I Make it an intimate wedding with just close family and friends – the most expensive weddings are often due to the number of guests.

I Consider a non-exclusive venue such as a taverna for your reception. This works

well for small groups and some tavernas are happy for you to have entertainment.

I Check if rates are lower in April, early

May and October. And if booking an outdoor venue, make sure there is a covered back-up option in case of inclement weather.

Jane Palikira, owner, Ionian Weddings

than Mauritius? It’s the best-selling wedding location for Kuoni, which recommends four-star resort Zilwa Attitude. Here, couples can take their pick from a simple beachfront service or Robinson Crusoe-style ceremony on private island Gran Zil. Guests must pay £488 in government fees but can then make the most of the hotel’s free wedding package, which covers a wedding planner, decoration, witnesses, music, gifts, sparkling wine, wedding cake, candlelit dinner and 20% spa discount.


Sandals made its name on romance, and the brand’s free wedding offer is a cornerstone of that reputation. It offers a complimentary ceremony to couples staying three nights or more, covering the wedding planner, bouquet, and reception with cake, cocktails and canapes. Guests still pay for the marriage licence and administration fees, but Jamaica’s charges are among the lowest in the region at just $95. Most British guests stay at least a week, so they also qualify for ‘Premium Perks’ such as resort credit to put towards legal fees, a higher room category, photographer, candlelit dinner or upgraded venue such as an Over-the-Water wedding chapel ($750 supplement), representing even better value.

GREECE The Greek islands are another wedding wonderland, whether clients want to channel Mamma Mia! vibes with a tiny white chapel in Skopelos or make their vows before Santorini’s caldera at sunset. Olympic Holidays marketing director Carl Catterall says: “We’ve seen a

24 23 APRIL 2020

nice increase in enquiries for same-sex ceremonies. Also, since civil partnerships for heterosexual couples have come into law in the UK, we have had requests for blessings in the Greek islands. Santorini is the most popular, and now the minimum stay in Rhodes has been reduced, we’ve seen an increase in weddings there too.”


With no waiting period or minimum residency requirement for a marriage licence, Caribbean island Antigua is one of Caribtours’ top picks for a hassle-free, well-priced wedding abroad. The operator points to the package at Blue Waters Resort & Spa as a good example of the value couples can expect. It includes a wedding coordinator, bouquet and buttonhole, gazebo, wedding cake, bottle of champagne, dinner and private champagne breakfast the next morning for couples staying a week or more in a Deluxe Beachfront Room or higher room category. TW


Planet Weddings offers a package at Atlantida Beach Weddings in Paphos, Cyprus, from €882, which includes marriage licence, registrar fee, gazebo hire and reception with DJ (with a minimum spend of €300), plus a £450 admin fee covering legal assistance and wedding co-ordinators. The price is based on Planet Weddings arranging the flights, transfers and accommodation.

A week at Sandals’ Ochi Beach Resort in Jamaica, staying all-inclusive in a Riviera Bamboo Grove Premium Room, costs from £1,669. The price includes basic wedding, butler service, Virgin Atlantic flights from Gatwick and transfers, and is valid for travel between September 1 and October 16, 2021.

Caribtours offers seven nights at Blue Waters Resort & Spa, Antigua, from £1,649 for a Deluxe Beachfront Room with breakfast, flights, private transfers and access to a UK airport lounge, for travel in October 2021. A marriage licence is payable locally.

LEFT: Blue Waters, Antigua BELOW LEFT: ‘Island Chic’ ceremony at a Sandals property BELOW: Zilwa Attitude, Mauritius PREVIOUS PAGE: Over-the-Water Wedding Chapel, Sandals South Coast, Jamaica PICTURES: JR Delia; Sandals; Shutterstock; Steve Dunlop











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