Where to Start with Planning a Wedding Abroad
The most fuss-free way to organise a wedding abroad is to book with a tour operator that specialises in arranging such events. These companies have dedicated wedding personnel who can answer all your queries and arrange every possible detail for you. Decide whether you want something exotic or more cultural, a hot or cold destination, how far you want to travel and a budget before choosing a destination.
It is possible to arrange your own wedding abroad but this will involve researching legal requirements, residency rules and organising all the finer details for yourselves from the ceremony to the flowers. If you prefer to be in control then your first step will be to contact the consulate or embassy of the country where you intend to marry for advice.
It is wise to take out an insurance policy over and above your holiday insurance to cover every possible eventuality, from the loss of your dress to a hurricane preventing your wedding from taking place.
Try to book a minimum of 12 weeks before departure to allow enough time for arrangements to be made and necessary documentation completed. There will be more administration to be completed once you arrive at your destination, which can take up to three days. As you will have to comply with residency requirements of between 2 to 5 days it is best to stay for at least a fortnight. This will allow you enough time to make the final arrangements and to have plenty of time after the ceremony to relax and enjoy your honeymoon.
Health services, hygiene and risk of disease vary throughout the world. You should take health advice as early as possible and ensure that vaccinations or preventative measures, such as Malaria tablets, are taken in plenty of time to be fully effective by the date of travel (usually a month or more prior to departure). Pick up a copy of the Department of Health free leaflet E111, available from post offices, your GP or a specialist clinic and see our article on Health Advice for Travellers.
Popular wedding destinations for UK brides
1. Sri Lanka
2. St. Lucia