have been to the hotel we are getting married at in Cuba before...that's the reason for us going back in 2 weeks time to get married....19 days till our weddiing, yippee!! image

    We booked through Thomas cook and have had contact with the wedding coordinator at the hotel via email...She has been very helpful and has answered every question that I have sent to her.

    It's your wedding what you want to and I am sure it will work out fine

    x cb x
  • sylossussylossus Posts: 211 New bride
    Ooh I don't know what to do! I quite like the challenge of planning it all myself but I think a planner is probably wise.

    Part of me wants to go to Canada for a snoop around beforehand, but I know it is a bit wasteful money wise. Also, I want the excitement of being there for the first time - combining the wedding with the honeymoon is part of the reason for going so far away. We couldn't afford a honeymoon if we had the wedding here.

    Maybe I'll contact a few planners in Canada and see what their prices are and whether they can just help out with the bits I need I help with, like finding the best outdoor location, rather than signing up for a whole planning package.

    Thanks for all the advice - feeling a lot better about my decision to go to Canada anyway!

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