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The Friday Fight-Out – Destination Wedding –  Keeping it Local vs An Englishman Abroad

Bride-vs-groom-friday-fight-outOn Wednesday we (not entirely) exclusively revealed how we finally found the location for our wedding spectacular. Yes, after months of scouring our beloved Yorkshire and investigating every space you could possibly swing a top hat in we finally found the perfect place…in La Palma. What do you mean we’re rubbish at geography?? I think you’ll find that La Palma is known by many as “The Yorkshire of the Canary Islands!” Admittedly most of those people are trying to come up with a flimsy excuse for why they’ve drastically switched their wedding plans away from the place they said they’d get married but my point stands nonetheless.

Anyway, naturally we’re very excited about getting married in such a stunning, tropical location, but getting married abroad does present a fair few problems and means making some big decisions about our wedding. I’m sure we’ll cover many of the issues presented to us in future posts but today we thought we’d look at one of the big questions that has been at the forefront  of all our plans: are we holding an English wedding overseas or aiming for more of a traditional, local Palmarian (if that’s the word!) wedding, and having something more in keeping with our foreign surroundings

Uh oh, i sense the distant rumblings of trouble in paradise! It’s time to battle it out!



Keeping it Local Vs An Englishman Abroad

In the Red corner, stocking up on Bananas and donning the Island ways, her last visit to La Palma featured her nearly drowning in shallow water, losing her bikini top in the same incident a jellyfish sting and nearly choking in a romantic restaurant, it’s Dom “The Tog” Bride.

In the Blue Corner, looking for the easy life and maintaining a little British decorum, his favourite memories of his visit to La Palma include having to scale the wall and break into the third floor apartment through a window after leaving the keys inside, getting suncream in his eye and not being able to see properly for an entire day of sightseeing and having to try to explain “stung by a jellyfish” in international sign language to a bemused Spanish chemist; it’s Matt “The Gormless” Groom.


Dom: If you’re going to get married in a tropical paradise it seems just wrong to keep everything British! Don’t get me wrong, keeping the basic structure of the ceremony may still be a good idea but infusing local tradition and style into the wedding day makes it feel much more fitting to your surroundings and makes the whole thing a little bit different. If you’re getting married abroad different is probably what you’re looking for after all!

Matt: It’s great to get married in beautiful surroundings and somewhere where you’re more likely to have the great weather you’re after, but changing location doesn’t mean you have to change everything! I’m a proud Yorkshireman and I’d still like my wedding to have a sense of British tradition about it and resemble the type of wedding I’m used to, even if it does have a few local quirks!

Dom: If you’re having a wedding abroad it’s extremely difficult to get those home comforts in a foreign land! Unless you have a permanent base there or are extremely well-off it’s not going to be easy to take much over so you’re going to have to compromise and go more with the local style. Rather than mixing and matching isn’t it better to embrace the local culture and choose a theme that reflects local colours and decor?

Matt: Many big hotel resorts offer wedding packages to couples from all over the world and are used to adjusting to the various styles people from different countries are after. They often have wedding planners who will take care of absolutely everything for you and are happy to adjust to your needs. It’s really difficult to organise things abroad over the phone or internet and expensive to get over to your destination several times to look around! Having it organised by someone else is a much easier option!

Dom: Whilst it’s certainly easier to just have a hotel wedding planner organise everything for you, for me (much as I get stressed about it) I want to plan my own wedding and make my own choices. I love the idea of going around the local shops and finding the different bits and pieces I would never find in the UK: something completely different from all the other weddings I’ve ever been to! In this age of modern technology, as long as you plan well and do your research it’s possible to find local suppliers and send pictures back and forth or go there for a working holiday! It’s more difficult to organise but, if possible, well worth the effort!

York-Place-Studios-destination-weddingMatt: From what I remember, local dress in La Palma seems to be swim-shorts and bikinis… are you really sure you want “the local look” for our wedding day?

Dom: Well that’s definitely the plan for the rest of the week, but from experience of photographing destination weddings I think there’s middle territory on wedding attire! Going for a slightly lighter wedding dress may be a good idea (and something you can more easily transport!) and for the Groomsmen it’s definitely best not to go for heavy dark suits with waistcoats and the whole shebang! Keeping it light with perhaps a linen suit or very nice shirt and trousers is probably the way forward!

Having had this type of conversation over 3000 times in the last week alone I can ensure you the debate is in no danger of dying out! If you’d like to wade in with your thoughts on the matte or if you’re facing a similar quandary yourself then leave a comment; you might just be the one to put this argument to bed! In the meantime though that’s where I’m headed to dream of our tropical wedding where, knowing our luck, the volcano in the middle of the Island will probably erupt! Anyone know the International sign language for “Do you sell any ointment for lava burns?”

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  • Michael - Bohemian Weddings - April 26, 2013 - 11:31 am

    Can’t believe we missed this one!

    Having read your more recent post about having two ceremonies one legal and one not, it makes me think why not have both?

    An basic English registry + Party (with all the traditions you desire) and then main wedding abroad where you can be more relaxed and embrace local traditions!

    Something to ponder but I guess it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (see what I did there!) or within everybody’s budget.ReplyCancel

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