Weddings Abroad Times have changed, and it is now a very real and viable option to have your Wedding Abroad.
Not like the "olden days" when if you broached the subject of not being walked down an aisle you may have been disowned, accused of stealing the moment your parents had been dreaming of and planning since the moment of your conception!
If you are considering marriage and engagement have a look at this great blog by relationship therapist couplescandy.com about, I'm sure you'll agree that finding lasting love is the best feeling ever! But for some, the decision to tie the knot can be a little overwhelming and the lovely Megan has put together 30 signs that you and your partner should get married!
It is now easier than it ever has been, not only in cultural acceptance and normality terms, but also in regards to speed, cost, and stress to simply get married abroad and then register your marriage back in the country where you live.
When my partner and I got engaged and decided to marry, we had “the discussion” after the dizzy fizzy excitement of the engagement had been had and we then were being asked “when will it be?!” and “Where will it be?!” excitedly by friends and Family - especially my mother who had already started Googling hats.
This is not generally a conversation you have until after you are engaged so we both looked at each other and ran through what we did, or strongly did not want.
My husband had been married before in a big traditional church affair with the hotel meal and speeches afterwards, first dance, big cake, so felt he had done that already. And as petty and childish as it was, I did not want to do the same that he had already had, I wanted something unique, for us, different, and that would not have me thinking in comparisons.
I had been engaged to marry before ( we split up before the big day, but that’s another story!) and had already a touch of post traumatic stress around the family getting involved and taking over, and as they were funding it never really feeling like I was having what I wanted, but could not say as I was not paying. Having family invite bridesmaids and guests I did not know, to the point it started to become someone else’s dream of a wedding and a big family reunion rather than a celebration of my new union with a soul mate.
Money was a factor, as I did not want to blow 10’s of thousands of money on making sure everyone else had a great day, and spend all day walking around asking if everyone was having fun. It was OUR wedding, and OUR day, so we decided that we would be completely selfish and do what we wanted to do.... And if friends and family wanted to come that was awesome, but if they did not or could not then we would understand (we were lucky enough to have both sets of parents, some siblings, and best friends there!). And there would be no presents (that would be a bit rude really to ask for gifts without providing the requisite Chicken Kiev and Black forest Gateau meal!).
There was also the Religious element, we are of two different religions, so anything practical around the ceremony was going to be hard with the two families. We had friends who were having issues with this to ensure a marriage in Islam was recognised to a non Muslim, and it was causing undue stress.
Not to mention our families living hours apart and each bidding to have the highest number of elderly and infirm family members and ensure the wedding closer to them! So we needed a registry office wedding, Non religious, Not expensive, easy to organize, romantic, low key – but still with things available like flowers, being able to wear wedding attire if I wished. And VOILA we came across the idea of Getting Married Abroad!
There are wedding packages abroad, and many wedding websites offering destination weddings, so the investigation began! I fancied getting married in Las Vegas, as I am not at all romantic, and liked the spontinuity of it. My husband to be firmly put his foot down on this and said a cheap and easy non religious civil ceremony did not have to be performed by Elvis!
We looked at countries where the marriages were Non Religious Civil Ceremonies, Legally recognized Worldwide, and that provided international Marriage Certificates. We set upon booking with a Package tour Agency – and I do wish I had not in hindsight, they were great at booking the Holiday, but the person we had doing the paperwork and booking of our wedding, organizing our documentation had about as much charisma and excitement about her as a potato, and it did take the shine off it a bit for me.
There was also no reassurance or fluff about it with the package holiday wedding, as much as I am not romantic, it really is one of the biggest days of your life, and you need to be engaging with someone who works with weddings abroad and understands that it is nerve wracking! You have no idea if you are going to turn up and the date is correct, or if you have got the correct documents (I actually took originals and 4 copies of EVERYTHING secreted over every bag incase something got lost!). I had sleepless nights about things I should have done, nightmares about every possible thing that could go wrong or question I had missed, something not checked or booked, as the agent literally just emailed me the time I was marrying - not even so much as a “Congratulations to you!”.
So I spent much of the run up to the event ringing and asking individual questions and feeling like a pain in the backside. Now though the market is different, if you want to have a simple wedding abroad for whatever reason, there are agencies out there who really care, and love to be involved in your day, and will help you the whole way.
Some of the best options for the best places in Europe to marry are still Denmark and Gibraltar.
You can have an agent plan absolutely every aspect for you as a package for a much higher cost. But if like me you just want something simple, and make sure the actual registrar is all done (as the documentation and paperwork keeps you awake at night stressing!) but as far as hair and makeup, flowers and photography shop around and and sort it all out yourself there are Agencies for that. As some people do not even want or need all the extras, frills, whistles and bells as the Marriage is a Formality and they are having a big event back home at a later date. This makes the whole wedding much simpler and cheaper!
We registered the wedding when we got home, at the local office of births, deaths and marriages. I had an extra 20k in the bank, and did not suffer screaming arguments with my mother about colour schemes of flowers and seat placement. Nor fall out with all relatives with bridesmaid age children as I did not want all 35 of them, nor have 18 months of keeping a spreadsheet to confirm who wanted “Chicken, Fish, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free”. I thoroughly recommend to anyone a wedding abroad! Pick yourself a good Agency though, they are worth their money, and if you are going to go for a cheaper, easier and faster option of getting married abroad, just let having the documents, application and ceremony booking part be the 1 thing that you splurge on, as everything hinges around that.
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