Planning a destination wedding can be an incredibly exciting process. The opportunity to commit to your partner somewhere exotic and perhaps whisk your guests away for an experience, rather than just an event adds to the fun of preparing for the big day.
Having said this, weddings are notorious for being expensive and with the rise and fall of currency worldwide, a ceremony somewhere afar could cost more than you think depending on how the Australian dollar is faring against the local currency of your wedding destination.
We’ve done some hard thinking for you and researched 3 unique and affordable places that you may have never thought of for your destination wedding.
1. Scottish Highlands
Renowned for Loch Ness, fairy tale castles and vast areas of wilderness, the Scottish Highlands (including the Isle of Skye) in the Northwest of Scotland is the ultimate destination wedding area for lovers of dramatic scenery.
Since the Brexit vote on 23 June this year, the Australian dollar has risen approximately 22% in value* against the British Pound, making nuptials against the backdrop of majestic mountains and mysterious lochs more affordable than ever, thereby topping our list – just imagine those ethereal wedding photos atop fog-laced mountains and hills!
For the full fairy tale treatment, Dunrobin Castle caters for weddings – the turreted castle owned by the Earl of Sutherland boasts 189 rooms, making it the largest in the Northern Highlands (should you need all that space). For something a little more low-key Urquhart Castle, an impressive ruin on the banks of Loch Ness, has capacity for up to 60 people for ceremonies and receptions.
Better yet, the Highlands are easily accessible with affordable flights flying into Inverness Airport from London or with direct international flights from mainland Europe coming from Amsterdam, Dublin, and Dusseldorf.
For other options in Scotland, don’t discount the country’s capital, Edinburgh, the leading festival city in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. This city knows how to throw a party, and with the Old Town of the city having preserved much its medieval street plan and architecture, the streets pulse with history, making for enchantment around every corner.
2. The Philippines
Thousands of tropical islands, a love of fiestas and centuries old churches makes The Philippines synonymous with romance. Just a hop, skip and a jump away in South East Asia, locals here thrive on a good party and an appreciation for the simple things in life.
The Australian Dollar’s historical strength against the Philippine Peso makes The Philippines a picturesque beach wedding alternative to Bali or Fiji, while an elegant church wedding is also possible. The value of the Australian Dollar against the Philippine Peso has risen 12.5% since early January 2016* meaning you can get more bang for your buck.
Boracay is a holiday favourite for those that love the tropics and a destination wedding is also easy to plan there with many resorts offering a planning service. The Shangri La Boracay and Discovery Shores Boracay both offer wedding packages for destination weddings.
For somewhere a little more secluded, you could get married in the Palawan archipelego, a group of over 1,700 pristine islands and islets. El Nido resorts have four exclusive properties on these islands, each with their own distinct vibe. Ceremonies and receptions are available on the beach and you could spend your days post-wedding island hopping amongst some of the most pristine waters in the world.
Condé Nast Traveller readers just voted Palawan Island (main island) as The Most Beautiful Island in the World and it’s easy to see why with its towering limestone cliffs and lagoons which are favoured by giant clams, dolphins and sea turtles.
Aussie ski bunnies can have their fill in Canada – The Australian dollar started off the year at parity with the Canadian dollar and despite taking a dip to about 93 cents in May this year, it’s picked itself back up and is matching the Canadian dollar again*.
You could consider zipping up your snow suits and exchanging vows at the famous ski resort areas of Whistler, Banff or Le Massif. Adventurous couples could travel the path less trodden and get the backdrop of a lifetime with a light show they’ll never forget – the Northern Lights (also known as Aurora Borealis) can be seen from certain parts of Northern Canada but Blackford Lake Lodge in Yellowknife is one of the most well known places where you can have a wedding and see the lights.
For a little slice of Europe without the big budget, you could consider saying ‘I do’ in the Francophone city of Quebec. The charm within this UNESCO protected old town lies in its small size, cobble stoned streets and 17th and 18th century architecture, which could thrill those looking to plan a wedding with old world mystique.
Alternatively, you can also embrace a winter wonderland in Quebec and get whimsical at Hotel de Glace. It’s made entirely from snow and ice with 44 rooms and suites, and even an ice chapel.
**** TEASER ALERT **** Congrats to Sarah & Troy who #ELOPED in #OldQuebec City on #VALENTINESDAY !!! We were there to capture the entire day & are looking forward to sharing it all with you in our First 2016 Wedding #Blog –Coming soon! #flofoto #flofoto1 #flofotophotography #icehotel #hoteldeglace #quebecwedding #icehotelwedding #icechandalier #weddingphotography #2016bride #winterbride #winterwedding #elopement #elopementphotographer #ice #oldquebec #fairmontchateaufrontenac #blackandwhitephotography #canon5ds #canon5dmarkiii #icehotelchapel #firstdance #winterweddinginspiration #brides
If you’re planning on tying the knot somewhere overseas, don’t forget to factor in the exchange rate when organising your venue, suppliers and incidentals. Converting prices into dollars when you are getting quotes will help you manage your budget and ensure you’re not overspending. An overseas wedding can be expensive, but World First can help you achieve better exchange rates to save you money.
To find out more, call us to speak to a currency specialist on 1800 744 777 or visit our website.
For more destination wedding inspiration, see our Top 7 destination wedding hacks for tools, tips and tricks for planning a destination wedding.
These comments are the views and opinions of the author and should not be construed as advice. You should act using your own information and judgement.
Whilst information has been obtained from and is based upon multiple sources the author believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed.
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