Destination wedding experts run down the top 9 things that UK couples typically forget when planning to get married abroad.

Site Co-Founder, Steph Bishop says: “Many couples just aren’t aware of these ‘need to knows’ about getting married abroad – essential tips, which are often overlooked in the planning process.

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So, if you’re getting hitched overseas, make sure you don’t forget these important things…

Leave enough time for the paperwork

Couples should make sure they allow plenty of time to sort out the marriage paperwork, which can take between three to six months to complete, depending on the country.

Check and compare currencies

When choosing a destination, couples should check and compare currency exchange rates to save substantially on costs. For example, the pound is currently extremely strong against the Euro. This in turn makes European weddings much cheaper than last year. Couples should secure quotes from a selection of Forex companies to obtain the best rates to transfer money to their wedding provider and not forget that rates will usually vary, depending on the amount of money being transferred.

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Look out for free ceremonies

Caribbean or North American resorts often offer a ‘free’ wedding ceremony, if couples stay for a certain number of nights or bring a certain number of guests.

Send save the dates

Couples should post ‘save the date’ cards well in advance of the date if they wish to attend an overseas wedding. The more notice given, the more likely friends and family will be able to fly over. Lots of notice also gives them plenty of time to start saving for the trip.

Listen to the weatherman

When choosing a dress, brides should always have the weather of the country in mind at the particular time of year they plan to get married. A heavy wedding dress on a tropical beach may make brides look uncomfortable and overheated in the photos. Hurricane or rainy seasons may also not be the ideal time for an outdoor wedding, which is particularly true of the Caribbean and South East Asia.

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Book in your maiden name

Brides should remember to book airline tickets in their maiden name unless they change their name legally before they fly. The check-in desk won’t accept you if you’ve given them a different surname than on your passport!

Talk to the airline

Most airlines will allow brides to bring their wedding dress as hand luggage, however brides would need to contact the airline directly prior to booking. Also, while speaking to the airline – if family is travelling together – the whole party should ask for a group travel rate to save even more money.

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Don’t forget the paperwork

Most countries require the following legal documents:

  • Passports
  • Full birth certificates showing both parents’ names
  • If divorced, original final divorce papers and if widowed, death certificate of former spouse
  • If bride/groom has changed their name(s), legal proof of the change
  • If marrying in a non-English speaking country then documents may need to be translated by an official translator and stamped with an apostille. In the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can legalise documents for a small fee
  • Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (required by some countries) which can be obtained from a local department of foreign affairs, registrar or embassy in the chosen country
  • Some countries require UK legal documents to be stamped with an Apostille Stamp, which then make them legal documents in that country
  • Certificate of Single Status/Sworn Affidavit that you are free to marry

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Don’t forget the extras

Apart from settling the balance of the actual wedding abroad, couples shouldn’t forget the ‘little extras’ that need to be budgeted for in the UK, such as travel and wedding insurance, getting documents translated (if required), and getting the correct documents legalised.

For more expert info on getting married abroad, head to now! And why not check out some of our real brides who got hitched overseas?



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