Heading: A Brit’s Guide to Getting Married Abroad
- One in six couples are now choosing to get married abroad
- Couples can save up to £10,000 on the cost of their wedding if they choose to get married abroad as costs of suppliers are lower and the wedding and honeymoon can be rolled into one to cut costs further
- £7.3 billion has been spent over the last 5 years by guests who have been part of a wedding abroad, with this money spent on travel costs, accommodation, gifts and new outfits
- The average guest is likely to pay around £2000 to attend a wedding overseas, compared to £500 for a wedding held in the UK
- One in ten guests say they have had to turn down an invitation to attend a marriage abroad due to it being too expensive
- Almost a quarter of guests who have attended a wedding abroad said they had to cut back on their own annual holiday or not have one at all in order to be able to attend.
Advantages of Getting Married Abroad
- Guaranteed good weather unlike the inconsistent weather here in the UK
- Cheaper overall despite initial costs for travel and insurance as suppliers are considerably cheaper than in the UK
- Great for an intimate celebration with a smaller number of close family and friends
- Once the ceremony is over, you are already in your honeymoon location so can sit back and relax without the prospect of travelling anywhere
Disadvantages of Getting Married Abroad
- You may not be able to invite all of the friends and family members you’d have liked there due to budget constraints, which ultimately means some of the people closest to you missing out on your special day
- Some countries require significant amounts of paperwork to be filled in before you can legally marry there
- As you will not be in the country in the lead up to your wedding, you will undoubtedly have less control over what is going on than you would if the wedding was in the UK
- It may be more difficult to find time for you and your partner to spend alone together after the ceremony as all guests will have travelled with you and will be in the same resort as you afterwards
You Must Not Forget To.....
- Ask plenty of questions to your travel operator, wedding organiser and those in charge of the venue as well as getting everything in writing so you have proof of the details discussed
- Check whether any vaccinations are required or tablets need to be taken as health precautions for your chosen country before then informing your guests in plenty of time, as some need to be taken a number of months before you travel
- Become fully aware of your chosen airline’s luggage policy and how they can help you transport large, delicate items such as your wedding dress
- Make sure your venue has an indoor area available and is set up so you and guests can escape the heat if it gets too hot or grab some shelter if the weather takes an unlikely turn for the worse
Facts, Rules and Regulations for Weddings in Foreign Countries
- If you wish to get married in Cyprus, you must be there for 3 clear working days before your wedding day as a residency requirement
- Should you be looking to get married in France, it may be wise to have a civil ceremony here in the UK first before undertaking a religious or symbolic ceremony when in France as the residency requirements and legal documents are very complex. For instance, if you wish to have your civil ceremony in France, one of the couple to be married needs to have been in France for 40 continuous days immediately prior to the wedding.
- For weddings in Italy, you must obtain a ‘Certificate of No Impediment’ here in the UK before then going to the local British Consular Office in Italy upon your arrival to collect the ‘Nulla Osta’. It is important to remember not to apply for any required documents or certificates more than six months before the date of your wedding or they will expire.
- If you are getting married in Switzerland, they only recognise civil marriages in a Registry Office, but can’t be held on Saturdays and Sundays or on public holidays
- It is important to be aware that only civil ceremonies, and not religious ones, are allowed if either of the two of you have been divorced previously when getting married in Malta
- When getting married in Jamaica, you can choose to have your wedding wherever you want, from down on the beach to the garden of your hotel as long as the location is approved by the registrar upon applying for your marriage licence.
- As the most isolated group of islands in the whole world, getting married in Hawaii ensures you can embark on pretty much anything you can think of for your wedding ceremony! From an underwater marriage in the sunken remains of a ship through to a helicopter ride out into the dense forest to be married surrounded by nature, you can be as wild and wacky as you like.
- The island group of St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean has a number of different religions with different requirements to meet if you want to get married there. For instance, if you want a Catholic Church wedding, on arrival you will need to provide birth and baptism certificates, a letter of freedom to marry from your priest and confirmation that you have attended marriage classes.
Quick Fire Tips for Organising a Wedding Abroad
- One of the first things you must do is arrange a wedding planner who has experience of organising weddings in your chosen destination so you can discuss budget, find out more about what is available to you and express your wishes for the big day
- It is always advisable to make a preliminary visit to the location you wish to be married at so you can explore the area closely and search for hairdressers and make-up artists in the vicinity
- Get all the necessary paperwork and documentation arranged in plenty of time and attempt to arrive at your destination a few days before the day of your wedding to ensure everything is in order
- Consider your wedding attire carefully, as especially in a hot location, the last thing you will want is a big heavy dress or a full suit that leaves you too hot to fully enjoy the occasion, so consider lightweight alternatives
- Try and take your wedding dress and other essential items, such as rings, onto the plane with you as hand luggage as opposed to being in your suitcase just in case the worse was to happen and your suitcase is lost
- If you haven’t been able to invite everyone you’d have liked, why not see if a webcam can be set up at the venue so that all those back at home can watch the ceremony on a live stream?