Thursday, 25 June 2015

Marrying abroad? Don’t forget these …

DESTINATION wedding experts have listed the things UK couples typically forget when planning to tie the knot overseas.

Leave enough time for the paperwork: Couples should make sure they allow plenty of time to sort out the marriage paperwork, which can take between three to six months to complete, depending on the country.

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 your bride/groom has changed their name(s), legal proof of the change 
  • If marrying in a non-English speaking country, documents might need to be translated by an official translator and stamped with an Apostille. In the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can legalize documents for a small fee 
  • Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (required by some countries). This can be obtained from a local department of foreign affairs, registrar, or embassy in the chosen country 
  • Some countries require UK legal documents to be stamped with an Apostille Stamp, which then makes them legal documents in that country 
  • 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, i.e. a solicitor or notary 
Check and compare currencies: When choosing a destination, couples should check and compare currency exchange rates to save on costs. The pound is currently extremely strong against the euro. This in turn makes European weddings much cheaper than last year – approximately 23% cheaper in May 2015 compared to December 2014. Couples should secure quotes from a selection of foreign exchange 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.

Look out for free ceremonies: Caribbean and 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.

Send save the dates: Couples should post save-the-date cards well in advance of the wedding day if they want guests to attend an overseas wedding. The more notice given, the more likely friends and family will be able to fly. Lots of notice also gives them plenty of time to start saving for the trip.

Listen to the weatherman: When choosing a dress, brides should 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 might make brides look uncomfortable and overheated in the photos. Hurricane or rainy seasons might not be an ideal time of year for outdoor weddings, which is particularly true of the Caribbean and South- East Asia.

Book in maiden name: Brides who plan to take their husband’s surname (and that’s not mandatory in Britain and the US) should remember to book airline tickets in their maiden name, unless they change their name legally before they fly.

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, while speaking to the airline, if a family is travelling together, the whole party should ask for a group travel rate.

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. is a free information portal for engaged couples, providing marriage legalities, information, and advice on marrying overseas.

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Picture Credit:">beach wedding</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)

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