Is it acceptable for a couple to send out a wedding gift list to their guests when hosting a destination wedding?
The politically correct answer is no. As guests would have taken unpaid time off from work, arranged childcare and forked out hundreds of pounds to fly thousands of miles to attend your big day, it is generally not expected that they will also bring you a gift. After all, their presence is enough, right? Not exactly.
Guests are spending their own money on their own travel and, more often than not, take advantage and make a vacation out of your wedding by extending their stay. A sort of wed-cation. You are hosting them at gorgeous venues with a sumptuous Wedding Breakfast, drinks, usually an evening finger buffet thrown in, a wedding cake, entertainment and a chance for them to let their hair down. Some couples also host welcome and farewell dinners as well as providing their guests with local excursions, wedding favours and in-room welcome kits.
So when the couple are going to great lengths to make their guests' stays comfortable, a De'Longhi toaster and matching kettle is not going to break the bank! It's a courteous touch to thank the couple for their generosity and to wish them well in their married life. Of course, lugging gifts across in your luggage is not ideal so it is better to gift the couple locally in advance of their travel.
It is always a good idea to ask the couple whether they have a wedding gift list registered with a department store to avoid unwanted and duplicated gifts.
So you've got your heart set on a destination wedding and you've already paid the deposit. Now you've got to let your family and friends know so that they may book the time off from work, arrange childcare, save money, apply for passports and visas if necessary and make their travel arrangements extra early so as to take advantage of lower air fares and hotel offers. Do not, by any means, leave this first step too late. Send out a Save the Date with your wedding planner's contact details as soon as you have firmed your wedding date.
Wedding experts recommend sending out Save the Dates at least 8-12 months prior to the wedding and the official invite around 4 months ahead.
Once you have your guest numbers, you can start on one of the most delicious aspects of your wedding: The Wedding Breakfast. Ensure your Save the Date asks your guests to specify if they have any food allergies or other dietary requirements. It shows your guests that you care about their well-being as well as avoiding having to call out the emergency services during the actual Wedding Breakfast in the event that you have overlooked that your third cousin removed has a nut allergy.
Satisfying the individual requirements of each guest is just not possible. It's your big day after all and you take centre-stage. However, thoughtful consideration of your guests on the whole such as arranging for a hotel room equipped for guests with special needs to be booked or pre-booking wheelchair assistance on board the flight or arranging childcare at the hotel for guests who need it goes a long way and demonstrates that you care.
A simple touch to show you are thoughtful hosts is to provide some cold water and paper fans to your guests during the ceremony. So many couples omit this simple yet necessary step. In a hot country, dressed up in wedding finery, your guests will love you for your attention to detail. Most hotels will provide free jugs of chilled water. Bride Gibraltar can provide you with beautiful hand held, paper fans in an array of designs and colours to match your theme. They can even be personalized with the your names and date of marriage.
Planning an adults only destination wedding is a very grown up trend but do keep it in mind that this may not be a feasible option for some families. Asking parents to leave their young kids behind may not be practical so be prepared to receive some declined RSVPs, and at times, accompanied with emotional outbursts, if you make the decision to host a child free wedding. A great option may be to arrange a babysitter at the hotel to look after the young ones whilst the parents let their hair down. Sorted!
As guests are often travelling long distances to your wedding, it's a generally accepted rule that wedding gifts are not expected. The exception would be guests who cannot join you and in lieu of spending money on their own travel, they can send you a gift. This is perfectly acceptable. Of course, for those guests who do go that extra mile and bring you a wedding gift, accept graciously
Once the nuptials are over, plan to make a graceful exit. Your wedding guests may still be crawling all over the same hotel or resort you're booked in and may be expecting you to continue hosting them until they leave. After all, they've forked out hundreds of pounds to attend your special day and may feel slighted if you suddenly disappear. Plan an elegant farewell brunch or dinner the day after the wedding to say your thank yous to all those who made the effort to attend your day.
