Tempted to get married overseas but not sure where to start? We’re here to help and answer all of your questions about planning a wedding abroad. From the legal bits to the time of year, travel time and wedding planners, there’s plenty to consider when it comes to planning your nuptials. Before you even think of your table plan, destination wedding dresses or wedding cakes, you’ll want to get clued up on the below. Happy wedding abroad planning!
Here’s how to start planning a wedding abroad.
Check if your wedding will be legal
First things first when planning a wedding abroad, you’ll need to find out if it’s legal to get married in the country of your choice as marriage laws differ from country to country. For example, France requires 40 days residency before you can legally marry there and the ceremony must then take place 10 days after your marriage banns are read, while other countries don’t require residency at all, and some will allow a religious ceremony if you’re part of that faith.
If your country of choice doesn’t offer legal weddings or requires a long residency, then marrying at a registry office at home and having a blessing abroad could be a great option for you. Find out how to get married in the UK, for more information on saying your vows at home.
Find out the local order of proceedings
Planning a wedding abroad can be a totally different experience to planning a wedding at home. Italian weddings, for example, are all-day-long events that start at midday and go on late into the night, while some destinations typically hold wedding ceremonies much later in the day. Check that the order of the day suits you and your guests.
Check the weather at your destination
Chances are you’re probably considering planning a wedding abroad to escape the often less than wonderful British weather. If that’s the case, make sure you check the weather conditions in the local area at the time of year you wish to wed. While a wedding in rainy season may seem like the worst possible option, a ceremony in a blistering heatwave won’t be much fun either, so try to select a time outside of high season and rainy season.
Choose between a package or DIY option
Many holiday companies will offer an all in one destination wedding package abroad centred around a resort, organised by resort staff. Alternatively, you can organise your wedding independently and hire a local wedding planner. If you’re running to a tight schedule or have an especially busy job or lifestyle, you may find that option one works best for you.
Hire a wedding planner
While it is possible to organise your own wedding abroad, we’d recommend hiring a local wedding planner. Your wedding planner will be able to check out locations and venues and create a short list for you to view. They’ll also be able to share their knowledge of the best local wedding suppliers.
Consider how you and your guests will get there
Can you easily fly out to your destination or does getting there require multiple modes of transport and hours of travel? Are flights affordable? Your guests may be reluctant to spend too much time and money on travel, no matter how fantastic your wedding when they get there. Plus, less travel time means your guests will have more time and energy for your celebration.
Let your guests know early
Accommodation in popular resorts can be booked up well in advance, so it’s important to let guests know when and where you’re tying the knot as soon as you book it. Your wedding abroad will take a lot more organising from your guests than a wedding in the UK, so the more notice and information you can give them the better.
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