Fabio Passalacqua, Director of jetcost.co.uk, answers the questions you need to consider when it comes to getting married abroad
Getting married is never a simple process, no matter where you decide to tie the knot. The decision of getting married abroad is just the first of many; here are a number of questions you’ll be faced with and some advice on how to find your answers!
What time of year are you planning to get married?
The time of year when you’re getting married will determine what countries are best to get married in, depending on what type of weather you’re hoping to have while out there. If you’re wanting something cooler, many countries are cooler during spring or autumn, and often cheaper and quieter than during peak summer. If you plan to get married towards the end of the year (but you’re still after some serious sunshine), be prepared to set your sights a little further afield.
How easy is it to plan a wedding in the country of your choice?
Firstly, are you able to prepare and plan for the majority of your wedding at home, or can your travel operator assist with this, using their own staff positioned out there? Most resorts will have planners – and even whole teams – on hand in order to assist, which will make life a whole lot easier for you, because you can keep your involved but not have to worry about the details. If anything, these planners and their help can make it easier to plan a wedding abroad than it would usually be for a home bride.
Will your marriage be legal?
Wherever you get married, you should be given a marriage certificate. In most instances of people getting married abroad this is fine, but you may need to get it translated back in the UK afterwards to ensure you have a relevant English document.
In some instances, having a marriage certificate from another country doesn’t always make your wedding legal in the UK, and you will need to have another ceremony back home. Be sure to thoroughly research the marriage laws surrounding the country/countries you’re considering holding your wedding in – look into exactly what’s required and where it stands in the eyes of the UK legal system.
Research the local order of proceedings for weddings
Local customs and traditions may mean that a wedding abroad is very different to what we’ve all come to expect of a wedding in the UK. Some destinations choose to have siestas, or a set day where local business are shut, so you may not be able to have your wedding on a day or time of your choosing. Alternatively, weddings start later in the day in some countries, going on later into the night. A little research can make your planning far easier.
How hot do you like it?
Even if you’re a fan of warm weather, bear in mind that you might be wearing more formal clothing than your usual bikini and sarong! While you might want a nice tan, you don’t want to run the risk of getting burnt, sweating in your dress or suit and looking like a tomato in your wedding photos. You’re likely to standing outside for the photos – it can get toasty even if you choose light clothing. That being said, a cooler holiday might be just what you’re after. Maybe a city break is up your street, or a ski resort in the Alps. At least if it’s cooler, you’re not expecting perfect weather.
What are the costs for your guests?
While this is your wedding and money may be no object, you need to consider the costs for your loved ones to travel to attend your big day. They’re not only going to have to fork out for an outfit to wear and a gift for you, (which is likely all they’d need if you were getting married in the UK), but they’re also going to have to pay for their flights, accommodation and spending money for the entire break – not just a day. All of these increase when there are children involved, too. Maybe offer a few different hotel options to those you want to attend, allowing them to choose according to their budget – and therefore not feeling pressured into spending more than they can afford.
Will you and your guests like the local cuisine?
While the majority of locations, hotels and resorts cater to all (or many), there are some that have limited menu options or don’t cater to all dietary requirements and therefore aren’t ideal. It’s worth looking into, especially if you know there are some with coeliac disease or nut allergies among your wedding party.
Our thanks to jetcost.co.uk for these brilliant tips! If you’re getting married overseas, be sure to drop us a line with your top tips, and maybe your wedding will be featured, too! Email [email protected]
Main image by rayashmorephotography.co.uk