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On this and the following pages we answer to the most frequently asked questions about weddings abroad and weddings in Spain. The 20 most frequently asked questions are ;
The 3 most important advantages are ;
1) More intimate! You can invite anyone and whomever you want, but it's very unlikely that family and friends who you only see on weddings and funerals will attend, since - according to wedding etiquette - guests need to pay for their travel and accommodation expenses. As a result, only close family and friends will attend, making the wedding much more intimate and personal.
2) it's not all over in a few hours. Whereas a home country wedding is all over in just a few hours, a destination wedding usually is a 3-day event, often with a welcome dinner on day one, wedding on day 2, and possibly a group breakfast, brunch or excursion on day three. Guests decide individually if they want to arrive one or more days earlier, stay longer, and attend ( and pay for ) the extra activities or meals.
3) Beautiful, sunny outdoor wedding! Most destination weddings are celebrated in Southern countries, with a very high probability of a beautiful, sunny wedding day. The Spanish Costa Blanca is one of the top wedding destinations in Europe, with 300 days of sunshine per year, and a very mild climate with very little chance of rain during the wedding season ( April - October ).
That's, of course, impossible to answer with a fixed number, since the total cost depends on destination, venue, the number of guests and services ordered, but due to the reduced number of guests, destination weddings are usually not more expensive than homeland weddings, and sometimes even ( a lot ) cheaper.
Because we know that's it's important for you to - even at this early stage - to have some idea of the costs involved, we have created a free online wedding budget calculator which instantly gives you 3 accurate estimates of the total costs for a wedding in Spain, based on your estimated number of guests.
But we can also make you a personal quotation, based on your ideas, preferences, chosen type of venue and estimated number of guests date etc...You can tell us all about them during a video call, after which we can make the quotation for you, all without any commitment whatsoever.
Wedding etiquette states that you have to pay for all food and drinks during the wedding. That makes sense, right?
But it also means that guests pay for their travel arrangements, accommodations and meals other than during the wedding.
Imagine that you would be getting married in your home country, and would invite friends living a 2-hour drive away. Would you pay for their gasoline? Or for their hotel, if they plan to stay one or more nights in the region?
Probably not, right? Well, the same applies to destination weddings.
Of course, this requires an 'investment' on the part of your guests to attend your wedding, but people close to you will not mind. Usually, it does mean that you don't have to expect huge gifts from your guests.
Only a very small minority of wedding couples pay for ( a part of ) the travel expenses for ( some of ) their guests.
Explaining all the differences, conditions and advantages of each 3 options would make this answer too long.
Especially since the conditions for a legal wedding, and also for a religious wedding are different in each country.
That's why we have dedicated a special page on our website to explain the differences and options. Have a look!
What are the advantages of getting married abroad ?
How much does it cost to get married abroad?
Who pays for what?
Differences between a civil, religious, and ceremonial wedding?
How to choose your wedding destination?
How to choose your wedding venue?
Is it possible to get married on the beach?
Is it possible to celebrate your whole wedding in the open?
What if it rains on your wedding day?
What are the advantages of hiring a wedding planner?
What are the tasks of a wedding planner?
What is the cost of hiring a wedding planner?
How to start planning your wedding abroad?
When to send save the date cards and invitations?
What about travel arrangements for your guests?
What is the average cost of accommodation for guests?
What is the timeline for a destination wedding day?
How to choose your setting for the ceremony?
What about themes, flowers and decorations?
What are the options and prices for catering and open bar?
Aside from an emotional or personal preference, most couples choose a wedding destination on 5 conditions ;
1) Ease of planning. This is the most important condition because no matter how beautiful the destination or venue, and even disregarding an acceptable cost difference, you want your wedding to be beautiful, unforgettable and above all, stress-free! So make sure that whoever is planning your wedding, understands and attends to your wishes, gives good advice, has the experience and contacts to make it all work, and gives you 100% confidence that he or she will create your dream wedding.
2) Ease of travel. Since all guests need to travel to your destination of choice, the availability, duration and cost of flights is an important topic to consider.
3) Climate. What good is having a stunning venue booked for an outdoor wedding when it's raining? Of course, nobody can control the weather, but the Spanish Costa Blanca, listed in the WHO top 10 of best climate worldwide has the perfect conditions for an outdoor wedding, with very little chance of rain and mild climate during the wedding season.
