If you're planning on getting married abroad, you're certainly going to have a memorable and unique experience. Considering the huge number of countries there are available for you and your fiancé to get married in, it should be just as easy to book and plan a wedding abroad as it is in the UK.
Alpha have some tips and advice to help you plan the perfect wedding abroad.
Planning the perfect overseas wedding
Choosing your destination
The most important part of your wedding planning involves picking a country or destination where you would like to get married. Perhaps you already have somewhere in mind, somewhere that's important to you both or maybe somewhere you've always wanted to go.
If you haven't got anywhere in mind, just grab a map and start looking round. There's bound to be somewhere perfect for your plans, plus- what could be more fun than sitting with a passport in one hand, a world map in the other. If you knew you could choose almost anywhere you wanted for what is essentially the party of your life, where you would be the centre of attentions- where would you go?
Research your chosen area
Once you've chosen your perfect wedding location, make sure you research into what's available in that country or region, especially if you don't know the area well yourself. If you can't speak the local language, it might be worth hiring a wedding planner to help get things arranged - they can provide you with local knowledge and information that will help you to validate your choice of destination and potentially provide you with some inspiration in order to bring the local culture and atmosphere to life within your wedding. After this is done, you can plan, plan, plan!
Determine who is coming
Aside from you and your fiancé, you will have to make a list of everyone else who will be attending the wedding. Seeing as the wedding location is now overseas and some plane tickets are far from cheap, you will have to bear in mind that some people you want to come will have to decline. Make sure you send out save the dates or wedding invitations with plenty of time for people to make preparations like booking time off of work or finding someone to look after their children in order to be present for your wedding. It's also a good idea to create a small fact sheet about your wedding destination if many guests have not travelled there before.
Make sure your wedding is legal
It's important to establish whether your marriage will be legally recognised by your country of residence. Weddings abroad and weddings in the UK tend to vary country to country, and whilst in most countries the legal requirements to get married are relatively straightforward, some countries have legal requirements which are either difficult to find out or not made clear.
The legal validity of a marriage is governed primarily by the authorities which rule over the country in which you will be marrying, not over those in your country of residence - however, you must meet the legal requirements of both in order to be recognised as married in both countries. Consult the foreign embassy or consulate of the country you will be getting married in to discuss the legal requirements of getting married in their country.
Planning the perfect overseas honeymoon
Just like a wedding, the top secret to a successful, incredible and memorable honeymoon is all in the planning - and lots of it. The fun shouldn't have to end after your wedding does, so having an overseas honeymoon can mean you enter married life with some great new experiences, not to mention the incredible memories that travelling can give you.
Pick a destination
An important element to travelling abroad for your honeymoon, choosing a destination can be pivotal to making your time away fun. Choose somewhere you have always wanted to go as a couple, or maybe somewhere which is important to you. Alternatively, you could go travelling and visit many different places if you can't make up your mind. Search the internet for ideas, or look into some travel guides to see where looks most appealing. Blogs, pictures and videos can all make for inspiring stuff for both destinations and things to do or places to visit during your honeymoon.
Research your destination
Look up your destination on a world map and find out about it - look into it's neighbouring cities, countries, iconic features, culture, people and its history. Find out when would be best to book - depending on how flexible you are, you may have your honeymoon a couple of months after the wedding if the weather in your chosen destination hasn't reached what you want it to be yet.
You could plan your honeymoon around certain events. For example, if you are both keen surfers, it would be an idea to plan your honeymoon in Australia to coincide with the Championships on Bondi Beach and so on. That said, it's a good idea to bear in mind that major events, festivals or holidays may have an impact on your travel.
Find out about any cultural taboos or local customs which could cause offence. Often, something which we would do naturally or something we would not normally consider offensive can cause great hurt or trouble whilst in another country. It's also worth learning a few local phrases so you can converse with the local population - some countries are offended when British people just speak slower and faster, so it's polite to at least make an effort to speak their language.
By planning well in advance, you are basically ensured to get better travel ticket prices than you would if you had left it later. Check the rates for several dates around your intended departure date to make sure you're not getting the most expensive ticket available or at peak-season. Also, check for alternative airports to fly too. Smaller airports generally offer cheaper tickets and if it's only 30 miles from the main airport, you could be saving some money.
Especially with honeymoons, it's essential that the name you give during your online booking is entered in exactly the same format as it is on your passport. Read any small print on the documents about cancellation or booking charges.
If you're planning on travelling abroad to get married to your partner, it is always essential that you invest in some travel insurance. Whilst your mind may only be fixed on making sure the wedding itself goes without a hitch, other things can go wrong which could have an adverse effects on the wedding, too. Luggage delays, travel delays, lost possessions or travel documents are all things which could cause chaos to a special time abroad, and things which are also easily sorted with a travel insurance policy from Alpha.
Just as you would when travelling on holiday, investing in some travel insurance before you depart on your honeymoon is essential for total peace of mind. Loads of things can go wrong whilst you're abroad and you don't want anything to be ruining your honeymoon. Travel insurance can protect you from things such as unexpected emergency medical bills, cancellation charges and replacing your passport, travel documents or other personal possessions whilst overseas.
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