Mystic Paradise: Sidebar
Southeast Asia is a wedding destination that inspires jet-setting couples to design an unforgettable ceremony—one worthy of a 24-hour plane ride from Boston. But an overseas wedding can mean extra planning. “One of the first things the bride thinks about is who they’re going to want to be there,” says Quentin Carmichael, president and founder of Destinationweddings.com in Framingham. “It’s important to pay attention to your guests’ time and cost constraints.” Travel time plus jetlag recovery can make the trip more than a week long.
A wedding planner is a must, and many consultants will take care of the paperwork, which includes various certificates that must be translated and certified by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It’s best to hire a wedding planner who is based overseas. “They can work with you to find the best vendors in the area, as well as help make arrangements for your guests,” says bridal consultant Linnea Tangorra, owner of Tangorra Wedding Planning in Newburyport.
Indonesia requires both a civil and a religious ceremony and recognizes weddings performed under the Catholic, Muslim, Protestant, Hindu or Buddhist codes, but not atheist or agnostic ceremonies. The bride and groom must practice the same religion. In Thailand, you must be a resident in the country for three days prior to marrying. More documents are required if either partner has been married before.
Doing your own research is important, too. Make sure you know which regions are still affected by the tsunami, and read up on monsoon seasons—June to October in Thailand; September to February in Indonesia—to be sure that your Southeast Asian wedding, like your love for each other, can weather any storm.