Image courtesy of Jack and Jem Photography
A destination wedding is the perfect excuse for you and all your loved ones to explore the world. And what better destination than Australia? Australia is home to some incredible and diverse scenery, as well as many bustling and unique cities. The extraordinary beauty and rich culture of Australia has made it a hot spot for destination weddings in recent years. But if you’re thinking of having your wedding in Australia, there are a few things you should consider in advance to make sure everything goes smoothly. Here are some helpful tips on how to plan your destination wedding down under.
1. Choose Your Location
Australia is quite a large country, which means it’s home to many different kinds of climates and communities. This diverse region is home to lush forests, stunning beaches, and serene deserts, as well as beautiful cities. So now that you've found the love of your life and got that perfect engagement ring, the first thing you should do when considering a destination wedding in Australia is deciding where you’d like to have your wedding.
To give you some location inspiration, let’s go over some popular areas. For city lovers, Sydney (and, more specifically, near the Sydney Harbour Bridge) is a hot option. For those who love the beach, consider the beautiful and beachy Carins or the Witsundays. If you’re more interested in the countryside, Norfolk Island is a lushly green, idyllic location. Of course, these are only a few of Australia’s many beautiful locations. If you’re not sure exactly where in Australia you want to tie the knot, take a little time to research and find your dream destination.
2. Visit In Advance
If at all possible, it’s a great idea for your and your fiancé to visit your wedding destination in advance. This is useful for many reasons. For one, visiting gives you the opportunity to make sure your desired location is as lovely in person as it looks in pictures. Visiting in person also allows you to check out different venues and vendors yourself, so you don’t have to rely only on internet reviews before you start putting down deposits.
3. Be Considerate of Your Guests
A destination wedding is a big time and money commitment. Not only for you but for your guests as well. So, for any destination wedding, it’s important to be considerate of your guests and allow them plenty of time to plan their attendance.
Once you know you’re having a destination wedding, it’s paramount that you send out your save the dates as soon as possible. And, once you have your venue and hotel details locked (if you didn’t already have those when you sent your save the dates), you should let your guests know quickly. To help you plan, know that it’s standard etiquette to send save the dates for destination weddings 6 to 12 months before the big day. Sticking to this timeline will allow your guests ample time to plan for your nuptials.
4. Remember Seasonal Differences
This is a simple tip but an important one: remember that Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere. So, Australia’s summer and winter seasons lie in different months than they do Northern Hemisphere. Summer in Australia is in December, January, and February, while the Australian winter season is in June, July, and August. Keep this seasonal difference in mind when picking your wedding date.
5. Pick A Dress That Fits The Climate
Another important thing to consider when planning your Australian destination wedding is the climate and how that should affect your wedding dress. For example, if you’re getting married in a tropical part of Australia, you might want to skip non-breathable fabrics like satin, which won’t pair well with tropical humidity. Take a look at the climate of your chosen destination before you say yes to your dress to make sure you’ll be comfortable on your big day.
6. Consider A Local Wedding Planner
Wedding planners are hugely helpful when planning a destination wedding. If you have the means, hiring a local wedding planner can give you some much needed inside info about your wedding location. They can help you pick the best venue and vendors— plus, they’ll be able to communicate with local vendors much more easily than you’d be able to on your own.
7. Consider Your Marriage License
This last tip is a practical one: make sure your Australian marriage is legal. While we can’t give any specific legal advice (always do your own research before getting married abroad), we can give some general information that is true as of the time of this posting.
To get married in Australia, you don’t have to be a citizen but you do have to follow some local rules. For one, you’ll need to lodge a Notice Of Intended Marriage more than a month and a day before your marriage. You’ll also need to make sure you have some documentation on hand (like your original birth certificates and passports), as well as a couple of witnesses and an authorized wedding celebrant or civil marriage celebrant at the ready.
If you want to skip the extra research needed to ensure your Australian marriage is legal and recognized by your home country, remember that you can always just get your marriage license at home and simply have your ceremony down under.