Getting married can be quite difficult at home, in your own country, speaking your own language, but imagine trying to plan a wedding in another country where you don’t speak the language.

“What a disaster”, as they say in France or as the Germans would say “Was für eine Katastrophe”.

But it does not have to be like that. By following some basic guidelines, you can organize a destination wedding in France or Germany.

Know the local laws – There can be a lot of red tape to go through when getting married in a new country. Make sure you are familiar with the local laws and customs.

Reserve accommodation provisionally – your guests will come from everywhere. Tentatively book an accommodation to suit a variety of budgets.

Plan Activities: For some of your guests, your wedding is not only an opportunity to celebrate your nuptials, it is also an opportunity to explore a new part of Europe. Create an itinerary of activities that allows them to get to know the best of the area.

Keep it simple – less is more often. Don’t complicate things too much. Whether it’s the food, the decor, or the venue, the finer the details, the more room for error.

Get a wedding planner – this is probably the most valuable tip. No matter how strong your idea is of what you want for your big day, getting married in a country that is not yours, in a language that is not your first, can be daunting, to say the least. By employing the services of a wedding planner, you can leave all the finer details to them while you carry on with the business of getting married.

Find a Venue – This can be one of the most challenging elements of any wedding. Venue can make or break a wedding, and when “you’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto,” it can be a really scary task.

There are several factors to consider before going hunting. Do you want in an indoor or outdoor wedding? Do you want a reception tent? Are you getting married in a church? Will the celebrations be day or night? How many people? How remote? Will you have a sit-down reception? Will there be dancing and / or entertainment?

If you are opting for an outdoor wedding, even if it is a summer wedding, remember that European weather can be somewhat unpredictable. Make sure your place is suitable for some kind of tent cover. Not only does a tent wedding look spectacular, it also means that your guests can dance until the wee hours of the morning without having to worry about Mother Nature making an unexpected appearance in the form of bad weather.

Speak Like a Local: Whether it’s researching the internet or interacting with potential wedding vendors, the thought of communicating in broken English is one that is probably giving you the creeps. Imagine ordering 120 baby quail as a starter in your “best” French, only to find out one day that what you actually ordered was 120 live geese. Make sure you have a good translator! Whether it’s a Google translator for the various local wedding websites or decoding what the city florist is trying to sell you, the road ahead is full of obstacles, don’t let language be one of them.

Here are some useful wedding phrases to get you started:

French:

Tent rental – tent rental

Reception tent – Reception tent

Take me to church on time

Where is the champagne? Where is the champagne?

German:

Festzelt – marquee, party marquee or party marquee

Strandhochzeits zelte – Beach wedding tent

Wo ist der priester? – Where is the priest?

Wo ist der Champagner? – Where’s the champagne?

Whether you’re saying “I do” or “Ich mache,” don’t let your wedding planning get lost in translation. Follow these guidelines and hook up smoothly.

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