4) Venue. Though initially couples often start looking for 'the perfect venue', this condition only comes in fourth. What good is it to book the perfect venue, when the planning is a nightmare, the wedding day is not how you imagined it to be, or that a part of your guests are not coming because it's too difficult or expensive to get there.
5) Cost is the fifth condition and it's important that the wedding fits into your budget. But if not all of the above conditions are fulfilled, then cost won't make up for an unforgettable wedding.
Costa Blanca Events meets all of the above conditions, are very experienced and personal wedding planners in an area with 3 international airports, making flights widely available and cheap, and it's only a 30-minute drive from the airport to our most chosen venues. We work with more than 30 carefully selected venues and have negotiated great deals with our venues, caterers, suppliers and accommodations in a country which is already considered as having the best value for money!
This is, of course, a very personal thing and it also depends on the chosen destination.
By far, most couples getting married in Spain choose a sea view, seafront or even beach wedding, and celebrate everything in the open.
Other options are a typical Spanish Finca, a beach resort, a vineyard, a catamaran, and it's even possible to combine some of these.
Have a look at the photo and video galleries of our venues, and dream away!
Yes, it is!
Though in western countries beaches are protected as public areas, and it's not possible to 'claim' a beach for a private event such as a wedding. As a result, there will be other people on the beach.
However, we've carefully selected some great beach venues where your privacy is almost absolute, like for example our exclusive paradise cove beach venue, our seafront wedding venue, our five-star luxury beachfront resort, our seafront venue with terrace and party zone, or our beachfront lounge, just to name a few.
Don't hesitate to contact us for more information about these and our other venues!
Yes, of course, and it's what most of our wedding couples prefer!
Having the ceremony, reception, dinner and often even dance party all in the open, like on the beach, at beachfront or with spectacular sea views, is just stunning!
And Costa Blanca Events has the venues which can just make that dream come true!
The chance of rain depends largely on your chosen wedding destination.
However, even in destinations with very little chance of rain, like the Spanish Costa Blanca, the possibility of rain can never be excluded, and therefore your wedding script should always include a 'plan B'.
This is just one of the things an experienced and professional wedding planner will do for you. He or she has the experience and contacts to activate a 'plan B', if the need arises.
At Costa Blanca Events, we start monitoring the weather forecasts days in advance and are subscribed to a professional weather radar service, which allows us to carefully and precisely view if and where rain could fall.
But our most chosen venues are located in a small enclave between the sea and high mountains, which shields the area from clouds and rain.
We've already addressed some of the advantages in the previous emails, but here's a summary ;
1) lives in the area of your destination wedding and speaks the language
2) has the best venues, suppliers and contacts to plan your wedding.
3) makes the time to listen to your wishes, ideas and preferences throughout the months of planning.
4) has the experience to give you professional advice, recommendations and tips about your wedding.
5) gives you 100% transparency about the services, options and costs of your wedding, right from the start, so that you can celebrate a perfect wedding, without bad financial surprises or nightmares.
In short, makes you feel 100% confident that he or she can make your wedding dream, a dream wedding.
This depends on the wedding planners you choose, and the agreement you enter into with him or her, but one could divide them into various groups ;
Travel agents are often also able to offer you a destination wedding, but in reality, they book a hotel or resort for you and leave the rest to the hotel or resort's event manager.
Event managers are members of the staff of for example a resort hotel or wedding venue. Their main interest is to sell as many services from their employers as possible, and they often have little knowledge of services or trends not offered by their company. On the upside, they usually do perfectly know the ins and outs of the services of their employer, and because they're 'in house' they have easy access to the chef, waiters, etc...
Decorators are usually independent contractors, for example, florists, who 'on the side' also do a bit of wedding and event planning. Their main interest is to sell their services, but based on their contacts and work for other wedding planners are often able to offer 'basic wedding planning services'.
Coördinators, often also called event managers or masters of ceremony, coördinate the event and services on your wedding day. Since they're usually not a part of the months of planning, they often are not fully aware of all the details, and don't, or hardly know the venue or suppliers, making it difficult to intervene if something does not go as planned.
Personal secretaries: a lot of wedding planners do a job comparable to a personal secretary, where they listen to the wishes and orders of their employers, and then go out and try to find a supplier for them. Though there is nothing wrong with that approach, it does often mean that the wedding planner is - just like the wedding couple themselves would be - a one time client for the newly found supplier. Since there is no long time relationship of trust, they're not able to get these special things done that make a wedding unforgettable, nor are they able to negotiate a special deal which a wedding planner who brings them lots of couples per year can.
