couple-beach-wedding

How to plan a wedding abroad – the 9 expert tips you can't miss

Take the stress out of planning a destination wedding

hellomagazine.com

More and more couples are choosing to marry abroad, including celebrity couples like Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas. And while reliable weather and lower wedding costs are among the selling points of a destination wedding, there are lots of additional factors to take into consideration when planning your big day in a foreign country.

The experts at MarryAbroad.co.uk shared their nine top tips and things you need to think about when planning a wedding abroad. Read on for everything you need to know…

Leave enough time for the paperwork...

Couples should make sure they allow plenty of time to sort out the marriage documents, which can take between three to six months to complete depending on the country. Take this into account when booking your venue, and start on the paperwork as early as possible to avoid any delays that might affect your big day.

Billie Faiers recently married in the Maldives

Send save the dates early...

Couples should post "save the date" cards well in advance. The more notice given, the more likely friends and family will be able to fly over and save for the trip. Do some of the legwork for your guests by sharing details about airlines who fly to your destination, and even possible hotels they could stay in, to help prevent any confusion.

MORE: How to plan a wedding - the ultimate checklist every bride-to-be needs

Look out for free ceremonies...

Caribbean or North American resorts often offer a "free" wedding ceremony, if couples stay for a certain number of nights or bring a certain number of guests.

Listen to the weatherman...

When choosing a dress, brides should always have the weather of the country in mind, at the particular time of year they plan to marry. A heavy wedding dress on a tropical beach may make brides look uncomfortable and overheated in the photos. Hurricane or rainy seasons may also not be an ideal time of year for outdoor weddings, which is particularly true of the Caribbean and South East Asia. If couples are flexible about the date, then they should consider getting married in low season when hotel rates are better.

Talk to the airline...

Most airlines will allow brides to bring their wedding dress as hand luggage, however brides would need to contact the airline directly prior to booking. Also, if a family is travelling together, the whole party should ask for a group travel rate to save even more money. Check a travel search comparison site such as momondo.co.uk to find the best, most suitable flights.

Book flights in your maiden name...

Brides should remember to book airline tickets in their maiden name, unless they change their name legally before they fly.

STORY: 5 ways to reduce wedding costs for yourself and your guests

Don't forget all the paperwork...

Most countries require the following legal documents – passports; full birth certificates showing both parents' names; if divorced, original final divorce papers; if widowed, death certificate of former spouse; if the bride/groom has changed their name(s), legal proof of the change. If marrying in a non-English speaking country then documents may need to be translated by an official translator and stamped with an apostille. In the UK the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can legalise documents for a small fee.

Two additional certificates may also be necessary – a certificate of no impediment to marriage which can be obtained from a local department of foreign affairs, registrar or embassy in the chosen country; a certificate of single status/sworn affidavit that you are free to marry. These are similar to a certificate of no impediment, but instead you have to swear you are single in front of a legal representative such as a solicitor or notary.

Don't forget the extras...

Apart from settling the balance of the actual wedding abroad, couples shouldn't forget the "little extras" that need to be budgeted for in the UK, such as travel and wedding insurance, getting documents translated (if required), and getting the correct documents legalised.

Check and compare currencies...

When choosing a destination, couples should check and compare currency exchange rates to save substantially on costs. Couples should secure quotes from a selection of Forex companies to obtain the best rates to transfer money to their wedding provider and not forget that rates will usually vary, depending on the amount of money being transferred.

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

More on: