A couple who travel together and are planning a St. Lucia wedding shared tips for marrying abroad.
Krystina Burton and Gabriel Solberg told Insider their July wedding has been delayed by COVID-19.
The couple advised being clear with guests about what costs you’re willing to cover.
An engaged couple who travel the world together and are planning a destination wedding in St. Lucia said they’ve learned a lot from planning their big day abroad.
Krystina Burton, 33, and Gabriel Solberg, 38, document their travels on Instagram for their surplus of 16,000 followers on their @swirlthroughtheworld account. They told Insider their destination wedding was due to be an intimate 40-person ceremony at Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort in July, to mark their anniversary, but it’s been delayed for the moment by COVID-19.
Burton and Solberg said they’ve learned a few lessons along the way that other couples hoping to have destination weddings should be aware of before they commit to marrying abroad.
Visit the destination at least once if you can
Solberg and Burton agreed that, where possible, you should avoid choosing a wedding destination unless you’ve visited the city or country yourself.
“Fly out to the place that you plan on going to because it always looks different in pictures,” they said. If this isn’t a financially viable option, you should try to manage your expectations as the couple says things can look and feel a little different in reality.
They also added that, in their experience, a location’s “surrounding vibes” are as important as how it looks because the people and energy can define your wedding experience. “The place that we thought was going to be the nicest place was actually a hell no,” said Solberg of two venues in St. Lucia, adding that the villa they have their sights set on now was a surprising gem.
“We were like, ‘This is cute, it’s very quaint, but it could be a little dicey,'” Burton said. She added they decided to stay for a couple of nights at each venue to make sure it was a perfect fit for them specifically. “Immediately we could tell which one it was, the vibe of the people was so great,” she said.
Plan the less glamorous parts of the day so it goes smoothly
Gabriel told Insider that figuring out the logistics early on will make wedding planning abroad “as frictionless as possible.”
The groom-to-be gave an example from their experience in St. Lucia, saying: “One thing that we hadn’t quite figured out was that the main airport was on the other side of the island.”
He said this led them to question how feasible it was to have their guests arrive at the airport and pay for a rental car or transport to their destination, which he said was another lesson they learned during the planning process.
Decide early on which costs you’re happy to cover for traveling guests
When asking guests to spend money on a destination wedding, it’s important to be clear with yourself and your guests about what costs you are willing to cover, the couple said. “We wanted to cover the taxis and the catamaran for them. That was important for us,” Burton said.
She added that the gestures were to recognize their guests’ efforts. “You’re traveling for our wedding so we wanted to do that. You’re coming this way for us, we want to also give back to you for coming to celebrate with us,” she said.
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