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What you need to know about getting married abroad

What you need to know about getting married abroad

Thinking of getting married abroad? There’s a lot to consider. From where to have the big day, to how to cut costs and what to do about wedding travel insurance.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
3
minute read
posted 31 JANUARY 2020

Your international marriage will be recognised in the UK

If you’re tying the knot abroad, your marriage will be recognised in the UK, so long as:

  • You follow the local laws of the place you get married

In France, for example, a civil ceremony needs to take place before a church service can happen. Over in Italy, divorced women can’t be married again until 300 days after their decree nisi. Even getting hitched at the Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas requires a marriage license.

  • It’s allowed under UK law

That’s to say you’re over 16, free to marry and not closely related to your partner.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

We are temporarily suspending our travel insurance comparison service.

On 4 April 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised against all non-essential international travel for an indefinite period.

If you choose to travel overseas to a destination while the FCO has advised against non-essential travel, or domestically against the instructions of the UK Government, then your insurance policy will be invalid, and any claim likely to be rejected. Therefore, until we have complete confidence we can get you a policy to meet your needs, we have taken the decision to temporarily suspend our travel insurance comparison service.

We will continually review the situation, and resume our service in the future, in accordance with the latest FCO or UK Government restrictions on travel.

Until then, stay safe.

For more information, please see our Coronavirus and travel insurance page.

You can grab big-day bargains

Head to a popular wedding resort, such as a Caribbean island, and they’ll often throw in a few wedding package freebies. These can include flowers, cake, champagne and room upgrades. Other ways to cut your costs include travelling in low season – although don’t risk having your day ruined by a monsoon downpour!

You can benefit from great exchange rates

A wedding in Europe or the US might set you back more than it would’ve done a few years ago. For this reason, it’s worth looking around to see if you can find a country where you can still get a good exchange rate.  

You’ll need proper insurance

If you’re getting married abroad, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got great wedding holiday insurance. This will give you peace of mind that everything’s covered, from the rings to the dress to the photographer.

You can’t get married in every country

As a foreign national, you can’t legally marry in the Maldives, for instance. But you can have a ceremony there and do the legal part elsewhere. Or you could get married in Sri Lanka and head over to the Maldives for your honeymoon.

You’ll need to get your paperwork in order

Generally, you’ll need photo ID, your birth certificate and – if necessary – divorce certificate. If you’re a widow(er) you’ll need a certificate to prove the death of your previous spouse. And don’t forget any relevant visas.

Check the legalities

Some countries insist you spend time there before you get married. In Sri Lanka, for example, you have to be resident for four days before the ceremony. Not necessarily a bad thing.  

Consider getting a wedding planner

Wedding planners might seem like an extravagance. But if you’re getting married abroad, they can really earn their keep. A good wedding planner will get you deals with local suppliers and help overcome any language barriers, so you can just focus on having a great day.

Think local

It’s harder to research online, true. But if you use local florists, chefs and staff you’ll often get a far better deal than you would in the UK. Plus you’ll be boosting the local economy.

Ready to tie the knot abroad? Compare overseas wedding insurance now.

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