Wedding Wednesday Discussions: Weddings Abroad – Good or Bad?

Getting Married abroad Good or Bad?

Today’s #Wedding Wednesday discussion is all about getting married abroad…..why do people do it? What are the benefits? And why is it more and more people seem to be choosing this option?
I am hearing more so often these days that couples are choosing to get married abroad, I did it, I’ve just come back from my friend’s wedding in Santorini, other people in the industry have done it…….even my nail lady is doing it!! But Why? And do the pros out way the cons?

1) Money: in quite a few cases it can be a lot cheaper to get married abroad, depending on where you do it. When the Euro was good we were in a win win situation BUT as exchange rates slip and slide it can be hard to keep an eye on your budget. I know from experience when planning my wedding in Ibiza we started out with the Euro being 1.40, by the time the wedding came it was about 1.09…..which added another €2K onto our bill.
But overall weddings do tend to come up cheaper doing them abroad.

2) Guests: this can also be a great way to save money as really the amount of people you invite to your wedding can up the price. Depending on where you do it you are instantly cutting down your gusts list….a great way not to invite that Auntie you only see at Christmas or that annoying person you work with……………BUT you will also find that those close to you may not come. For one reason or another not everyone you want there will be able to make it.
You need to be much more aware of your guests for a wedding abroad, as much as you may be shedding numbers; you need to treat those who do come very well. They have spent a lot of money to get there and given up a lot of time!

3) Weather: people are choosing to jet off to warmer climates as our weather here is so rubbish, there is no better backdrop to a wedding than a clear sky blue sky and sunshine, so why not travel further to get that guaranteed sunshine. BUT with this you need to be aware of how hot it will be. Getting married in high season isn’t always an option for some courtiers….who wants to be a bag of sweat on their wedding day?

4) Less Fuss: some people want go away to get married as it is just a lot easier and a lot less fuss. You tend to miss out some of the finer details that you may get hung up on here in England. When things are so far away you lose that control element so you don’t tend to obsess so much about the shade of napkins or the size of the centre piece. Also you are more likely to use a planner for a wedding abroad.

5) More relaxed:  the mood at weddings abroad can often be a lot more relaxed than at a UK wedding. Your guests are in Holiday mode, they have had time to wind down so the whole wedding day can be a lot more chilled out.

6) Travel: How far do you expect your guests to travel, how accessible is the place you want to get married? Can you guest get there for a weekend or a couple of days? Or will they have to come for the full week. If you are looking to get rid of a few people off the guest list then this is fine, but think about the people you are inviting and who you want there. Also think about the costs. Getting married in Thai Land may be a lot more expensive and less accessible than Spain for example.

7) Papper wok: Alot of countries will have different laws about marriage, in some countries it will be easy, in others very hard. Some countries you need to have been a resident for a certain matter of time. For example you can’t get married in Spain unless one of you is Catholic, you can have a blessing but the legal bit has to be done in the UK, where as it is very simple to get married in Cyprus and great for spontaneous couples Remember you will need documents translated in some cases as well.

8} The big party back home: Now I didn’t have a party when I got home….to be honest, bar a small handful of people everyone I wanted at my wedding came out to Ibiza. Both me and My Husband decided that to have a party here would only add another £2- £5K onto the wedding budget and we would then end up inviting all those people we had managed to knock of the guest list buy doing it abroad…………….the reason we did it in Ibiza in the first place! BUT a lot of people want the party when they get back…………maybe just to extend out the wedding/holiday they just had?? Maybe those who did get married miles away really did miss most of their wedding guests. Decide on what is important to you.

Overall people have great experiences getting married abroad, it’s fantastic to get married in the warmth, outside with the sun shining…..the picture opportunities can be so much better! Everyone is in a good mood and the day is much more relaxed.
It can be a great way of kicking off half of your guest count, so in turn saving you some money. It can also be away of losing some of the people closest to you that you really wanted there, so be prepared for someone to disagree with your choice and not understand why you have done it! Also be prepared to play travel agent for some people. Chances are they haven’t bee to that country before and will expect you to come up with all the info on flight and places to stay! Some of your guests just won’t get your choice of venue, but remeber you can’t please everyone!
I wouldn’t have changed my wedding for the world, and if I had to do it again I would probably still do it in Ibiza,

Let me know what you think. Have you got married abroad? Have you been a guest at a wedding abroad? Are you a supplier working with weddings abroad………….don’t be shy post your comments and let me know what you think.

Kelly xx

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    Gaby - Cap Classique

    My blog focuses on weddings in South Africa for just this reason – LOADS of people from the UK now choose Cape Town especially for their celebration. (Some are SAfricans living in the UK, but not all.) The SA wedding industry is top notch, so you get a lot more for your money, and the weather’s great too. And in friends’ experience, more people came out from the abroad than they expected, since it gave them the chance to have a once in a lifetime holiday at the same time. Perfect!


    Great article Kelly with some good arguments for and against weddings abroad. At 1BigPresent we often hold gift lists for couples marrying overseas as friends and family usually still want to mark the occasion with a gift, even if they are not travelling with the bride and groom, or if they are perhaps attending the ‘after party’ that you mention. Also many of those who elect to have their wedding abroad are marrying second time around and therefore have all of the household items that they need.

    Getting married abroad does seem like the perfect way of avoiding all of the complicated family dynamics but you make a brilliant point about becoming the ‘travel agent’ for your guests which many of us would never even consider when looking at the various overseas options. You also raise excellent points about ever-changing exchange rates and the costs to marry abroad as it can often be a misconception that it will be the cheaper option and so couples are rarely prepared for this. Unfortunately no-one can possibly predict how the exchange rate will be at the time of the actual wedding which will usually be booked some way in advance.

    One other important piece of advice is to check how many weddings will take place at your chosen venue on that day as it is a sad fact that many hotels and tour operators today run them like a conveyor belt with couples often having to queue. With language, weather or cultural issues to consider things can sometimes go wrong meaning that your time slot can change. This happened to good friends of ours, whose actual wedding day was postponed for three whole days due to bad weather and a backlog of other couples! If at all possible try to select a venue which hosts only one wedding in a day.

    This aside there are so many wonderful places to choose from and the options are getting better all the time. Traditionally most of us imagine a beach wedding when we talk about weddings abroad but there are now many other popular packages to look at and these may also suit a lower budget. However with so many variations on a theme it is always best to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible so do plenty of research and always embrace the services of the local wedding planner, or indeed a UK planner who specialises in weddings at your chosen destination.

    Jo Hastings

    We tied the knot in Bali, Indonesia 11 years ago. You’re point about ‘less fuss’ is very true and it was lovely not having to obsess over the little details, I didn’t even see my flowers until the morning of the wedding, you simply had what they had available, I had 3 bridesmaids from the local village along with some local musicians. Your day can be as low key or high key as you like if you choose your location wisely. Back then the resort we chose probably only had one wedding every fortnight so they made such a huge fuss of us, they even built us a temple out of palms, the effort that went into it all by the locals was amazing. We saved a fortune. On our return to the UK we had a party in a pub for all our friends and family.

    Gloria - Boutique Events

    Excellent article as usual! The thing that our brides and grooms find most annoying when they come to Tuscany to get married is the bureaucracy. Over the years we have seen a significant increase in symbolic weddings: people coming for the ceremony, but only after a very private, sometimes “secret”, legally binding wedding at home. I think that saves a lot of troubles.


    Thank you, I have recently been searching for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far.


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