Most couples don’t think twice about finding a local wedding venue, inviting all their nearest and dearest, and then jetting off to a sunny honeymoon. However, an increasing number of couples are now choosing to tie the knot outside of the UK.
A report from travel company Kuoni found that nearly one in four couples are now doing at least some of their wedding overseas. And, actually, it seems to make financial sense! Instead of spending nearly £30,000 on their wedding, couples having a destination wedding are spending on average only £7,500. That’s quite a big difference!
Whether it’s the different climate, some stunning views, or just wanting to get away from the UK, we must admit that brides and grooms seem like they’re on the right lines with escaping their local registry office and starting the honeymoon early.
In this article, we will look at some different areas you can visit to enjoy that all important wedding outside of the UK…
Of course, a lot of the budget for your wedding will be for transporting your guests to your country of choice. Most of the time, flights are cheaper if they are a shorter distance rather than long haul. Likewise, in France you can save money on air travel all together by driving!
Paris is known as the city of love, and the Eiffel Tower would make a perfect backdrop to your nuptials. Although you can’t get married on the tower itself, it is of course far better to see it from afar. Further afield there are glorious chateaus which look like they have been plucked straight from a fairytale.
You could choose a venue with a vineyard, or even tie the knot amongst the vines, and have some fantastic wine at your reception! If you want something a little closer to home, in more ways than one, consider Brittany. The area provides a coastline for seaside ceremonies, and medieval style buildings.
From cuisine to music to art, Italy has it all. The long, hot Italian summer means there is plenty of sunlight and warmth for a beautiful wedding. There are so many cities with such different atmosphere that it may be hard to take your pick.
William Shakespeare wrote many comedy plays – and these often ended with a wedding. One of the most notable (for the fact that the wedding scene is staged) is the double marriage in Much Ado About Nothing. This is set in Messina, on the island of Sicily. This city has a glorious Mediterranean climate, stunning monuments and secluded spots for saying your vows.
Elsewhere, Venice is known to be a terribly romantic city. Travel from your ceremony to your reception by gondola. Pass under the Rialto Bridge to the Grand Canal, where a sixteenth century Renaissance palace performs civil ceremonies.
Jet further afield with a small group of friends and family and find yourself enjoying the land of South Africa. The country has 1,700 miles of coastline and is the 24th largest country in the world, so there is plenty of variety for you wedding location.
Table Mountain, outside Cape Town, hosts weddings at six different venues. Enjoy a view over the city with a glass of bubbly after becoming man and wife. Various places around the National Park are declared nature reserves, so there is an abundance of unusual flora and fauna.
On the other side of the country, experience a safari with a wedding to boot. Various game reserves provide spaces for ceremonies. Imagine a tranquil treetop wedding surrounded by giraffes and other African beasts.
Now, I know this seems like a weird choice. After all, surely the reason for escaping England is to find a warm and sunny spot to tie the knot?
However, Iceland boasts some of the most stunning scenery in Europe and is entirely different from the likes of Spain or Italy. Your wedding will most certainly be one that your guests remember.
There is no end of truly unique spots where you can get married, as saying your vows outside is completely legal. If you want to get married on a beach, try one of black sand. If you love the idea of saying your vows near a waterfall, try on that is 60m tall. Want a completely quirky venue? There is a chapel dug out in a glacier!
If different is what you are after, check out our article all about arctic wedding venues.
The Boring Legal Stuff
If you want to do the whole shebang abroad, you need to make sure that your wedding will be legally recognised when you land back in the UK. There would be nothing worse than thinking you are legally man and wife only to discover that the British government doesn’t agree.
Of course, we can point you in the right direction of where to find this information, but everywhere is different so it’s important to do your own research too!
Generally, in most countries the application process for destination weddings is quite simple; you will just need to fill out the appropriate paperwork and arrive a day or two before your wedding is due to take place to collect your licence. However, this isn’t always the case.
First things first, ensure your wedding will be legally binding in the country in which you plan to wed. There are some archaic rules in some places – and even in the UK – so make sure you make it clear that you plan to do the legal stuff abroad.
Check the language of your documents. Before you travel, both to and from your wedding and make sure you have everything translated. A lot of countries will accept English documents, and will provide these for you, but some will need to be translated. Check as well if your vows can be in your native language.
You can of course make things easier if you have a discreet ceremony at home in the UK beforehand. This way you are not restricted by the laws of other countries and you can enjoy a blessing in sunnier climes unstressed. Furthermore, you don’t need to worry about the legal aspect after you get back home!
Let us know where your dream destination wedding would be in the comments below.