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Marrying Abroad

There's a growing trend for couples to marry abroad…


Bride and groom going through a covered doorwat
Image © canouan.raffles.com

You're not alone if the thought of getting away from it all and marrying abroad appeals to you. More and more couples are opting for ditching the traditions of a UK wedding and heading off, with or without family and friends, to tie the knot abroad.

Most of the major tour operators have a weddings department with specialists on hand to answer your questions and to make all the arrangements for you. The paperwork involved in a wedding abroad is fairly straightforward but it is a good idea to consult a professional to ensure you haven't missed anything. It is possible to arrange a civil or religious ceremony in most destinations and, as long as the marriage is legally recognised in the country in which it takes place, it will be deemed valid in the UK as well. If you have any queries, check with your local register office or contact the tourist board of the country you intend to visit for details.

The traditionally popular hotspots for a destination wedding have been the Caribbean, Mauritius, the Bahamas and Thailand. But since the relaxation in European marriage law a few years ago, and with increasingly affordable flights, Europe has become one of the favourite locations for a wedding abroad with Italy, Greece and Cyprus being the most popular destinations.

If you are planning a wedding abroad, do your homework first in exactly the same way as you would for a wedding at home. Most of the major resorts offer a wedding package, often combined with a honeymoon, so find out exactly what is included in the price and what will cost extra. The basic package usually includes all paperwork, the ceremony, a bouquet, a buttonhole for the groom, sparkling wine for a toast, a wedding cake and a photographer who will take a set number of shots.

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