TOP 5 EMERGING TRENDS FOR DESTINATION WEDDINGS
Leading website MarryAbroad.co.uk identifies what's in vogue for UK couples
Destination wedding site MarryAbroad.co.uk has surveyed its planners and wedding venues in 10 different countries worldwide, to pinpoint the current Top 5 emerging trends, for UK couples, tying the knot overseas.
Joint Founder Steph Bishops states: "This year we have seen a marked increase in enquiries for small weddings. Half of those enquiries were for a ceremony for just the bride and groom, and the other half for up to four guests - usually the couple's parents or children. These days couples want to get married without it costing a fortune, whilst enjoying being away from their regular routine.
"One fast growing style of intimate wedding is where the couple marries on the weekend and then goes straight back to work on the Monday. This tends to take place in Europe, in destinations served by low cost airlines, and is extremely easy to arrange," says Bishop.
Top 5 Emerging Destination Wedding Trends
1 - Weekend weddings
Many couples now plan their wedding over a whole weekend. London-based Angela Valtuena, Owner of Catalonia Weddings Boutique in Spain, found 20% of her overall bookings were weekend affairs. Valtuena states: "Generally, these couples like to have a welcome dinner or lunch the day before the wedding, and a brunch the day after. The welcome dinner is a fantastic idea if both families don't know each other - and the perfect way to introduce the in-laws."
2 - Very intimate weddings
UK couples are also marrying abroad with fewer guests, with very intimate weddings, with no more than three guests, the most popular. Angela Valtuena states: "Over a quarter, of my UK enquiries this year were for weddings with no guests, or at most, two or three."
Often at intimate ceremonies the wedding planner or photographer ends up also being a witness, due to the legal requirements in each country. Generally in Spain couples have a non-legal blessing, so this requirement is not necessary. MarryAbroad.co.uk has full legalities on its site:
3 - Guests walking the streets
Another emerging trend is for wedding parties to walk through the streets of a city together, in a ceremonial procession. This trend is often requested when couples have chosen a historical city in which to wed. Gabriella Salvato, Co-Owner of Italian planning firm Weddings&Co, finds that "brides have more and more been asking if a route can be planned for the wedding couple. They want their guests to walk along the streets of Siena, Perugia or Rome, accompanied by a musician, all the way to the church or town hall. This allows a chance for the city to show off her ancient ruins or major landmarks - such as the Coliseum, and adds to the ambience of the wedding - providing a unique backdrop."
4 - Wine and food tastings
A new wedding trend is to highlight a region's delicacies - not just in the wedding breakfast, but during a standalone part of the day. MarryAbroad.co.uk found that wine tastings in parts of France and Italy are now popular with couples, who want to provide some informal activity for guests while they are waiting for them to arrive.
Carla Salvato, Co-Owner of Italian planning firm Weddings&Co states: "For weddings that we organise in Italy's wine regions, guests can enjoy a good glass of wine and savoury cheese from the cellar, with an informal talk on the wine, from the patron. This is very popular - at least 60% of couples who inquiry about a destination wedding in Italy ask for Tuscany, mainly Siena and the Chianti region. They all want a backdrop with vineyards, and virtually all of them ask for either a villa or a castle overlooking the hills."
5 - Trend for Photographers over Videographers
MarryAbroad.co.uk also found that 89% of UK couples getting wed abroad favoured a photographer, over a videographer, despite a recent evolution of the wedding video industry.
Steph Bishop, Joint-Founder of MarryAbroad.co.uk states: "Some trends are hard to shift - such as our love of the wedding album, and as Brits, our expectation of a photographer at a wedding. This may change in years to come, but for now in this respect, brides are still opting for tradition on their big day".
For more information, please visit www.MarryAbroad.co.uk.
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MarryAbroad.co.uk is a free information portal for couples, providing marriage legalities, information and advice on marrying around the world. The site, which launched in January 2006, also promotes destination wedding professionals to the UK wedding market by driving visitors to site partners, to increase their visibility in the global wedding market. MarryAbroad.co.uk saw 145% increase in site visitors 2011, with an annual 420,000 unique visitors to the site in 2011.