Getting Married Abroad? You Need To Remember These Important Things.
Getting married abroad can often be a stroke of genius. Depending on the destination it could save you money; almost guarantee sunshine; cut down on the guest list and double as a honeymoon. Yes, getting married abroad could indeed be the way forward. If you decide to tie-the-knot in some far off distant land (lucky you), here’s what you need to know.
Compare and check currencies
You wouldn’t go on your run-of-the-mill holidays without doing this, so your wedding shouldn’t be any different. Keep an eye on exchange rates so that you get the best possible deal when you convert your cash. Sterling is strong against the Euro at the minute, so European weddings have the potential to be extremely cost effective. Shop around for your money as well; don’t just assume that your bank will offer you the best rate.
Sort out the paperwork
Unfortunately you are going to have to organise this well in advance. Whilst it’s easy enough to get married within the month in the UK, some countries can take between three to six months to push through the paperwork. Get in early with the paperwork to avoid disappointment. Not only that, but you’re going to need to bring a slew of documents with you including:
-Full birth certificates
-Legal proof of change of name (if either of you have changed your names)
-Divorce papers from previous marriage, or if widowed: the death certificate of former spouse (if applicable)
-Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage, you can get this from a registrar or embassy in your chosen country
-Sworn affidavit that you are free to marry/certificate of single status
-Documents may need to be translated if marrying in a non-English speaking country. This needs to be done by an official translator and stamped with an apostille. For a small fee the Foreign and Commonwealth office can legalise documents in the UK.
-Check to see which legal documents you will need stamped with an apostille; as they may not be legal in your chosen country until stamped.
Save the date cards
If having a UK wedding then it might seem a little over the top to send save the dates, swiftly followed by a full invite, but when marrying overseas these are essential. Save the dates will give you family and friends enough time to save up the money needed for travel and give their employer plenty of notice of the required time off.
Keep your eyes open for freebies
If couples stay for a certain number of nights or bring enough guests, they may be offered a ‘free’ wedding ceremony in North America or The Caribbean. Though this will tie you and your guests to one particular venue, it is worth bearing in mind.
Have a chat with your airline
While we’re on the subject of discounts, some airlines will offer travel discounts for large groups of people- so it might be worth organising your travel along with all of your guests. While you have their attention, see if you can bring your wedding dress on as hand luggage to save you a bit more cash.
Book in your maiden name
I know you’re excited to finally become Mr and Mrs but remember to book in your maiden name, (unless you are changing your name before you travel). The check in desk won’t let you through if your ticket doesn’t match the name on your passport.
Get clued up on the climate
When buying your dress bear in mind the climate of your chosen country. If you are getting married during the hottest, humid part of the year then you will want to avoid a large, heavy dress. There’s nothing worse than sweat stains on a wedding dress- except maybe an outdoor wedding during hurricane season. You might need to check for that as well.
Budget for extras
As with any normal wedding you need to budget for extra things that you might not even have thought of. You’re going to need travel and wedding insurance, and getting any documents translated is going to incur a fee.
If you're set on getting married abroad remember these 5 tips!