Deciding to get married abroad can be a daunting experience.  There are many reasons that couples may decide they want to tie the knot somewhere other than their home country, ranging from dreams of beach weddings and beautiful scenery to escaping the stress, fuss and all that comes with a wedding. That’s not to say that getting married in another country wasn’t stressful, but from what I’ve heard it was a lot less stressful than it could have been if we’d done it at home in London!

We were lucky. Some couples who make this decision are met with families who disapprove and loved ones who can’t make it for whatever reason. Things can be challenging planning a wedding from a long way away where you can’t see things in person. Culture and language barriers can also be an issue. However, my advice to couples who dream of a destination wedding would be – DO IT! It was amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Here are some hints and tips for any couples preparing to navigate the sometimes complicated business of planning a wedding abroad.

❤️ It’s your day! Please, please remember this every step of the way. It’s so important to have the wedding that you and your partner want; not what everyone else wants. This still applies when the wedding is abroad. You may get a few eyes rolls or grumbles but just politely explain to everyone that this is your dream day and they will soon come round.

❤️ Having said that, you will need to accept that some people won’t be able to make it. Potentially some important people who you would never have imagined wouldn’t be at your wedding. Expense, time off work, children and even more unforeseeable things like health can effect people’s ability to attend. If the idea that every single member of your extended family and friendship circle has to be there then getting married abroad possibly isn’t for you.

❤️ Be sensible. If you’re choosing a beach wedding in a baking hot location then you chose it for a reason – hopefully you are a bride who wants quite a relaxed/beachy vibe?? I wore a loose fitting dress and flat sandals. A ballgown style and pair of Jimmy Choo’s would not have been appropriate. Equally, please don’t force your hubby to be into a 3 peice suit and tie in 30 degree heat!! Same applies for guests. They need to be comfortable so don’t impose a strict dress code.

❤️ Make the most of the scenery. You are in a beautiful place, you have hired a photographer – use the beauty to your advantage! Looking back on photographs is one of the best things after the wedding and you can treasure them forever. In my opinion having something different as the backdrop is truly special. We even went for a photoshoot the next day underwater in our wedding outfits which was truly amazing! I love looking at the pictures.

❤️ Use a planner. I cannot stress this enough! Some, very brave, couples do attempt to co-ordinate their weddings from the UK but I just could not deal with the stress of it! We used Zante Weddings, the longest running and most experienced wedding planner in Zante, and they couldn’t have been better. Having someone who is a) in the country to liase with vendors b) speaks the language and c) actually knows all the best companies on the island was invaluable. I definitely couldn’t have done it myself. Frances, the owner of the planners, was fantastic and managed to get everything we wanted and more.

TRUST YOUR PLANNER. If you are hiring a local wedding planner then you must trust them to organise your big day. I understand it can be hard to relinquish control of the more special day of your life but it’s important to remember that they have done this before. 100 times. They seriously know what they are doing. When having your wedding abroad there are certain things that you just can’t micro manage to the same level as you can in the UK; e.g. you can’t taste the cake flavours, see the exact colour of the table cloths or choose every single individual flower for your bouquet. This isn’t for everyone, but I loved having the stress of a million decisions being taken out of my hands. We gave our planners a vague theme and colour scheme and they delivered flowers, décor and food which was better than we ever could have imagined. Choose your planner carefully and trust them to give you your perfect day.

Relax and enjoy. Chances are, you decided to tie the knot abroad to avoid some of the usual stresses and strains that come with a UK wedding – so make sure you actually chill out and enjoy yourself! Not only are you having your dream wedding day and marrying the love of your life – but you’re also combining it with a gorgeous holiday. I was sunbathing and doing yoga by the pool the morning of my wedding! You, your hubby and all your guests will be on a holiday high and what could be more amazing than a giant holiday with family and friends. Have a ball.

I hope these tips help any couples thinking of taking the plunge and getting married somewhere other than the UK. From one bride to another; you won’t regret it!

Today I’ve decided to write a little post on my thoughts about ‘wifeing’. I am now a wife, I have been for nearly four months now.  ‘How’s married life?’ and ‘Have you got fed up with him yet?!’ with a wink and a nudge are questions that now come up often. When you get married, you’re relationship seems to change in the eyes of others. Yes, you have moved from ‘girlfriend’ to ‘wife’, but does that title and a legal document really make a difference? For us, no. We were already living together and behaving as if we were married, so there is no change at all really.

I am a wife, and I’m enjoying it! I’m getting used to it now. Wife is now part of my identity, but by no means does it define me. I think the term ‘good wife’ often comes with connotations of  baking apple pies and darning socks. Now, this may be you of course and there is nothing wrong with that at all. But it’s not me and by no means will I be morphing into the ‘super wife’ just because I’ve got a ring on my finger.

So, for those of you who are married, getting married, or just plain curious here is what being a ‘good wife’ means to me.

Respect.  Number ONE always respect your husband as he respects you. Appreciate him and love him just as much as you did when you were dating/first got engaged.

Romance. Keep it alive! Yes, it’s unrealistic to keep up hearts and flowers indefinitely but occasionally just doing something really nice for him will make a difference.

Love him to bits. I love my husband so much and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Love him to death because HELL you are so lucky you have married the love of your life.

Let it go. Husbands are not perfect just like you and everyone else on the planet. Don’t get annoyed about nothing. Let him make little mistakes and just breath it out and let go of it, it’s not the end of the world if he forgot to do something he promised or spilt coffee on the carpet (in our case this is more likely to be me..).

Back him up. There might be times when hubby really needs your support.  Be his rock when things are tough.

Enjoy your time together. Just because your not ‘dating’ anymore doesn’t mean you can’t still go on dates! Do fun stuff on your days off together, take each other out, surprise each other with day trips, try new things.

Look hot. This one may be a bit vain and trust me my husband sees me at my absolute WORST on a daily basis when I wake up in the morning but I always make an effort to look my best when we go out or are seeing friends or his family.

PAY FOR STUFF. Unless a wife is a stay at home mum or earns a hell of a lot less than their husband I really don’t see why he should pay for everything. We spilt virtually everything down the middle and I never expect to be paid for. I think that’s just common sense.

Do your bit. Around the house I’m talking. I’m certainly not an obedient wife who does all the housework but it’s only fair to do half.

No shouting. Again another personal one because I know some people love getting their frustrations out with a good old row but I hate it so I never, ever raise my voice. Paul’s never heard me shout and I want to keep it that way.

Say sorry. It’s not always his fault! Be fair and if it’s yours then just say sorry.

Teamwork. We are a TEAM. Like all solid couples Michelle and Barack, Posh and Becks, Brad and Ange we work together on everything and do everything together. Best mates and partners in life, his happiness means as much to me as mine, if not more.

Never go to sleep on a fight, be faithful and loyal (goes without saying), say ‘I love you’ every day and kiss him in public (although not with tongues, yuk PDA) and if he reeeeeally wants you to bake apple pie then buy it from M&S ask his mum for the recipe and make one. ONLY OCCASSIONALLY though you don’t want him to get too spoilt.

People may disagree on the ins and outs of what being a good wife entails, but these things are what I promised in my vows and I plan to hold up my end of the bargain.

What do you think it means to ‘be a good wife’??