As a wedding planner with over two decades of experience with brides and grooms, I've come across some amazingly unforgettable and fabulous moments which have defined what a wedding is all about. In short, commitment. To each other, to your futures and to your close family and friends.
There have been some weddings that I really hold dear to me through the years. Laura and Simon who were one of my very first couples and who discovered they were expecting a baby on the day they were getting married! Or the 82 year old grandmother who could not fly to Gibraltar due to ill health and who contacted me privately to organize an emotional surprise for the bride. She sent me a beautiful locket bearing her late husband's photo which was to be given to the bride so that she could carry it and would still be walking down the aisle with her dear grandfather. The overwhelmed bride attached the locket to her shoe as she proudly walked down the aisle in the Alameda Gardens. Not a dry eye in sight!
Another wonderful couple is Paul and Dawn, who got married at the Open Air Theatre and have returned every year for the past 5 years to commemorate their anniversary. They have stayed at the same hotel each year to relive their fairytale wedding. Their words, not mine :)
Then there are those weddings that have stuck with me through the years but not for the right reasons! For example, there was K and D's wedding where the groom paid for 50 of his closest family and friends to spend a fantastic week at the Rock Hotel in Gibraltar. He paid attention to the smallest of details to ensure his guests were going to feel pampered and spoilt. He arranged welcome and farewell dinners, a beach bbq, a pool party, not one, not two but three wedding cakes and he even asked me to go shopping to choose a wedding gift for his beautiful bride to be because, in his words, 'he's rubbish at that kind of thing'!
After much deliberation, he settled on a silver Tiffany, personalized bracelet and a Louis Vuitton bag from the 2009 cruise collection. The latter gift inspired him to book his 17 night honeymoon aboard the QEII from Southampton to New York and he asked me to make all the arrangements for this huge surprise for his bride.
Meticulous planning and almost £100,000 later, it was time for the actual wedding. Unfortunately, the groom didn't quite make it to his own wedding as he had had too much fun the previous night and was nowhere to be found. The bride was, naturally, distraught. The registrar could not wait around any longer and had to leave at which time, a rather sheepish looking, dishevelled groom appeared wearing dark sunglasses. So no marriage later, the rather sombre wedding party continued to the bar to commence the drinks reception....only an argument broke out between the bride's and groom's families and lets' just say that furniture was hurled out of a window facing the Mediterranean and bar stools were broken and used as weapons!
There was a happy ending though. The unmarried couple still sailed off on honeymoon on the QEII and got married by the Captain on board the boat! K did get in touch upon his return to not only apologise to all the staff at the hotel but he also sent a whopping cheque to tip them or was that to make them forget it ever happened!
Such are affairs to remember and whether they make you laugh or cry when you look back, one thing is for sure....the wedding album never lies!
Bride Gibraltar does not just do weddings. We also arrange honeymoons whether it is in Gibraltar, neighbouring Spain or Morocco, Portugal and beyond, the Maldives or even the QEII....
It's all very well choosing a far flung, tropical destination for your nuptials but have you considered how much stress your decision to marry overseas may cause your nearest and dearest?
Why you may ask? Well, for starters, there's the cost. Especially if you're flying off to the other side of the world and expect your bff, who is currently in between jobs, to fork out hundreds if not a thousand or so just to be present to witness your big moment. Or then there's Aunt Jemima who hasn't renewed her passport in years and is probably too frail to fly anyway. Or what about your first cousin who's just given birth to her firstborn and doesn't want to expose her child to any health risks in foreign lands? And finally what about your mother-in-law-to-be who has a morbid fear of flying? Will they think you're selfish for choosing a far flung land for your big day? Will anyone even show up?
These are just a few of the problems faced by couples deciding to tie the knot on fancy, foreign soils. What should be one of the happiest times in your life can become soured by the stressed and anxious faces of your nearest and dearest who are afraid they may not be able to afford to attend your wedding.
So what happens if you announce to family and friends that you are getting married abroad in the sun but still on British soil, only 2.5 hours by air? Further, the cost of travelling is most reasonable making it quite the viable option for most of your guests. Well, there will be tears but tears of joy we're guessing!
