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  • Writer's pictureAll Things Beautiful


So you decided to have an European destination wedding, what now?  

Where to start and what to consider - I've unpacked it all here.

Planning your destination wedding can get a little overwhelming, especially at the beginning. There are many decisions ahead of the two of you. So how not to let the pressure and stress get to you? Try to have as much fun as possible! Sit down with your fiancé, or invite a bunch of friends (great occasion to announce your wedding party list!), pop a bottle of something bubbly, and get down to it! 

Here are the key things to consider when you are about to embark on the journey of planning your destination wedding in Europe:

1. There is no such thing as "too early to plan" in the world of destination weddings in Europe

There is a reason why I always advise to start the planning process a year (or more) in advance, and that reason is: the most interesting spots and professionals fill their calendars very quickly. With many weddings being postponed due to COVID-19, the coming years are shaping up to be busier than ever for the wedding vendors, venues and creative alike.

Have you been following a wedding planner on their Instagram for a while but haven't reached out just yet? Do you have an eye on a particular private villa you saw in AD Magazine? Is there a photographer you dream of working at your wedding? The sooner you fix the date and location, the sooner you can book your dream vendors and creatives.

2. Set your criteria and list all the must-haves

My advice is to set at least five criteria for your big day. Picture your wedding day - what do you see? Is it by the sea or nested between mountains? Indoor or outdoor? Is it a bigger event or an intimate one? Think of the atmosphere, colors, textures.

Do you have any particular date or season in mind? If you have always been drawn to a particular country, region or town - even better! Write it all down.

3. Get online & get inspired

Don't limit yourself to bridal websites and magazines. Architecture & design magazines, travel & lifestyle blogs, Pinterest, Instagram are some of the best sources of inspiration. Following interior design and travel accounts can lead you to discover some truly spectacular locations you never knew existed.

4. Look into formalities - visas, permits, etc.

Planning a wedding in Europe, chances are the destination of your choice is in the European Union. When hiring a planner or any other wedding creative like photo&videographer, it is paramount they are eligible to work in the EU (for example, UK-based professionals without an EU passport now need a working visa due to Brexit). If you want to avoid any unpleasant surprises and extra charges, ask about this beforehand.

Note that not all countries that are a part of the EU accept Euro () as their currency (think: Croatia, Romania, Denmark, Czechia, or Sweden, to name but a few). That doesn't have to be an issue, but I advise my couples to agree on the currency of reference to be able to compare prices and control the budget.

5. Visit the area and potential venues

Seeing the venue in person can play a huge role in the decision making process. Sometimes the pictures on the website just don't give the place justice and you risk overlooking a place that could be magical in real life. Less common is the opposite issue, when pictures online show the venue at its finest... that was 15 years ago. Visiting the venue in person can save you a lot of headache.

Pro tip: If you start planning early enough, you can combine looking for a venue with a holiday in a year or two before your destination wedding.

Just imagine - the two of you touring the South of France or Greek Islands, in search for the wedding venue. Killing two birds with one stone? Yes please!

If you don't necessarily have the time to visit the place in person there are few things you can do:

- Look for photos of real weddings that took place at the venue you are considering, in the past year. It will help you better understand what can be done there.

- Ask the venue manager to give you an online tour and/or to send you additional pictures from all angles possible.

- Send your destination wedding planner to scout the venues for you. As professionals, us planners understand your style, and know what to look for in a venue to see its true potential. Unlike the venue manager, the planner will be there to represent your interest, and ask all the tough questions to leave no room for surprises later on.

6. Always, and I mean ALWAYS, get insurance

If living in the times of the global pandemic has taught us anything is to always have insurance. None of us can predict the future. Is the possible uncertainty a good enough reason to ditch your dreams about a destination wedding? Absolutely not! But reviewing all the contracts and having suitable clauses in them is a must that can save you a lot of money and headache later on, should anything were to happen.

7. Hire a professional

It's as simple as that - as a professional, I can guide you through the whole process of finding and choosing the right location as well as recommending you vendors that fit your style, needs and budget.

Can't wait to hear from you!



ATB founder


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