The Hippo


May 28, 2020








Take me away
Use travel specialist to simplify your overseas gala


Planning on tying the knot abroad? There are plenty of things to consider before getting hitched, including the legalities of it all and the best way to find vendors.

Darcy Allen of Travel by Darcy in Epping says to save yourself hours of paperwork and hundreds of dollars and to open your options on where your destination is, consider getting married at home first.
“It can be legally difficult to get married abroad; if you can take care of the legalities at home, it frees up your options,” Allen said.
Then, Allen said, the least stressful option is to work with a destination specialist who can help you find the perfect location and hook you up with hotels that can help coordinate the big day. Most four- or five-star hotels will have a wedding planner and a list of preferred vendors with whom they already have contracts, Allen said, so there’s no need to Google “florist in Tuscany.”
“Any good hotel, any reputable hotel is going to have good network of vendors they work with,” Allen said. 
She said a wedding planner or hotel can help you get package deals. Working with a travel agent will help you coordinate flights and accommodations.
“Work with a real agent. If you’re going to have family and friends joining you, the agent [will] do the contracts for flights and rooms,” she said.
Colleen Nauss has been a travel agent since 1982 and works for Milne Travel American Express in Manchester. She too advises using a travel specialist and says some of the best weddings are held at resorts.
“They’re used to [hosting weddings]; they have top designers that have arranged packages at the resort. They’re just really, really beautiful outcomes. Doing it that way is more seamless,” Nauss said.
Working with someone at a resort can help you find what you’re looking for, such as the steel drum band you may have enjoyed on your last visit.
“The big thing, I think, is dealing with a reputable person and a good resort. I think that, in working with them over the years, you kind of get to know who are the better ones and the snags to look out for,” Nauss said.
Nauss said a destination wedding can be done at the same price or less than that of a more traditional wedding — if you go about it the right way.
“That’s when a travel agent is most valuable.” she said.
The biggest piece of putting together a destination wedding is getting everyone to the destination, Nauss says, and having a travel agent organize that (including the wedding invitations) can take a load off your mind.
“It’s a lot less headache for the bride and groom, and I take it from there,” Nuass said. 
That includes handling anything that may need to be shipped, like if you wanted a certain beverage for a toast and the resort doesn’t carry it.
“It’s a lot safer to work with a travel agent who has the expertise and the relationship with a vendor and wedding planner at the resort. We basically do all of it,” Nauss said.
Whether you deal directly with a resort or use a travel specialist, the cost is the same, she says.
“You can’t get a more beautiful setting with a backdrop of the Caribbean Beach, or whatever you choose. At the end of the day, it is typically much less expensive to have your wedding in the Caribbean than to have it up here,” Nauss said. “It’s almost like a family reunion. Instead of just having a couple hours at a wedding reception, typically you’re together for a couple of days.” 
As seen in the January 22, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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