Legalities and etiquette to consider when marrying overseas
It’s been reported that one in every four UK couples marries abroad and it’s not hard to see why – a destination wedding is not only memorable for everyone involved, it can also cut your stress and save you money thanks to smaller guest lists, inclusive packages, and doubling as a honeymoon. As with planning a wedding in the UK it’s important to do your research before signing on any dotted lines to avoid ruffling any feathers or incurring any disappointment. Here are 5 things for you to consider when planning your destination wedding.
1. Contact Local Authorities
Put down the pictures of white sandy beaches and start thinking practically – there’s no point falling in love with a destination if when you get there you find out its covered in red tape. Contact the local authorities of the country or countries you’re considering so you know exactly what process you need to follow to arrange your wedding and make sure your marriage is recognised in the UK. You may need to arrange certain documents before you travel, luckily the UK Government can help you with this.
2. Who Pays For What?
This is where it can get tricky, by having your wedding abroad you’re saving money but your guests will end up spending more. This is where it helps to shop around – it’s customary for the guests to pay for their own flights and rooms but you can find package deals with certain resorts so room rates aren’t quite so high. The bride and groom will usually provide transport from the airport to the destination, but a lot of hotels and resorts are happy to do this on your behalf.
3. Have a Clear Itinerary
Make sure every guest you invite knows exactly what they’re signing up for before they R.S.V.P – break down an itinerary of activities including any cocktail parties, nights out, and meals as well as the wedding ceremony itself, so they know if there are going to be other expenses when they get there.
4. Give a Helping Hand
If they’re paying for flights it’s a nice gesture for you to do the research. Send out your Save the Date cards as early as possible so guests have plenty of time to plan ahead, and include a fact sheet with information about affordable airlines, accommodation options, car hire options, and information about the local area.
Don’t worry about being responsible for everyone – stress to your guests that there is no obligation for them to come if they can’t make it for whatever reason, and if they do come that you are grateful to have them there and all that matters to you is that they share in the fun and excitement of your special day.