Planning a Wedding Abroad?
Last year, around 1.5m people travelling overseas for a wedding (either getting married or watching). This weekend, 6,000 brides (and the odd groom) will look for inspiration for their wedding at the London leg of the UK’s biggest wedding show at London’s Olympia.
Some of the exhibitors will specialise in overseas weddings, with Thailand, the Caribbean, Greece and Cyprus amongst the favourite overseas wedding destinations.
So – where would you go? What are the things you NEED to know? And how can the exchange rates save YOU money? Read on…
CHECKLIST – what to pay for
>> The ceremony – in Europe, the ceremony alone could cost as little as €300 (£220), though this could run into thousands depending on the venue.
>> Church weddings – no charge, but a couple of hundred euros for the priest/church is typical.
>> Legal fees (from £110) and entertainment – you’d have to pay these at home anyway.
>> Extra local charges, like the music tax levied on weddings in Italy – at least €250 (£185).
>> Wedding hotel package – in the Caribbean, an average package (excluding cost of the stay) is under £650, but a week with an all-inclusive package, and you’re looking at £2,000 or more.
>> Investigate deals you can get from hotels – e.g. free wedding when a certain number of guests stay at the hotel – and avoid the most expensive times e.g. Christmas, school holidays.
Get your timing right with the rates
>> Your money could go a lot further depending on the exchange rate.
>> The strong pound v euro means a European wedding is cheaper than it was at the turn of the year. On Jan 1st, a €5,000 wedding would have cost around £3,900 – now its £200 less.
>> Fix an exchange rate for the future date when your wedding needs to be paid for. If you fix it, the rate can’t go against you!
CHECKLIST – the legal bits and paperwork
>> Check the marriage will be legally recognised back home. Are you actually getting ‘married’? In Muslim countries it’ll be a ‘ceremony’ or ‘blessing’. In France, you can only get legally married through a civil ceremony which is held at the council office – the mairie.
>> Minimum residency stay – check how long you need to be in the country before you can have the ceremony.
>> You’ll need travel insurance and wedding insurance, because while probably nothing will go wrong, you want to be covered just in case. You may even need a blood test (e.g. Mexico).
>> For overseas church weddings, get permission from the relevant church authorities, and arrange for an interpreter to translate the event.
>> Most people say the weather’s a big reason for marrying abroad; a guaranteed sunny day. So picture the scene as you pull back the curtains and there’s a monsoon raging outside. Nightmare…
>> Soooo, make sure you’re not booking in the rainy season…!
CHECKLIST – embracing the culture
>> Make it a feature of your wedding day
>> Local wine on the table and fizz for the toast
>> Book a local band or musician
>> Choose a local delicacy for the wedding meal
>> All this will help make the location the star – no more than the bride though!
If you’d like to know how to get cheaper, faster currency transfers click here for more information.
Article was written by David Trumper at World First foreign exchange.