A guide to getting married abroad

16 May 2016

Your wedding day is without doubt one of the most important days of your life, so why not celebrate it in style by having it abroad?

Image gallery

Image gallery

Getting married abroad requires plenty of careful planning, so it helps to have Paul Hopkinson, from Travelbag.co.uk who shares his advice for anyone looking to tie the knot abroad.

Here are his top tips, along with some suggestions on where to have your big day, if you’re stuck for inspiration.

1. Work out how many people can attend your wedding by setting a strict deadline for RSVPS

If your dream wedding is going to be a success, you’ve got to keep to tight deadlines and plan far in advance. It’s worth collating a list of people you’d like to invite and setting a date for them to RSVP by. Doing this will give you plenty of time to book a venue, flights and accommodation for your guests.

2. Budgeting – how much can you and your guests afford?

Factor in the cost of travel and accommodation and work out a suitable budget for both you and your guests. Estimate a figure of how much it will cost your friends and family to attend the wedding. If you book early enough, you may be able to get a good deal on your flights and accommodation.

3. Once you’ve decided where to go, make a wish list of your dream wedding locations

Set aside plenty of time to look for a venue. Speak to friends, local experts, travel agents and anyone else with knowledge of the local area that you’re looking in. While an ancient church may seem like a picturesque setting for your big day, it may be unsafe and unfit to hold your event.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search, make contact with the local authorities and the owners to discuss your big day.

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4. Flights and accommodation – make life as easy as possible for your guests

One way of guaranteeing a good turnout for your wedding is to help your guests find suitable flights and accommodation. You might want to send out information of local hotels, resorts, facilities, restaurants and some key points about the area. If you’re all planning to stay together, you could consider holding your wedding reception at the hotel.

5. Marriage licenses, wedding cakes and, of course, the dress 

Before booking anything, you’ll want to find out the local laws and procedures when marrying in your chosen country. You may have to register for a marriage license ahead of your wedding. Fortunately, all of this information is readily available online. The likelihood is that you’ll have to contact an overseas UK embassy.

From then on you can start thinking about transporting your wedding cake and dress. It may be worth seeking out a local bakery or cake maker on the other side as transporting a cake via plane can be very complicated.

As for your dress, make sure you have enough space in your luggage to accommodate it. Why not check in an additional bag purely for your dress to stop it from getting crushed or crumpled?

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So, where should you visit? Three brilliant destinations for your wedding

1. Dubai

Dubai exudes glamour and elegance. The glitzy mega city is a fantastic choice for all dream weddings, with numerous luxury venues and resorts. Dubai's iconic Atlantis the Palm hotel resort occupies a prime spot on the magnificent Palm Jumeirah island and offers a whole range of wedding packages.

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2. Hawaii

When it comes to paradise, few destinations rival Hawaii. The Aloha State’s pristine beaches and secluded coves couldn’t be better suited to a luxury wedding in the sun. You’ll find a wide selection of resorts and hotels across the islands, which cater to weddings, such as the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki.

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3. Las Vegas

We’ve all heard of the classic Las Vegas wedding. Aside from drive-thru weddings, the City of Sin offers a selection of packages to suit every couple. Las Vegas is the perfect option for anyone looking to coincide their nuptials with a city break in one of the most exciting places on earth. 

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