Please can you help. We'd like to get married abroad in June 2007 & no have idea what we need to do. We thought we'd found the perfect destination but have since discovered a wedding in the Maldives is not legal. We now appreciate that we need a wedding planner but have no idea on the cost or where to start. We would be very grateful of any advice you can offer.

First things first, don't panic - because you're getting married abroad there is typically less to arrange so even with tight timescales you should still be able to have the wedding of your dreams.


Secondly, Weddingsday will be soon publishing a whole brand new section on Weddings Abroad, but sadly it probably will arrive a little too late - however, please keep a look out of the site's home page for the latest updates just in case. We also already have tons of other info that is applicable to both UK and overseas weddings on the site - you may find the free wedding budgeter planning tool suite particularly useful as well as plenty of other stuff so feel free to take a look around.


OK, calming and promotional talk over - it's down to business...


The most imperative thing you need to do is determine where in the world you want to tie the knot. If you're plans are now completely up in the air and you are starting with a blank canvas, one of the better ways to decide is by the weather.


For June destinations some of the good alternatives are the Pacific Islands, Fiji, Mauritius, USA, Canada, Australia and, closer to home, Tuscany and Cyprus - that said this list is by no means exhaustive and if you really are stuck, for some good free advice I'd suggest trying your local travel agents.


Other factors to consider when choosing a potential destination are the type of service you're after (religious or civil), budget, the activities you're looking for from the honeymoon, and privacy. A really handy magazine has recently been launched called 'Your Wedding and Honeymoon Abroad' and it's possibly the best place to start when choosing a destination and getting started - it can be tricky to get hold of so you may have to look hard to find it, but it's worth the effort!


Next, once you've determined your destination you can then either rope in a professional wedding planner as you mentioned, or go it alone. If it is something more elaborate you're after with lots of guests and many intricate details, given the timescales I would definitely recommend the former. You can expect to fork out a small fortune for one (prices really do vary so don't be afraid to shop around - the joys of Google!) but given the hassle they will take away from you they could be worth it. Alternatively, as mentioned, you could try to plan things yourselves. Most resorts have on-site planners (again check out the travel agents for Weddings Abroad brochures) and these, along with some input from yourself, will normally be more than sufficient to arrange a smallish affair.


Finally, the key to any wedding, and especially a wedding abroad, is to devote as much time and effort as you can to planning it. Even if you rope in a pro, it can be dangerous to leave them to their own devices so try to have as many ideas as you can with regards vows, music & entertainment, flowers etc. and steer them down the path you want to go rather than the one thatís easiest for them.


Hope this all helps and best of luck for the big day.

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