The Inside Word: Your Great Escape

Heading overseas? Whether it’s a honeymoon on the agenda or destination vows, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event so it pays to plan wisely. Wedding Travel expert Anita Gatley shares her top tips.


Heading overseas? Whether it’s a honeymoon on the agenda or destination vows, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event so it pays to plan wisely. Wedding Travel expert Anita Gatley shares her top tips.

Destination weddings: how far in advance would you recommend beginning preparations?

Couples should begin booking resorts a minimum of 12 to 18 months in advance; 24 months if possible – just like domestic weddings, popular venues aboard will book out several months in advance, especially because many Pacific Island countries don’t allow weddings on a Sunday.

Top tips for making destination wedding planning as stress-free as possible?

Use an expert. While internet sites are great for researching and inspiration, only a creative, informed professional with experience and local contacts can pull your vision together without any heartache! Also, don’t think of travel insurance as an afterthought – you will paid a lot of money in deposits that you stand to lose if you don’t have cover.

If you had to choose a spot to honeymoon, where would you go?

Bora Bora in Tahiti has incredible resorts that are truly set up for honeymooners, offering the ultimate in secluded indulgence. If I was honeymooning again I’d make sure to include an overwater bungalow for at least part of the trip! Additionally, Rarotonga has a great range of accommodation options available, while Fiji has put a big focus on targeting the wedding market, offering some exceptional deals including special wedding airfares. Samoa, however, is an unsung hero – after the tsunami a few years ago there has been lots of rebuilding, which has given the nation fresh new appeal.

Every couple dreams of a honeymoon that’s 100% stress free – what are your top tips for making sure this is the case?

Ahead of time, identify factors that could cause stress and determine ways to eliminate them. I’ve encountered clients turning up late because they booked the wrong date or time, or they didn’t take the international date line into account. I’ve also seen couples caught out by expired passports. Sometimes, people leave travel insurance to the last minute or don’t take it at all – medical repatriation and losing your baggage can be a very expensive inconvenience! Hire a Specialised Wedding Travel professional for a surefire way to make your ’moon stress-free – with extra training and expertise, they will prevent any organisational mishaps and can offer a wealth of knowledge on the best destinations and resorts.

Top tips for honeymooners on a budget?

In terms of budget-friendly destinations, the South Pacific is ideal, generally offering great accommodation with a wide range of pricing options. If you are looking to save, however, keep in mind that it’s a getaway of a lifetime – don’t go for something too cheap ‘n’ cheerful f it means you’ll be disappointed. You’re better off splurging on a fantastic holiday, but opting instead to stay for a shorter period of time.


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