With many couples putting wedding plans on hold, sell a ceremony to remember with Laura French’s guide to weddings abroad for all budgets.
It was meant to be the year of weddings – 2020 is the type of date you’d never forget and there’d be no excuse to ignore milestone anniversaries (nope, not even the 10-year piece of tin). Then the pandemic struck and all plans went to pot. But no cloud is without its silver lining – and this one might just be a raft of pent-up demand, sending couples flocking to you to for a once-in-a-lifetime wedding abroad to make up for lost time.
“No cloud is without its silver lining”
So where and what can you sell? We’ve rounded up some of the best options, split by budget to cater to every client. All ‘total’ prices are based on two guests staying for a week with flights, unless otherwise stated, and include a basic wedding package.
Leonardo Cypria Bay, Cyprus
Total cost: £2,914
Sell it: For a short-haul wedding that won’t break the bank, Olympic Holidays recommends this beachfront resort in Paphos, which offers family-friendly ceremonies on the pier, under a beachfront gazebo or at venues outside the resort including the town hall and local church. Couples tying the knot get a complimentary room upgrade, late checkout, sparkling wine, morning-after breakfast and candlelit dinner, with barbecues, gala menus, violinists, hair styling and other extras available at additional cost.
“Couples tying the knot get a complimentary room upgrade”
Book it: Wedding packages cost from £1,450 including a gazebo by the sea, floral table arrangements, photos, wedding cake, sparkling wine toast, marriage certificate and more. A week’s all-inclusive costs from £732 per person, flying from Gatwick on April 18, 2022.
Tui Sensatori Ibiza
Total cost: £4,305
Sell it: The White Isle might have a party reputation but there’s plenty in the way of romance over on the west coast. Not least at Cala Carbo, a secluded cove fringed with pine trees and offering one of the quietest spots on the island, and Cala Tarida, a long strip of white sand that’s ideal for larger wedding groups. The Tui Sensatori Ibiza is set right in front of the latter and offers scenic ceremonies overlooking the ocean from its Sunset Terrace, with a wedding coordinator, ceremony, decorated location, bride’s bouquet, sangria and tapas, and breakfast in bed all included in the deal.
“There’s plenty in the way of romance over on the west coast”
Book it: A basic wedding package starts at £1,899. Seven nights’ all-inclusive starts at £1,203 per person, with flights from Stansted on June 1, 2022, and transfers.
Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica
Total cost: £4,498
Sell it: For couples keen to go long-haul, look to Sandals’ flagship property in Jamaica. The resort opened an Over-the-Water Serenity Wedding Chapel when it was renovated in 2019 – complete with a glass-floored aisle over the ocean – joining other venues including tropical gardens, a traditional wedding chapel and an ocean-front gazebo. Wedding packages – including wedding team, ceremony, bouquet and a reception with cake, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres – are complimentary for guests staying at least three nights, while those staying a week get credit towards extras including photography and decor.
“The resort opened an Over-the-Water Serenity Wedding Chapel”
Book it: A week in a Beachfront Oversized Butler Villa Suite starts at £2,249 per person in September 2022, including flights from Heathrow. A ceremony at the overwater chapel costs $750.
Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic
Total cost: £5,650
Sell it: There’s more than one Caribbean resort offering complimentary weddings. Over in the Dominican Republic, Casa de Campo is a luxury, village-style resort that’s home to three golf courses, seven restaurants, a beach club and marina. Guests staying for at least four nights qualify for a free wedding on the beach, on a scenic terrace or at a local church, while private villa accommodation offers plenty of seclusion for the couple and their guests.
“Private villa accommodation offers plenty of seclusion”
Book it: The free Euphoria package includes dinner for up to eight guests (when staying all-inclusive) as well as the ceremony, bridal suite, bouquet, buttonhole and cake. Seven nights’ all-inclusive in a one-bedroom suite costs from £2,825 per person, including flights.
Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts
Total cost: £17,330
Sell it: If clients have always dreamed of tying the knot on a paradise island, now’s the time to make it happen. Travel Nation offers an 18-night holiday in French Polynesia for clients wanting to go all out, including a legal wedding at the town hall, a ceremony on a white-sand beach – a sunset champagne reception and four nights in an overwater bungalow at Le Bora Bora. It’s sandwiched between stays in San Francisco, Tahiti and Taha’a, offering a beach-meets-culture wedding break they’ll never forget.
“It’s sandwiched between stays in San Francisco, Tahiti and Taha’a”
Book it: A Le Bora Bora wedding holiday with San Francisco starts at £8,665 per person including wedding package, 15 nights’ accommodation, flights and a helicopter ride in Tahiti.
Three of the best wedding venues
Save: For a wallet-friendly wedding that’s all about the rustic charm, Planet Holidays recommends the town hall in the hillside village of Peyia, Cyprus, where guests can marry in picturesque gardens or at the beach. Wedding packages start at £1,157.
Spend: For a standout ceremony that won’t blow the budget, Olympic Holidays highlights Santorini Gem, a luxury villa overlooking the caldera, offering ceremonies under an idyllic gazebo. Prices start at £3,995.
Splurge: If tying the knot in a chapel overlooking the Med sounds like your clients’ cup of tea, Ionian Weddings suggests Rhodes St Paul’s Bay. The wedding specialist offers a package from £4,830, including a boat trip to Lindos Pier for a barbecue reception for 20 guests.
Adult-only retreat The SoCo Hotel, on Barbados’s south coast, is giving couples the chance to book the entire resort for a week, from £2,547 per
room, or £61,180 in total. “We saw potential for a more extravagant wedding with an exclusive feel,” says wedding coordinator Natasha Best. “With so many postponed weddings in the past year, couples want to make up for lost time with a blowout option, so we’re offering all 24 double rooms, with complimentary ceremony essentials.”
PICTURES: Savvas Argirou; Cesar Portes; George Kapetanakis/Rivios Thanos Photography