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How to get married abroad

Getting married – the most special day in a couple’s life. Not for many years now has this been limited to a trip to the local church or registry office. Although those options are still there and seeing a lovely ribbon-strewn vintage car amongst the roses and old stone of a classic church does indeed tickle the heart strings; for many the thought of the sun and splendour of getting married abroad takes the top spot. We have a few tips and tricks for those who fit that bill: –

Choosing your location

Anywhere on earth. The world is very much your oyster when it comes to getting married these days. Selecting your location is a great deal of fun, but make sure you ask yourself the following questions: –

  • Indoors or outdoors? This brings weather into play, so check rainfall figures for the time of your wedding if you fancy tying the knot outdoors. Finding a venue that can offer both in case it rains can be sensible.
  • Near or far? Think about how far you’d like to travel, and the likelihood of your guests being able to travel there too.
  • Near the sea? In a classic building? Picturing the setting close up can help you see the bigger picture.
  • Do I want a theme? If the groom fancies arriving by wind yacht then a marriage in a forest is probably not a great idea. If bright flowers and colourful countryside is a must, then the climate of your destination needs to support this.


Getting married can be expensive. Getting married abroad can be even more expensive. Unfortunately, there is no way around that. One thing that is very important about your wedding is that it is, well, your wedding. You want it to work for you. Therefore, giving advice about the cost of a wedding is very difficult.

Most packages will have lots of options available; the more you want, the more it costs. As a very rough guide indeed, think upwards of £12000-£14000. A long way upwards if you are travelling far. The figure given is based on around twenty guests in an all-inclusive package in a French Chateau.

A package wedding or do-it-yourself?

There are many specialist companies who will do everything for you. They’ll naturally cost a little more, but will take away all of the anxiety and make sure that nothing is forgotten about. Most will allocate you with a personal organiser who will answer all of those last-minute questions.

To do this, simply get in touch well in advance, tell them where you want to get married and they will take over as much of the organising as you wish. Companies such as the holiday company Thomson or the specialist agency such as Perfect Weddings Abroad will also ensure that everything you need is covered. Many will also operate payment plans to help you spread the cost.

However, if you want to save a little money, or just like the idea of doing it all yourself, then these are some of the things you’ll need to do: –

  • Make sure that the wedding is conducted by somebody who is recognised to do the job. The Government has a website that advises on this.
  • Decide where the wedding will be.
  • Organise your venue for the wedding itself and reception afterwards.
  • Book your flights and organise accommodation for you, your partner and potentially key guests too.
  • Think about photographs – will you bring your own photographer? Or will you source a local photographer in advance?
  • Think about your cake; organising for one to be made locally is logistically a lot easier.
  • Do you want a band? A DJ? Perhaps a magician might be a nice touch if little ones are attending.
  • Transport. How will you get from your accommodation to the wedding itself?
  • What about flowers and decorations?
  • Will you stay in the same area for your honeymoon? Or move on somewhere else?

Preparing for rain

Another advantage of using a package is that this problem will be covered – as will you and your guests with a bit of luck. Covered from the rain, that is. If you choose to do it yourself, then speak with the host venue about their emergency alternatives. Still, if you have chosen an outdoor venue, then almost certainly this is because the weather is much more guaranteed than it is in Britain.

Looking after your guests

Getting married locally in the UK means that it’s easier for guests to share your happy moment. Going abroad however throws up three difficulties for those looking to attend. None are insurmountable, but each needs to be considered: –

  • Cost. Unless you’re financially very comfortable, the feasibility of paying for all of your guests to get to your venue and have at least a couple of nights’ accommodation, is likely to be beyond you. You can help by sourcing accommodation options close to where you’re staying, so that they can have a choice of options. To help reduce embarrassment and discomfort, keep the list to only the closest people to you. Everybody understands that costs can be high.
  • Time from work. Realistically, the very minimum somebody should commit to an overseas wedding is three days. One to get there, one for the day itself, one to get back home again. That is the absolute minimum. Be understanding if friends and family are unable to commit to that amount of time.
  • Pressure. Guests may feel pressure to attend, when in reality it’s very difficult for them to do so. Bear this in mind when inviting them. People like a formal invitation, but perhaps a personal word to show that you really want them to attend will go a long way. At the same time, understand if it’s too much for them to attend. Family members and your best man/woman and bridesmaids can help with this. You could hold a party at home before or after the wedding for those who cannot make it.

Just as TransferGo provides easy low-cost, fixed-rate money transfers, the TransferGo blog’s aim is to provide ongoing, easy-to-find articles. These range from advice for obtaining a mobile phone to a new country to how to expand your network abroad. Keep an eye out for more articles like this.


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