Getting married abroad is something many couples dream about. Whether it is on a Caribbean beach or a romantic venue in France or Italy, there is something alluring and exotic about getting married abroad.
However, there are many factors to consider. Here’s a checklist of things to debate and prepare for when you’re planning a destination wedding!
Getting Married Abroad: Is It The Right Decision?
While almost everyone loves the idea of a destination wedding, sometimes it’s just not right for you.
Getting married abroad can be far more costly than a local wedding. Expenses to consider include common wedding costs like rental of facilities, but also airfare and hotels.
It is also important to consider family members, friends and other guests. Will everyone be willing and able to travel? If people are unable or unwilling to attend, will this cause a rift? Or will your family and friends be supportive of your wedding?
Planning a wedding abroad can be time-consuming, and preparations must begin far in advance. Some countries even require a period of residency in the country before a marriage can be performed.
Getting married abroad sometimes requires completing complicated paperwork and dealing with foreign bureaucracies that operate differently than your home country. You may need to provide documents beyond the normal US marriage requirements.
Types of possible documents include:
- Birth certificates
- Divorce or death certificates (if applicable)
- Background checks
- Immunization/health records
- Embassy approval documents
Remember, if English is not an official language of your wedding destination, you may need legal translations of these personal documents.
Getting Married Abroad: Choosing a Destination
If you decide to go ahead with a destination wedding, it’s best to try and keep the wedding ceremony itself a simple affair. The necessary preparations for a wedding abroad – even a modest one – will likely be far more complicated than those for a local wedding.
The hardest part may be choosing a destination. You might have a specific location in mind — a beach, a cathedral, a castle, a stretch of lawn or pavement in front of a specific monument — but there is more to consider than just rental arrangements.
Consider the area. Is it affordable? Is it safe, or are foreigners and tourists a target for crime? What is the climate like — will you have to prepare for cold weather or rain?
Will your guests need translation or interpreting services to get through the language and culture barrier during their stay for your wedding?
Getting Married Abroad Without Stress
Many couples choose to plan their wedding abroad with the help of a planning service or resort committee. While this can be expensive, it generally covers everything from the officiant to the flowers, and even hair and makeup services. Having all of these things taken care of can ease some of your stress.
Shop around to find a wedding planner who can accommodate your wishes. Try to get a discount or group rate for airfare and hotels, and remember to pack all essential items — rings, attire and other accoutrements — in carry-on bags, lest the airline loses your luggage.
If a destination wedding is too complicated and expensive for an entire group, think about getting married abroad in a small ceremony. Later, you can have a larger reception back at home so everyone can share in your celebration.
With the right preparation and planning, getting married abroad can be a memory you’ll cherish for your entire life.
Contact Legal Language for certified document translations and interpreting services for your wedding abroad.