Full wedding planners plan your wedding from A to Z, listen to your wishes and preferences and translate them into a detailed script and budget. They work with selected venues and vendors regularly, and through the years they've built a relationship of trust with them. They assist and advise you in every possible way during the months of planning, and update the wedding script and budget accordingly.
Costa Blanca Events: we consider our task even much more comprehensive. Our proprietary online systems give you 24/7 access to all the details of your wedding script and budget and make it easy and stress-free for your guests to plan their attendance, with special deals for airport transfers, accommodations, welcome dinner, hair and makeup, diet requirements, etc, ... all of which save the wedding couple a huge amount of work and coördination. Our approach and service unequalled, as are the facebook reviews of lots of former wedding couples.
The price that most wedding planner associations recommend to their members is 2400 € + v.a.,t. for a total of 60 hours of planning/coordination.
So why are we, Costa Blanca Events able to provide a full wedding planning service for only 800 € + v.a.t. ?
The answer is two-fold ;
1) Because a lot of wedding planners only do a limited number of weddings per year and have to charge the recommended fee to cover their expenses.
Costa Blanca Events has more than 40 weddings per year, making it possible to spread our expenses over much more weddings.
2) Our proprietary online system makes it easy to plan a wedding.
Via our Yoep-P system you have 247/7 access to all the details of your wedding, you can create your guest list, view your detailed wedding script and budget, etc.
Your guests use the system to RSVP, book an airport transfer, accommodation, set their diet requirements, etc...
Your venue and vendors also have access to all the info.
So Yoep-P makes it easy, and at the same time saves a lot of time for all participants to the wedding, and because time is money, we're able to keep our wedding planner fee so low!
The first step is to choose the 'who' ( ... is going to plan your wedding ), the 'where' (... is your wedding taking place ), and the 'when' (... is the date of your wedding ).
If possible, we always recommend to plan a short break to your wedding destination, view your venue, select accommodation(s), meet your wedding planners personally, and review your wedding script with them.
Once you feel confident to start planning your wedding, you need to sign individual agreements with venues and vendors, each with their own set of sales conditions, and often not available in your language.
At Costa Blanca Events, we make it easy for you, with usually just one wedding planner agreement, in your language, and without fine print.
With our venues and vendors, we've also agreed to keep the deposits as low as possible.
Then we activate our proprietary online system for you, in which you write a welcome text for your guests, then start creating your guest list.
From then on, they can RSVP, and start planning their attendance.
During the following months, we plan your wedding based on your wishes and preferences and services you prefer, all of which we discuss during a series of video calls or questions asked by email or via our Yoep-P system.
Whenever you want to talk to us, you can make an appointment at your convenience for a video call, or a personal meeting in Altea, via our online calendar.
And if we feel that some decisions, like for example photographers, musicians, etc... are due, then we will send you a request to make an appointment.
About one month before the wedding, we close the planning, usually during a (last) video call, so that afterwards you can relax knowing that your dream wedding in Spain is planned to perfection.
We recommend sending the "save the date cards" as soon as possible. It's a matter of courtesy to your guests, giving them as much time as possible to plan their attendance.
Usually, that would also include advising them not only of the date and the venue but also giving recommendations on travel arrangements, accommodation, etc...
However, since Costa Blanca Events has a proprietary online system which allows you to create your guest list, write a personal welcoming text for your guests with detailed info, we recommend to keep the save the date card as brief as possible, with only a reference and a link to the online platform.
Guests can then review the information, which you can update as time goes by.Then, about 3 months before the wedding, you can send out the 'official' wedding invitations.
On average, guests will stay for 3 nights on your wedding destination, usually arriving one day before the wedding. Day two usually is the wedding day, and on day 3 they can relax (and sober up), do an excursion, see the sights, ... and fly back home or the next day.
These guests will often arrive and leave more or less at the same time, often even with the same flights, which makes it possible to make a group deal for flights and transfers..
Most airlines offer a group rate from 10 or more passengers onwards, where the price is usually not different from the 'normal' price, but a requested number of seats are blocked at the agreed price, until x weeks before departure.
During that time, your guests can 'book' their flights through you, without risking prices changes or unavailability.
Then, at the agreed x weeks before departure, you send the final passenger list to the airline.
We can arrange for a group transfer from the airport directly to the accommodation(s).
This arrangement makes it very easy and stress-free for your guests to travel to your wedding destination.
However, often guests have a different agenda, arriving days before, or staying days after the wedding, which makes it impossible for them to enter your group arrangement.