That is because getting married in Gibraltar not only has the advantage of being accessible from most UK airports with direct flights into Gibraltar and Malaga at fairly low costs if booked in advance; of using the Pound as currency so no fussing around with Euros or the like; of being quintessentially British with English as the first language and, of course, enjoying year round sunshine and being so within spitting distance of Spain and Morocco. Guests can make a holiday out of your wedding by travelling to Marbella and beyond or taking a trip into North Africa. Complete value for money!
A wedding in Gibraltar will cost, on average, more than 60% less than a UK wedding. Being VAT exempt, you have a 20% saving without even stepping foot into the territory. Being duty free, you can even make a great saving by choosing your wedding rings from one of the many Main Street jewellers.
Your guests will thank you for choosing Gibraltar as your wedding destination. So tropical in flavour but still so British. Bride Gibraltar offers you fantastic wedding guest packages complete with flights, transfers, hotels and excursions. Contact email@example.com for more details.
Whilst a destination wedding in Gibraltar sounds ever so appealing given the sunshine, lack of red tape and low costs, it can become quite overwhelming pretty quickly if you a) have not visited Gibraltar and
b) if you are a bit of an organizer. This is where a wedding planner comes in pretty handy.
Not only does the planner make your planning a lot easier, he or she will also be able to advise you on the legal requirements and eligibility criteria which should not, under any circumstances, be left to chance. Too many couples have read something somewhere which tells them how straightforward and simple it is to get married in Gibraltar and yes it is straightforward and simple as long as you have the correct documentation in place.
A planner will be able to check and verify your documents well in advance even before you start your packing and advise you if anything is missing or not giving you time to find/order the documents. Once you arrive in Gibraltar, all will be in place for you with pre wedding meetings set up so you don't have to be fussing nor faffing around in a panic leaving you time to relax by your hotel pool with a glass or two of bubbly. Trust us when we say, you don't want to be running around like a headless chicken in the Gibraltar sun getting yourself worked up and stressed out just before you say, 'I do'. So not a good look in the wedding album.
So what else does a wedding planner come in handy for? Well, there's the cost of your wedding for a start. Booking a wedding package through a planner means you gain the advantage of discounted rates negotiated by the planner and available only to them not to the public. Combining services such as photography, bridal flowers, venue hire, wedding cake, wedding car, catering and drinks packages, hotels, flights, transfers, entertainment and wedding favours as a package will cost you far less in the long run than trying to do it yourself and booking each component separately.
So don't try any DIY, go for a package but only if you want to save money as well as take advantage of the wealth of destination knowledge and expertise of a wedding planner. Contact Bride Gibraltar on firstname.lastname@example.org for complete wedding packages to suit all budgets.
That's right. £99 pp and 10 minutes later, you can be legally wed in Gibraltar. That's all it takes. That and your Mr or Mrs Right of course!
It's no gimmick. It's the most transparent and, at this price, the most basic package available. It includes checking and verifying your paperwork to ensure that you are, in the first instance, eligible to be married in Gibraltar. No point going all the way across the Straits only to discover you don't quite have all the documents, in original form, as required by the Civil Status and Marriages Office.
It also includes the preparation of your affidavits including your pre wedding meeting with the commissioner followed by a trip to the registry office to submit the sworn affidavits and then your Special Licence for Marriage may be issued.
Also included is the actual civil marriage ceremony in the registry office and two marriage certificates proving that you did, in fact, do the deed in case you are still unsure after a whirlwind elopement!
This limited time offer of £99 pp is valid for all bookings made before 31 July 2019. Contact us now on email@example.com to check availability for your preferred date.
Getting married in Gibraltar is sooooo simple!
All you have to do is turn up, pay the fee to the registry office, pop across the road to a local solicitors to get your documents notarized and that’s it, you’re ready to be hitched, right?
