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Getting Married Abroad

Getting married abroad?

More couples than ever are choosing to get married abroad for a host of reasons.  The allure of a barefoot wedding on the beach combined with the perfect honeymoon is certainly obvious, but is it for you? The average cost of wedding in the UK has been steadily rising, and although many providers have of course made sure they offer the best possible value given the current climate, a small, beachside wedding cankeep the numbers down and combine the wedding and honeymoon costs.

The weather is virtually guaranteed to be good, and most agents and specialist firms will ensure that everything is properly organized for you so that when you arrive, you are relaxed and ready to enjoy your holiday as well as your wedding.

There are things to consider before you make the decision:
Look at:
Organisation – how will you plan the wedding? Most of the major agents now offer packages where a civil or church ceremony is included in the price, along with perhaps a meal, the honeymoon suite and other options, although looking at these, most don’t include any form of reception.  Many travel agents do however have wedding planners in their most popular resorts who you can liaise with and who can create the perfect reception for you from a distance.  They will also make sure you don’t get caught up in any red tape which is difficult to understand at the best of times, even before the language barrier.  Otherwise you can contact a local planner who should have a more in depth knowledge of the region you have chosen and is less likely to be dependent on specific suppliers, meaning you will probably get better value and more choice.  Do remember though that at this distance you will have far less control over getting exactly what you wanted in terms of flowers and so on than you would in the UK.  On the plus side, you will get something completely different from exotic flowers to an unforgettable menu simply by going somewhere different.
Travel – how long will you be staying? Most countries have a minimum residence period before you are legally able to marry, so make sure you take this into account when planning your date.  Is your destination easy for all your guests to reach if you will be traveling separately? Are you asking a lot of your guests to travel to be with you, or will they all be happy with a holiday as well as sharing your special occasion? Will you have to pay for some guests, as this will be a costly option, or are your close friends and relatives happy to pay for themselves and reduce your costs? Will it cost a great deal extra to transport everything you require to your resort, for example dresses and favours?
Family – this is a great opportunity for your friends and family to get to know each other – the prospect of both families spending a week together may be daunting though, so consider where everyone will stay and how much time you all plan to spend together during the course of your trip.  For some couples this is the big issue.  You may not mind if great auntie Mabel is unable to attend, but will your partner be happy for some relatives to miss your big day? You will have to accept this and understand the financial aspects for your guests.
The service – you may not be able to have the type of service you have in mind depending once again on the location you choose.  You may for example require a church wedding, but depending on where you are this may not be recognized in the UK, meaning you will need to have a civil ceremony and a blessing instead.  Equally, some tour operators offer a service in the local church to your hotel, where you may have preferred a civil ceremony.
If the idea still suits you, then do your research carefully.  Talk to several agents, especially smaller agents who specialize in weddings, and let them help you choose your perfect location.
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