From exclusive villas to chic beach restaurants and five-star resorts, celebrating your wedding abroad has never been so exciting but with the vast amount of venue options on offer you’ll need to discover more than just capacity and availability to choose wisely.

Must-know questions to ask wedding venues abroad

Here’s our carefully selected shortlist of questions you need to ask potential destination wedding venues to ensure you get the wedding space you desire…

1. Can I legally get married at your venue?

Legally getting married abroad is dictated by individual circumstances and the country/locations formalities, if you adhere to these regulations and would prefer a legal as opposed to symbolic ceremony, you will need to ask the venue if they hold a licence to do so.

2. What role as a venue can you help in my planning?

You need to establish the services on offer with regards to your wedding planning. Various types and styles of venues will have differing levels of planning support.

Many resorts or wedding estates will have dedicated wedding planners onsite ready to assist in everything from transport transfers to decor hire and flowers.

Whereas some venues offer wedding day co-ordination, presenting you with a list of quality suppliers to arrange your own decor and catering, and then of course there are wedding spaces which simply offer dry hire- where you will  need to source everything yourself.

Make sure you know what the venue can and can’t offer you in terms of planning support and remember you can make additional arrangements with a hired wedding planner if needs be.

3. What minimum requirements do you have?

Destination wedding venues will usually have some sort of minimum requirement when it comes to hosting events, this could be; guest numbers, overall spend, hourly exclusivity or a set number of nights you need to stay for.

If you would prefer to celebrate in a villa or estate, you are most likely to be expected to pay the price to hire the entirety of the property including all bedroom fees for a minimum period, which can range from 1-7 nights.

4. How long can we enjoy our wedding at your venue?

You need to understand exactly when you can access the venue and when you will be expected to leave. Some wedding terraces will have hourly hire rates whereas wedding estates will have day rates- you need to know the exact timings to make sure you can create the experience you really want.

5. What exclusivity options do you offer?

Exclusive use wedding venues are amongst the most in-demand wedding spaces, the idea of privately hosting your celebrations is clearly incredibly desirable.

As for destination wedding venues, the term ‘exclusive’ use can differ from one to another. Most villas will specify full private use for a minimum number of nights however larger resort style venues may offer partial exclusivity- which will involve the private use of a particular area, such as the ceremony terrace.

Make sure you understand the exclusivity agreement and the areas you will be entitled to have private use of.

Venue Pure House Ibiza | Photo by Matt Morgan

6. What dates shall I avoid?

Hosting your wedding on a popular holiday or event can not only significantly increase the overall spend of your wedding but it may prove difficult to source quality suppliers. Discuss possible dates with venues and try to avoid said bank holidays or religious celebrations.

When finalising your actual wedding date it is worth establishing the venues peak and low season cut off points. Let’s say peak season begins at the end of May- deciding on a mid May date could potentially save you thousands.

7. Does your venue have any limitations/restrictions?

Most venues will have some sort of restrictions in place, even if it’s just to omit candles and paper confetti but profound limitations could effect your big day hugely.

Sound limits and early music cut off points are popular venue restrictions which can affect your days planning significantly. Be aware some venues will have furthers restrictions such as adults only or not permitting pets- not ideal if you’re planning a child-friendly or pet-friendly wedding!

8. Can you accommodate guests needing special provisions?

If your guestlist includes individuals needing provisions ensure you make potential venues aware prior to booking.

Public venues should provide disabled access but when it comes to intimate wedding terraces or certain coastal retreats, the natural constraints of terrain may make this challenging.

I you are inviting children you may need to address the venues suitability and discuss safety elements that are in place, such as pool gates.

Modern caterers will be experienced in providing for dietary requirements but again you may want to check to avoid disappointment later on.

9. Do you offer any additional experiences?

It’s certainly on trend to create an experience of a lifetime rather than simply a wedding, so you’ll be amazed at what venues abroad can offer to impress your guests- from luxury spa treatments to elite wine-tasting, culinary workshops and even the ability to charter a yacht!

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10. What transport options are available?

You will need to know the best ways for you and your guests to arrive at your desired venue. Finding the nearest airport and transport links are a good start but probe your venue into revealing the easiest way to get directly to them.

Some venues may offer private transfers and others can help arrange buses to accommodate your large wedding party. You may also want to understand what the parking situation is like to pass on relevant details to your guests.

11. What if…

This is quite subjective to the type of wedding you are planning but you will need to ask the what if’s when plan b needs to be implemented.

Favourable weather is usually one of the main advantages when heading abroad to wed but heaven forbid this lets you down, where will you have your ceremony and how will your day unfold?

If your venue asks you to block book a set amount of bedrooms and your guests decide not to stay, what happens then? Will you be stung with the bill?

Think of some worse case scenario questions and address them to the venue, its better to be prepared then shocked later down the line. And, of course you will need to know the venues cancellation policy.

12. What are your payment terms?

Discuss payment terms fully but also address hidden expenditures such as VAT and taxes- these will differ from country to country but ensure the final figure is inclusive before you commit.

Keep in mind it is likely your invoice will be in a different currency and exchange rates fluctuate, a year or so down the line when final payments are due, your outlay may have increased.

Good luck choosing your ideal venue abroad!

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