If you’re thinking of taking out a personal loan to fund your dream wedding abroad, take a look at these top tips, to ensure you get everything organised before you head off
Think about the legalities
We know it’s not the most romantic part of getting married, but if you want your marriage to be legal you need to do your research and make sure you fill in any relevant paperwork in time. Steph Bishop, co-founder of Marryabroad.co.uk, recommends starting this process well in advance of the big day as it can take between three and six months to get all the forms processed, depending on where you are tying the knot.
Some countries also have extra requirements before you can get married, with some countries requiring you to stay in the country for a certain amount of time before the wedding.
If you follow all the legal requirements for getting married in the country of your choosing, then your marriage will also be recognised in the UK. This Gov.uk tool gives you a step by step guide of what processes you need to follow for whichever country you wish to marry in.
If the idea of complicated paperwork fills you with dread, you can always choose a country where it’s simpler to tie the knot, for example the Caribbean and Florida have relatively simple processes in place.
It may seem obvious, but amidst the stress of organising a wedding, things like packing can fall by the wayside. A recent survey found that almost half of men (45%) left their speech at home and more than one in ten women arrived at their chosen destination without any suitable footwear.
One item you are sure not to forget is your wedding dress, but don’t just jam it in your suitcase and hope for the best. Ms Bishop suggests asking the airline in advance as they will normally allow you to take it into the cabin with you and may even have a suit closet you can store it in. Letting the airline know of your soon-to-be-married status may even earn you (and your dress) an upgrade.
While some bride and grooms jet abroad to avoid a big wedding, for other couples, the only downside of getting married abroad is that all their friends and family can’t join them. However, thanks to modern technology, there’s no reason they can’t be included. Ask your venue to set up a live stream so that loved ones back home can watch you exchange vows and ensure that they see all the pictures as quickly as possible, ask guests to use the hotel’s wifi to upload their snaps to sites like Wedding Photo Swap.
Make sure you’re insured
It is becoming increasingly common to take out wedding insurance when you tie the knot in the UK and it is even more important to protect yourself against the unknown when getting married overseas. While Ms Bishop advises that you’ll need regular travel insurance too, don’t make the mistake of thinking that it alone will offer sufficient cover. Specialist wedding insurance will ensure you are covered for loss and theft of wedding rings, gifts and wedding attire, while some policies will also pay out if you need to book replacement photographers etc if your original choice cancels at the last minute.
Get your name right
While you may be travelling back from your wedding and honeymoon as Mrs X, remember to book your tickets in your maiden name as they need to match your passport.
While couples getting married in the UK can apply for a post-dated passport up to three months before the ceremony, allowing them to book honeymoon tickets in their new name, post-dated passports don’t become valid until the day the ceremony takes place, so would not be able to be used for the outward journey if you are getting married abroad.
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