The reality is that there is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes and if one teeny-weeny detail is omitted, well the reality is that you won’t be able to get married despite your best laid out plans. Social media sites give the impression that a wedding planner is an expensive luxury and one that is unnecessary. They also give out incorrect and outdated information and cannot be relied upon as a valid excuse in front of the registrar’s clerk when she informs you solemnly that there cannot be a wedding as you have not provided her with the previous marriage certificate of your spouse to be’s former deceased partner or you have omitted to include a certified copy of your full version birth certificate or that you have left the originals of your documents at home….in the UK.
Whilst Bride Gibraltar does not profess to be like Jennifer Lopez’s character Mary Fiore, from the 2001 comedy film, ‘The Wedding Planner’ nor anywhere like the eccentric extraordinaire Franck Eggelhoffer from the 1991 film, ‘Father of the Bride’, we are there to guide you through the entire process of booking and planning a destination wedding in Gibraltar and to ensure you get married…legally!
Imagine the look on your mother-in-law-to-be’s face when she’s told that whilst she’s bought her new hat and flown hundreds of miles to attend her son’s big day, there won’t be a wedding after all. Then imagine the look on your cousin’s face, yes the cousin who left her eight month old twins behind in the capable hands of her husband just so that she could be your Matron of Honour on your special occasion.
The number of symbolic wedding ceremonies Bride Gibraltar has been called on to arrange at the eleventh hour because the couple have left behind important documents is not even funny. Many times, it is only the couple who know that the ceremony is symbolic ie not legally binding ie they are definitely not Mr & Mrs at the end of it as they don’t want to disappoint their friends and family who have taken time off from work and spent a lot of money to travel overseas to attend a real wedding.
Whilst we have been delighted to be called up to arrange such symbolic, non binding faux-marriage ceremonies, the truth is that it is very hard for the couple and can ruin what was supposed to be the most memorable day of their lives. Well, we guess it would be memorable to have been denied a legally binding marriage yet pretending to family and friends and smiling at the camera through clenched teeth.
There may just be a detail that you may miss or overlook in the excitement and stress of arranging a wedding and a destination wedding at that. Our advice is to stop relying on the advice of those who have done it all before you and tell you how easy-peasy it is and that you should not waste your money on wedding planners to arrange the wedding for you. Laws change. Regulations change. Weather changes. And if you change your mind, well we can't help you there!
What if it rains on your wedding day on the unlikeliest of days? Would you have made any alternative arrangements? A wedding planner most certainly would have. What if the wedding car people are late or what if the cake has not been delivered to your venue? Do you really want to be stressing over such details in your wedding dress? That’s where the wedding planner fits in and does all the ground work for you. The responsibility lies with the wedding planner not with you and not with your guests allowing you all to keep on enjoying the day no matter what goes on behind the scenes.
The last thing you want to be doing on the flight over to Gibraltar is to wonder if you packed your wedding shoes, if you ticked the right box on the affidavit and worse, if you remembered to bring all the originals, certifications and translations of your documents with you. You need to be relaxed and enjoy the lead up to your big day. Do you really want to be the on the day planner? Haven’t you done enough planning in the lead up to the Big Day? It’s time to chill out, grab a glass of bubbles and let the celebrations begin!
Let Bride Gibraltar take the heat 😊
Is my money protected when I book a destination wedding in Gibraltar?
The short answer is quite simply, no.
The detailed answer is when you book your destination wedding with anyone but Bride Gibraltar, your monies are in no way protected. This is because none of the wedding planners in Gibraltar are affiliated to any regulatory or other body that controls their businesses or finance.
However, when you book your wedding package with Bride Gibraltar you can do so in the happy knowledge that your monies and those of your guests are fully protected under UK law. How so you ask?
Well, Bride Gibraltar is part of the My Vacations Group of Travel Companies and is a member of IATA and holds an ATOL (5092). No other wedding planning company in Gibraltar or offering weddings in Gibraltar offers this financial guarantee.
So in the unlikely event of Bride Gibraltar failing to deliver on its commitments made to you or ceasing operations, you can be assured that your monies will be returned to you in full.
In the wise words of the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, if it doesn’t have an ATOL, don’t book it ‘at all’.
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