Monday, 30 July 2012

On a Foreign shore... - The Ins and Outs of getting hitched abroad

Planning a wedding is stressful enough as it is.  Trying to plan one abroad adds another dimension to the process.  Would you consider taking that challenge on?

There are many reasons to hold your nuptials abroad.  Whether it is for reasons of sentimentality, or simply because the UK can't accommodate the kind of event you're looking for, you should research your destination as much as possible before honing in on the perfect location.  Whether that be on a tropical island or a snow capped mountain, it helps if you've visited the location before.  Maybe you've been there on holiday.  I would recommend visiting your selected destination, if at all possible, before signing any contracts.

As with any wedding, there are some very important points to consider:
  • The legal side of things: you need to create a record of your overseas marriage once you're back in the UK.  You can do this at any time after the ceremony.  If you marry outside of the Commonwealth, you will need to contact the Foreign Office about depositing your marriage certificates.  There is no provision as yet for those who marry in a Commonwealth country.  For more information, visit
  • You will be unable to sample items such as food, decorations and flowers ahead of time.  Most suppliers may be able to send you pictures, but while a picture tells a thousand words, it may not tell you the whole truth.
  • If you plan to purchase your dress/outfits ahead of time, you will need to make provision for them in your luggage allowances when travelling.  If travelling a long distance, you will also need to make provisions for them to cleaned/steamed/cared for once you arrive.

I've heard mixed reviews from brides planning their weddings in another country.  Some said it was the most stressful thing that they'd ever experienced; others said that putting their plans to into the hands of wedding companies meant all the stress was lifted from them.  One theme that came through loud and clear was trust.  You had to trust the photographs you were sent to be accurate; you had to trust other people's recommendations; you had to trust the hotels and airlines to deliver on time.

The most important thing with going abroad is to allow yourself enough time to prepare.  You may want to consider visiting the destination and talking to as many of your suppliers as possible before signing any contracts on 

This article is dedicated to the lovely Claire Arbon, who inspired it.  Claire is planning her wedding in Ireland.  Best of luck to her! x x x

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