In that case, they can book flights on their own, and book an airport transfer or rental car through our online systems.
Either way, according to wedding etiquette, you, as wedding couple are not responsible for the travel arrangements of your guests, nor do you have to pay for them (See FAQ 3/20: "Who pays for what?")
This is one of the main differences between weddings destinations.
Spain, and especially the Costa Blanca, as a major tourist destination, offers great value for your money, much better than most wedding destinations.
Of course, prices also depend on the chosen accommodation, dates and length of stay, where July and August are obviously the most expensive months.
Here are just a few examples of the prices we've negotiated for the month of May, which is one of the most chosen wedding months;
Apartment for 4, breakfast included, in a basic but nice aparthotel only 50m from the centre and within walking distance to the beach; +/- 19 € per person and per night.
Studio for 2, breakfast included in an aparthotel, exclusively rented for your group, with sea views, pool, large terraces, bbq area, etc...: +/- 29 € per person and per night.
Superior room in a 5-star beachfront resort, 2 adults, superb breakfast included, 3 pools, etc...; +/- 59 € per person and per night.
Spain, and especially the Costa Blanca has the perfect climate for a destination wedding, allowing you to celebrate even your dance party into the early hours, all in the open.
But at noon, it can be rather warm for your ceremony.
Therefore, depending on the date and wedding couple's preferences, most ceremonies are held somewhere between 16-18 hours, when the temperature and light conditions are perfect.
The ceremony is followed by a reception, photoshoot, dinner and dance party into the early hours.
The 'setting' is where you will celebrate the most memorable moment of your wedding day, the ceremony. Therefore, the setting is very important!
It all starts with the perfect venue, for example, the beach completed with a romantic arch or gazebo, altar, lectern, sound system, microphones, flowers, decorations, carpet, musicians booth, guests chairs, etc...
At Costa Blanca Events, we offer 13 different types of setting, each available in 'romantic' or bohemian style and adapted to your choice of theme, colours and preferences.
This is a topic on which most brides have a clear idea, right from the start!
So as a source of inspiration, we've created mood books for the most chosen themes; less is more, vintage, boho chic, beach, crystal, greenery, wood and bling.
But we welcome your mood book, for example on Pinterest, or send us photos of the style, theme and decorations you want, and we'll create it for you!
At Costa Blanca Events, we have a warehouse full of decorations, so we usually don't have to buy anything especially for you, which makes creating your dream wedding a lot easier and cheaper!
We work with a very professional florist, who imports her flowers directly from the biggest flower auction worldwide, in Aalsmeer, in the Netherlands.
Beautiful, fresh flowers, just as you dreamt them on your wedding day!
There are 2 types of venues;
1) ones that have 'internal' catering, such as wedding banquet halls, hotels, etc... in which case choosing that venue means that you have to contract their catering.
Though most of them have their own set of menus, we have instructed an experienced chef to create a 'special Costa Blanca Events menu'.
Our menu offers 5 different menu compositions, from 3 to 7 courses, from low-budget but elegant to exquisite gourmet dining, each with an extensive list of dishes to choose from.
Our venues have to use your menu of choice, while still giving the local chef room for creativity in presentation.
Prices start from 48 € per person, excluding v.a.t.
2) ones that allow 'external' catering, which means that we can contract one of the external catering companies we've carefully selected for you.
Our external catering partners are carefully selected, each offering a different style, but always offering great value for money.
The main difference is that - contrary to venues with internal catering- everything must be rented and brought in, tables, chairs, plates, glasses etc..., but also kitchen infrastructure, chefs, waiters etc..., which of course, comes at a cost, which for smaller groups (up to 50 persons) makes external catering usually more expensive.
In both catering options, the wedding couples choose a set menu, which is served to all guests.
However, via our proprietary online Yoep-P system, guests can advise us of their diet requirements, intolerances and even preferences.
On the wedding day, these guests are then served a menu corresponding to their diet.
An open or free bar is the best and cheapest option for your dance party and we offer various options, according to your preferences and budget.
From 2, 3 or 4 hours (which can be prolonged on the wedding day), either with only soft drinks, beer and wine, or including long drinks based on gin, rum, whisky and vodka, with an optional choice of cocktail bars.
Most venues allow guests to order other drinks at their own expense.
Below the answer to these 20 most frequently asked questions, you'll find links to pages showing the answer to other F.A.Q's
And below are links to the answers on other frequently asked questions ;