Wedding planners worldwide are seeing a steady increase in couples who chose to jet away from the UK to enjoy a unique and (likelier) sunny wedding day. According to recent figures, around 600,000 people marry in Britain every year. An additional 200,000 British couples are going to exchange vows abroad this year. The trend towards foreign weddings is not just rewarded in having a memorable and exotic special day, it also can, with careful planning, result in a significant savings.
UK Weddings Twice as Expensive
The average cost of a moderate sized wedding in Britain runs to more than £17,000 when the dress, reception and honeymoon are totalled. Compare the cost and it’s startling: overseas weddings are, on average half as expensive at £6,500. According to a poll by YouGov, the total amount spent on foreign weddings by Britons wedding abroad in the past two years was £1.7 billion, making it a very sizeable specialised section of the travel industry. One million guests will receive invitations to friends and family’s foreign weddings this year.
As can be expected all-inclusive holiday wedding packages are increasingly popular with a range of destinations and themes to suit the budgets and tastes of the couples planning their weddings. For those hiring wedding planners, the task of planning is simplified, by it can be fairly straightforward for those considering a DIY destination wedding that reflects a couple’s own unique style.
If you are considering tying the knot abroad, we would suggest five top tips:
Going abroad to wed obviously necessitates exchanging pound sterling for the currency of the destination country. Making the most of the savings means using a foreign exchange company to move your money into the euros, dollars, rand or rupees. A one-time transfer to pay for the venue shouldn’t be left to a bank which will charge fees, so register with a currency exchange company and stretch the savings.
Purchasing travel money shouldn’t be left to the last minute at the airport where the highest fees will be charged-so order travel money in advance and save. Use travel money cards for the whole wedding party as they will also save the bride, groom and guests unnecessary fees when celebrating abroad.
2. Know the legalities before marrying abroad
Don’t expect to be able marry on holiday because there are some essential legal and financial details that should be addressed well in advance. Take care of these details to make certain you can get hitched abroad without any last minute legal hitches.
3. Prepare the correct documentation
Each country requires its own specific documentation that couples must bring with them in order to be permitted to marry. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) suggests couples consult the destination country’s embassy in the UK to find out what documents are necessary.
Ireland and Cyprus, for instance require couples to present a certificate of no Impediment issued by the FCO, which is basically proof that each person isn’t still legally married to another person. Some documents will need also to be legalized so it’s suggested that this process be initiated as far in advance of the nuptials as possible.
4. A marriage abroad doesn’t come with a British marriage certificate
The certification from the country where the marriage occurred will be legally recognized, however, and can be deposited with the General Records Office so that copies of the document are readily available if needed in future.
The UK recognises a foreign marriage (and also civil partnership) so long as it was legally valid in the country in which it took place, and also provided it would have been permitted (persons not closely related, etc.) in the UK.
5. Medical examinations
Many countries require couples to have medical examinations and blood tests before they will be permitted to marry which are far easier to have done at your local GP than once you are overseas. Check to be sure you have dealt with any medical requirements.