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Getting wed in the Med?

Fancy a sun-kissed destination ceremony but not sure where to start? We asked planners Jane and Andreas from Ionian Weddings a few key questions

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What’s the big appeal of a destination wedding?
We recently surveyed 800 of our couples and the top three reasons were:  better weather, to have something different and intimate without the pressures of inviting extended family and, of course, the lower cost.  In fact, having an intimate wedding with say, 30 close family and friends came out top!
 
What are the practical logistics of a beach wedding?
Beach weddings are our most requested type of wedding although not necessarily the most popular!  You need to bear in mind certain practicalities. Most beaches are not private (although we have access to some that are) meaning that there may be other people sunbathing not far away. It can be very hot, as most beaches have little shade, and heels are a no–no unless we use a beach with decking.  We always suggest a location set by a beach or with great sea views and then we arrange a photo shoot on the sand afterwards!

What sort of things do brides tend to bring with them on the plane?
As wedding cakes in the Mediterranean tend to be sponge and not fruit cake some brides do bring a traditional British wedding cake but usually it’s the dress, suits, favours, rings, decorations, silk flowers.

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What’s your top tip for a destination dress?
A light fabric dress without too many layers.  As for transporting it, it’s best to take as hand luggage but check with their airline about what they allow as hand luggage (dimensions of the wedding box etc.).
 
What are some of the more unusual requests you’ve heard?
One couple wanted to marry in a bikini and swimming trunks and, yes, it is possible! We also had another that wanted to abseil down to the ceremony terrace from a helicopter!
 
What new destinations are becoming popular and why?
Malta has been really under the radar and we’re delighted that we’ve had a big surge in interest.  It’s an amazing destination, with a huge range of venues, from ancient castles to stately homes and sandy beaches, plus great value for money. You can hire an ancient castle exclusively for your wedding and reception for a party of 20 with photography, flowers, paperwork, food and cake for less than £4,000! Capri is really taking off too. We think it’s the glam factor!

What surprises brides most about a destination wedding?
Most are really shocked by how many guests come to their wedding – we’ve had couples ring us up saying they have to add another 20 people to their guest list as they’d assumed many people would not want to make the trip. But the comment we consistently get after the wedding day is how taken aback they are by the reaction of the locals. People shout and cheer as they leave the wedding location making them feel like celebrities. We’ve heard of local tavernas playing the wedding march especially for the couple as they walk by.

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Jane and Andreas arrange destination weddings across the Mediterranean. For more details go to Ionian Weddings