Deciding on the place where you’ll share your vows and celebrate with your loved ones is the most exciting part of planning a destination wedding. It can also be the most stressful. Planning a wedding from afar means you have to be super organised and this can make the thought of choosing a wedding venue in Spain overwhelming. But with time, patience and these tips from my experience as a wedding planner in Spain, you’ll find a dream Mediterranean wedding venue that works for you.
1. Check Availability
There’s no denying that the logistics of a destination wedding can be a little complicated. The best way to keep on top of this is to plan ahead. Be flexible with dates for your dream venue or try to secure your booking a long time in advance. Give your guests plenty of notice with a save the date so they can plan their travel to your destination wedding location.
2. Pick your Season
Unless you have a particularly meaningful date in mind for your wedding day, you’ll probably be choosing a time when you can enjoy the amazing weather in Spain. Think about a date in the bridging season before and after the summer months. It’s a great way to avoid pricey flights, tourist crowds and busy hotels without losing sight of the Spanish sun.
3. Agree your Guest List
It’s never too early to start putting together your guest list. The number of guests you invite to your wedding, the ceremony and the reception, have a big impact on your budget and your choice of venues.
4. Set a Budget Early
As with the guest list, your budget will influence your options when you’re choosing a wedding venue in Spain. The country is full of varied choices whether you’re looking for beach front, luxury or rustic Spanish wedding venues. To get more for your money and avoid higher rental fees, choose a wedding date mid-week or in off-peak periods.
5. Think About Exclusivity
Do you mind sharing your wedding venue with holidaymakers or even another wedding party? At popular resorts and venues offering all-inclusive wedding packages, there will often be several other groups there at the same time. If you’d prefer a more private and relaxed day, find a venue that offers exclusive use. Even for small groups, this can be
possible or some venues have really great semi exclusive use options too for smaller weddings. While you might not be able to secure exclusive use of an entire hotel, they may have a separate beach restaurant that will give you the privacy you want. Independent bars and restaurants can be great options to book out exclusively for small weddings too. A villa with spacious grounds can also provide the perfect place for an intimate ceremony.
6. Consider Location
Is there an area of Spain that that brings back memories of holidays in the sun? Across Andalusia you’ll find pretty beach towns, hilltop villages and vibrant cities to suit every couple. If there’s a particular ‘pueblo blanco’ you’ve always wanted to visit, make it the location for your destination wedding in southern Spain and celebrate the unique culture and landscape of the country.
7. Look at Different Types of Wedding Venues
Once you’ve settled on a budget, guest list and location, it’s time to think about the type of venue you want for your destination wedding. Spain offers such a wide variety of venues for you to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a rural finca, luxurious beach club, intimate private villa, a rustic/boho garden setting, a vibrant city location, or just somewhere with great views, a wedding planner with local knowledge will be able to help you find your perfect venue. Also be open minded when looking at venues types. You may be surprised that your original idea could change as you explore different possibilities to best suit your vision and budget.
8. Travel Without Stress
You may think you’ve found an absolute bargain on a secluded finca in the Andalusian hills for a dreamy wedding venue. But when you realise it’s 4 hours from the nearest airport and you add on the costs of the accommodation in the nearest small town, plus private transfers to and from your rural location, the money can start to spiral. Check how accessible your wedding venue is before committing and research nearby accommodations options for your guests.
9. Feel Good About the Space
You may have been dreaming about choosing a wedding venue in Spain for many years. But amongst the excitement of scrolling through photos of charming rooms and sunny terraces, you should try and keep a critical eye. Has your favourite venue got enough space for your ceremony, wedding breakfast and reception? Or is the space too big for your number of guests meaning you will need to add a lot of furniture and decor to pad it out, which add on some unexpected costs. Also, is there a good option for moving activities indoors if needed, because yes, it might rain,
even in Spain!
10. Be Prepared for Rules
It’s common for venues to request that DJs and live music finish at midnight (or earlier!) for outdoor celebrations. Check that your venue is set up for having music outside and if they have a curfew. If so do they have an inside space for you to continue your celebrations? If you have a clear vision about decor and extras for your wedding, share this with the venue early on to ensure there are no problems down the line – are you allowed to have an early ceremony, light candles, have fireworks etc.? Are you tied into using a certain set of suppliers?
11. Scout It Out
Planning a destination wedding will involve a lot of internet research, emails and phone calls but it’s easier than ever to plan a wedding from abroad. Depending on your circumstances, you may not be able to visit Spain before your wedding day to help you decide between a shortlist of chic Marbella wedding venues. If you do get the chance, it’s
really beneficial to take a scouting holiday and view your potential venues in person. Make the trip into a couples mini-break, test out the local restaurants and enjoy the sights in the area. Or if you are planning from further afield have your planer do it for you!
12. Plan an Unforgettable Trip
An increasingly popular trend for destination weddings is to have a wedding and honeymoon all in one. If you’re choosing a wedding venue in Spain because it’s an area you love, why not make the most of it and enjoy your honeymoon in Spain as well. For smaller wedding parties and families travelling from further afield, planning an entire group holiday and including your wedding as part of this is a wonderful way to make forever
This is a guest post by Hollie the Wedding Planner. She creates bespoke destination weddings in Spain for adventurers, fun seekers and romantics from all over the world. View Profile.
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Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.