10 Things You Need to Think About Before Getting Married Abroad

A destination wedding is something many more couples are considering these days. After all, it’s a lovely way to make the wedding even more memorable. While a wedding at home is a little more traditional, getting married abroad is an excellent way to extend the celebrations over the course of a weekend, a week, or longer. If you’re considering tying the knot abroad, here are some of the things you need to think about. 

Considerations for Getting Married Abroad

10 Things to Consider When Getting Married Abroad

1. See if you can afford the cost of a destination wedding.

One of the first things to consider is the costs of having an overseas wedding. What you can save on a lesser number of guests and catering, you may have to pay for travel and accommodations. Weigh the things that cost more and less and come up with an overall budget to see what you can afford.

2. Choose an appropriate location for your overseas wedding.

The next thing to think about is the right location for getting married abroad. Choosing a location may seem easy, but once you start considering destinations they will all have their benefits and beauty.

Consider a place that means something to you as a couple. Perhaps there is a place where you went on vacation or a particular destination that has a history for you. 

3. See whether you need to hire a wedding planner or destination professional.

Consider getting a wedding planner. This is especially important if you are choosing a location that may have a bit of a language barrier. Your planner will also know the area and how to secure other vendors to make your big day a success.

A wedding planner will help with making decisions and translating your ideas across to venues, caterers, and entertainment bookings. They can be a huge blessing to you and help to avoid mistakes being made. 

Couple Destination Wedding with Hot Air Balloons

4. Figure out how far in advance you need to start planning your wedding abroad.

You may think that it is simpler to get married abroad. However, you will still need to book the wedding in advance.

Most couples planning on getting married abroad tend to give themselves a year to plan their destination weddings. Doing so gives you the chance to sort out paperwork, get things in order, and notify your guests.

5. Determine if you need to visit your destination before the special day.

It is a good idea to visit the location before you get married there. However, that may not be a possibility. Pictures and videos are great, but they won’t do the location as much justice as seeing it in person. Plus size and spacing can be deceiving on a picture or video. 

This situation is also where a qualified wedding planner — or planner associated with your venue — can help. They can field questions and let you know what will or won’t work for your big day. It is possible to plan on getting married abroad without ever setting foot on the property before your wedding day.

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6. Know the country’s requirements for getting married abroad.

There are a few different legal requirements to ensure that you can get married abroad. While paperwork is probably the last thing you want to be doing, it can help to ensure that you avoid any problems when all the plans go into motion. Here are a few things you may need to get the paperwork in order:

  • A valid passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Any divorce documents if either of you has been married before
  • Death certificates if you or your partner are widowed

There may be other factors to consider depending on nationality, but your wedding planner will be able to advise you on the specifics. Be sure to check with your destination wedding location to see what is required.

Tropical Destination Wedding Beach

7. Be sure your marriage will be legal when having a destination wedding.

Unless your wedding is simply a formality and you’re doing paperwork stateside, you’ll have to check into the legality of getting married abroad. Plus, the rules and documentation differ from country to country.

It might be that you will need to get your wedding license before you head to your destination. Or choose to make the marriage legal when you return or before you go.

8. Secure wedding insurance if necessary for your overseas wedding.

Like with any big purchases and investments you make, it is a good idea to cover yourself for every situation. This is where wedding insurance is important.

As with most insurances, you pay for them ahead of time with the hope that you never need them. However, if for some reason you need to make a claim to get your money back, your insurance will have you covered.

This is especially important if something happened to the wedding venue, such as closing down or not being able to fulfill the ceremony. It may even cover inclement weather, which is essential if you’re choosing a location where hurricanes or tropical storms are an issue.

9. Make plans to get your wedding attire to your destination wedding.

If you want to fly with your attire, you will need to speak to your airline in advance. You may be able to take your wedding dress as hand luggage instead of checking it into the hold.

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You may also want to speak to the bridal shop or the designer who has made it. They may be able to help fold it up and store it in an appropriate way for travel.

Getting Married Abroad Woodland Wedding

10. Tie up any loose ends prior to getting married abroad.

Get everything in writing prior to your overseas wedding.

When getting married abroad, you need to have everything in writing. There is a little bit of risk that booking something in a different country. When it is your special day, give yourself extra assurance by having things in writing. 

Embrace the destination and culture of your destination wedding location.

Depending on where you are getting married you will want to try and embrace the destination and culture as much as possible. You could implement their traditions into your day if you wanted to. 

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Think about your guests who are coming to your overseas wedding.

When booking a destination abroad, try and ensure that you remember your guests. There may be fewer of them to consider, which gives you a chance to make it personal and extra special for them too. 

Consider the temperature and climate of your destination.

Finally, make sure you consider the temperature of the location. If it is considerably hot during the day push back the times for later in the day.

Getting married abroad? Save it!

Hopefully, this has given you everything that you need to help you have your wedding abroad.  If you are having a destination wedding, be sure to save this advice!

Tips for Getting Married Abroad

Photos: Zeynep Sude Emek, Melike Benli, Su Minh, Pavel Daniluk

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