More and more couples are choosing to get married abroad – looking for something different, cheaper prices and often more reliable weather! A destination wedding can be a fun way to get your dream location plus it can save on the honeymoon as you’re already there!
However, as well as all the usual wedding arrangements there can be additional red tape issues. There are many ABTA Members who will be able to help with your arrangements, and some will be able to help organise everything.
Start with our Your wedding abroad checklist (downloadable below) and get yourself as prepared as you can be!
Here are our top tips for getting married abroad.
1. Book with a reputable travel professional
A wedding abroad might be the most important holiday you take so book with a reputable provider who is an ABTA Member. You’ll also get the benefit of their expertise, many of our Members will be able to help with your arrangements, and some will have professional planners to organise everything so you can concentrate on relaxing and enjoying your wedding day
2. Find out how long you need to be resident in the country
Some countries will require you to be resident for a certain period of time prior to your wedding; it varies from country to country. When you’re picking a destination and planning the length of your trip make sure you keep this in mind or ask your operator to find out more.
3. Make sure it’s legal
Make sure your ceremony is legally binding or if you’ll need to get married in the UK before or after a blessing abroad. If you are planning a legal wedding abroad ensure you have the correct paperwork, for example you’ll need to get a certificate of no impediment (CNI) from the authorities in the UK to prove you’re allowed to marry.
4. Make sure you’re covered
Even if it’s a small affair, your wedding will probably be a significant expense. As well as travel insurance, we recommend taking out wedding insurance in case any details of your ceremony are impacted by events out of your control. Organising a wedding abroad through an ABTA Member also means you have additional peace of mind.
5. Tell your guests to save the date
When you’re getting married abroad, it’s important to let people know well in advance so they can plan accordingly. Most will need to book annual leave as well as organising flights and accommodation. If you’re getting married somewhere tropical let your guests know that they may need vaccinations before they go.
6. Embrace the culture
It can be fun to incorporate aspects of the country’s culture that you’re getting married in into your day, why not try croquembouche instead of a wedding cake in France, Prosecco for your toast in Italy and music from a Mariachi band in Mexico!
7. Organise your baggage allowance
Check your baggage allowance or include time to ship extra items that might be essential for your special day. If you’re travelling with your dress, then let your travel company know as many will let you fly with your wedding dress in the cabin or arrange for it to be packed specially.
It’s your first holiday as a married couple and whether you’re returning to a familiar favourite destination or ticking somewhere off your bucket list, follow these tips for a perfect trip.
Our top five tips for the perfect honeymoon
1. Go with a reputable provider
Choose a reputable holiday company with a good track record that is a member of a trade association, such as ABTA, so you have recourse should anything go wrong. This might be the most important holiday you take, we recommend that it’s financially protected; this means that if anything goes wrong, your money is safe.
2. Let people know it’s your honeymoon
Look for a honeymoon special or let your travel provider know it’s your honeymoon as you may qualify for specials and upgrades. Let companies know at the time of booking and ask if they’ll need documentation – a wedding certificate for example to prove this. It’s also worth considering a honeymoon package that comes with lots of romantic treats.
3. Allow time for visas, vaccinations, paperwork
Make sure you leave enough time to get a visa if you need one, to speak to your doctor to see if you need any inoculations or medications and to get a passport in your new name if that’s what you’re planning to do.
4. Get a good insurance policy
Travel insurance is an essential part of any holiday and you want to be able to relax on your honeymoon, pick a good policy and you’ll know you’re covered. An extra tip from us, it may be cheaper to buy this as a couple.
5. Pick a holiday that suits you
Discuss what type of honeymoon you’d like with your partner and make sure your honeymoon suits you; for example, if you hate the beach don’t feel like you have to have a ‘traditional’ paradise beach honeymoon. It’s your honeymoon so go whether you want – from skiing in Japan to a chateau in France, to an East African safari – there’s a holiday out there for anyone.