A Tropical Island Wedding. With summer fast approaching, we are thinking about spending more time outdoors. Why not take your wedding outdoors too or even overseas to a wonderful tropical location. Getting married on a tropical island can give a fantastic edge to your big day but there are a few things you need to consider:
Travel plans When planning your tropical island beach wedding, you will need to carefully consider when you are going to have it. Depending on the size of your wedding, you should make your travel arrangements early - don’t leave it to the last minute as you may be disappointed. You should also save some money by booking in advance.
Some times will be more difficult to book (such as the school holidays for example) and you will also need to consider when your guests are able to take time off work (unless, of course, you just want to go alone!).
One of the great advantages of getting married at an island resort is that they will generally help you plan the wedding before you arrive. Most resorts have in-house wedding arrangers who know both the resort and area far better than you so will be of invaluable assistance in planning everything form the ceremony to the guests’ accommodation! Also, by having the wedding and honeymoon all in one, it is easy to relax after the big day on the beach!
Cost Having an overseas wedding may not be as expensive as you think, especially if you have one of the package deals offered by many resorts. However, while it may not cost you as much, it is likely to cost your guests a fair bit more than if the wedding was at home. Before deciding on having a tropical beach wedding, you need to consider who you want to attend the wedding and whether those people can afford to take time off and pay for flights, accommodation etc. If you think that it will be a struggle for them, you can look into trying to get a group discount for flights and accommodation and perhaps helping to subsidise it yourself. If people are paying for it themselves, they might want to stay for a few days afterwards (and make it their annual holiday) – but you will need to give them plenty of warning of the date so that they can apply for leave from work.
Timing and weather Not everyone worships the sun and, in this day and age of sun protection and responsibility, the afternoon heat can be brutal on both you and your guests, especially older folks and young kids.
Consider holding your ceremony either in the morning or in the evening when it is not so hot. If you really want an afternoon ceremony make sure that shade is available and seating of some sort is provided for older guests (and hope for a cool sea breeze!). Bring sun cream and plenty of cold drinks. A fun idea might be to provide sun parasols or something similar to keep the sun of everyone’s faces!
It will also pay to check when the tide is due in or out as tides coming in are noisier than going out and you don’t want to the risk of water washing away your wedding!
While you can’t control the weather, it does pay to check the long term forecasts and at least do your best to beat the odds. Be realistic and choose a time of year when the weather is generally settled – choosing a date in the middle of hurricane season is probably not going to work out!
Dress It may be nice to dress to suit your location by having a more relaxed look for your wedding. It is common to wear something lightweight like linen, sarongs, sun dresses and short sleeved shirts. More formal attire can look out of place at the beach and may prove uncomfortable depending on how long you intend to spend on the beach. Being more relaxed doesn’t have to mean beach shorts and singlets; it just means choosing a style that suits the occasion. Ask your dress maker for tips and you will be surprised at how many fabulous dresses can be adapted for the beach style.
Having a beach wedding doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t have the traditional white dress that you have always dreamed of. You just need to remember that you will have to walk across sand and stand in the heat while wearing it. Your dress will be easier to handle if it is a little shorter than usual and without a train (as sand is not the easiest to walk on). Another tip for the wise: wear shoes that are suitable, anyone who has worn stilettos at the beach will testify they are not appropriate!
For the grooms, it may be preferable to abandon the tie and jacket as sweat and wedding photos don’t mix!! However, if you are having an early evening wedding, a casual jacket and shirt will look very smart. If relaxed is your thing then a classic long legged short and shirt may well suffice (but check with your fiancée first!).
Also let your guests know what they are expected to wear so they can dress appropriately for the conditions.
Flowers A beautiful bouquet of roses is amazing but remember they are may not be easily available on a tropical island and are likely to wilt within minutes. Instead, why not use a flower that grows locally as these flowers will flourish in the heat and will look great throughout the day. An exotic bunch of flowers will also add interest to your photos and help to create a real beach feel to your wedding. Ask a florist before you leave to suggest some flower choices or if you really want something more traditional discuss with them how to make the flowers last longer. Remember, you won’t be able to preserve your bouquet so if you want to keep a memento of your bouquet organise a second matching bouquet to be made back home and preserved (don’t get caught at Customs trafficking plant life!).
Another idea is to forgo flower centerpieces and decorations and instead use beach themed accessories such a child sized buckets, shells and stones – again creating the beach theme. These also could be used to create an aisle for you on the beach where you exchange you vows.
Photos When hiring your photographer it will be a good idea to talk to the resort staff as they may have a photographer that they use who is familiar with the locality and taking photos on the beach – beach photos can look amazing but aren’t always the easiest to take in the blazing midday sun. Make sure that you see sample of the photographer’s work to make sure that you like their photos.
As for locality, could you wish for anything better, blue water and palm trees will make for great memorable photos. Just keep in mind that, depending on where you are having your wedding, there may be other guests on the beach (unfortunately you can’t always guarantee a nice deserted beach!). The photographer may be able to find another more secluded location for photos.
Why not incorporate the local style of food into the wedding meal or even add a beach style to the choices, such as a sophisticated BBQ or seafood platter. Another fun way to give a casual feel is to serve tropical cocktails in dazzling colours which will also provide your guests with a conversation starter!! Wedding favours can be incorporated into this too. When selecting your menu, also consider the temperature -- many foods will spoil in the heat - especially your wedding cake. Try a fondant icing instead of a butter cream as it should stand up better. However, unlike usual practice, it may be better to keep the cake on ice/refrigerated until the cutting just to be safe! Remember you won’t be able to take cake home with you so if you want to save some cake consider getting a second smaller cake to enjoy with friends and family when you return from your honeymoon.
Back up plan Be prepared. Weather is always unpredictable and sometimes it can pack up unexpectedly. Rather than let it ruin your day, have a back up plan in place. Consider putting up a marquee to provide some shelter (either from the rain or the sun). Often the resort will have a room that can be used for your wedding if the weather is unagreeable but it will pay to discuss this ahead of time.
If it does rain, don’t let it ruin your day. This is your wedding day and it will be special wherever you have it. Make the weather part of the day. Can’t you just see yourselves now, sipping champagne against the sunset under the stars…..?