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Things to consider when planning your wedding abroad
When researching the cost, take a look at the small print very carefully. Tour companies will often advertise what looks like a very desirable price, but when you take a closer look, it doesn't include everything you might want. You may see a package for as little as £300 - but that only includes fees for paperwork, the services of the ceremony, sparkling wine, a cake (not three or four tiered) a bouquet and a buttonhole for the groom. Receptions are very rarely included.
Standard travel insurance will not likely cover the rings, wedding dress and lost or stolen gifts. You will need to look at extra cover for these items.
Many couples have had their weddings ruined even though it was their dream overseas wedding. This is because the idea of a romantic beach side wedding rarely equates to the reality of the fact that the sea can be very noisy and beaches are often quite breezy, no matter how warm it is.
The legal requirements of marrying abroad
There are pre-wedding residence requirements for most countries in which you may want to marry. If you want a real quickie wedding overseas, then Las Vegas does live up to its reputation, and you can fly in and get married the next day - but it may not be quite the romantic paradise you envisaged.
Most places will require you to provide your birth certificate, an affidavit stating that you are free to marry and any relevant documents if you are divorced, adopted, widowed etc. They will require you to have been in the country for 2 to 5 days, but some places, such as France, will require you to have been there for 40 days.
Many countries will require the paperwork to be lodges 12 weeks before the ceremony, so you need to be organised well in advance. Greece, for example, will require all your documents translating and so this is an extra cost to consider. In Mexico both the bride and groom must take a blood test and in Italy divorcees have to wait a year before they can re-marry.
It is advisable to contact the foreign embassy of the country which you intend to marry, here in the UK. They will have help and advice on what their countries requirements will be.
Most weddings abroad will be recognised in the UK, but you should consult the embassy or a lawyer to establish that the country in which your ceremony was conducted, is legally recognised. You cannot get a British marriage certificate if you marry abroad, however, you can deposit your marriage documents with the General register Office so that it is kept as an official record (but they will need to be translated if they are not in English).
Top Tips for Marrying Abroad
1. Make sure you know EXACTLY what costs you can expect.
2. Research your choices well - get advice from travel agents, embassies, review sites and tourist boards.
3. Have all your paperwork in place well in advance (at least 12 weeks) of your wedding date; it will be practically impossible to iron out problems in the legals once you are there.
4. If you are hoping friends and family will come find out as much information on hotels and travel as you can.
5. Check what happens in all eventualities - what if it rains?, can you choose your flowers? can you choose your own music? are their beauty facilities in place (hair, make-up etc)
6. Make sure you get the time of year right and your dream location - September in the Caribbean is hurricane season!
Luxury Wedding Locations
You may have your dream wedding location in mind; however, for some people it is the idea of tying the knot in the sunshine or escaping the potential complexities of big British weddings that is the appeal and deciding on a place may be difficult. If that is you here are few destination ideas for your luxurious wedding day and the links below will bring you to a wide range of further options:
* Antigua Weddings
* Barbados Weddings
* Caribbean weddings
* Cyprus Weddings
* Dubai Weddings
* Egypt Weddings
* Lapland Weddings
* Italy Weddings
* Maldives Weddings
* Mauritius Weddings
* Mexico Weddings
* St Lucia Weddings
If, having read our tips, you've decided a wedding abroad is not for you, then check out our Budget Weddings section for more advice on bringing that £17,000 price tag down!
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