The major wedding destinations for weddings differ seasonally – of course, there are consistently popular options like Italy – but the range of countries we see couples choosing changes every year.
The hotels and facilities in established wedding locations, like Cyprus and Mexico, are used to hosting ceremonies and receptions, which makes finding a venue much easier. Cyprus is a particularly good option, because, unlike other countries, the paperwork and ceremony are in English.
More unusual options, such as New York, Thailand, and New Zealand have grown significantly in popularity in recent years, with some couples opting to make their wedding part of a longer break. Sri Lanka is another emerging location, but bear in mind that you’ll need to be in the country for a minimum of 5 days before the ceremony.
If you’re a same-sex couple and you’re looking to get married abroad, unfortunately, your options are slightly limited. Despite the year being 2017, there are many countries where same-sex marriage still isn’t legal. However, there’s plenty of popular overseas options to look into if you’re wanting to get hitched abroad.
Hire a wedding planner
Organising a wedding is stressful enough without taking into account different laws and customs, so hiring a multilingual wedding planner to translate and organize the logistics and legal requirements can be a lifesaver.
Book through a reliable travel agent
There are horror stories out there of couples who opted for an untested travel agent for their wedding, resulting in wasted money. Using a reliable travel agent to arrange hotels and flights will ensure you get personal requirements you’re looking for, and give you peace of mind.
Check out the forecast
Research the climate at the time of year you are considering booking your wedding. Flexibility is the key when getting married abroad, so be prepared to move things around if the month you had in mind clashes with adverse weather.
A certificate of no impediment is a legal document that non-commonwealth countries require to prove you are free and able to marry of your own free will. The rules of a CNI differ for Scotland – they are only valid for 3 months after being sent out – so make sure you apply close enough so these documents are valid for the big day.
CNIs from England, Northern Ireland, and Wales don’t have any time restrictions, so get one early. Both you and your partner will need a CNI, unless you’re getting married in a Commonwealth countries and both British citizens,
While there’s considerable benefit to getting married in another country – the beautiful weather, idyllic setting, and financial savings – there’s also added risk. Hotter climates can be susceptible to storms and other forms of extreme weather, not to mention issues around hotels and air travel that could impact, or worse, make your ceremony impossible. Wedding insurance gives you the security that you’ll be able to reschedule your special day, whatever happens
Can you really get a room or flight upgrade?
Despite what we often see in the movies or on TV shows, flight upgrades for nearly-weds or honeymooners rarely occur. You’ll stand your best chance of getting an upgrade while traveling alone, so don’t expect to be bumped into business or first class on the way to your destination. Most hotels will offer an upgraded room for the couple if you’re getting married abroad. Las Vegas, due to the frequency of weddings in the city, won’t offer an upgrade, so you’ll have to book your own if you’re looking for luxury. Many trendy locations like Thailand, and other destinations found in the Indian ocean, will upgrade your rooms as standard if you’re getting married, but make sure to check availability before your trip.
Get your trip booked
Booking early will help you save even more money, as well as make the possibility of amazing weather even more certain. More couples are looking to make a wedding part of a longer experience, with multiple days spent in different destinations in the build-up and directly after the ceremony.
Multi-centre holidays are a great way to experience a city break, a beach holiday, and a wedding, all in one trip, but you need to get with so much to plan, get in there early. To avoid disappointment book tickets and reservations for all the activities and day trips you have planned well in advance.
Founded in 2007, eShores is an online travel agent and tour operator that specialises in luxury and tailor-made multi centre holidays to a range of exotic destinations. Located in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, eShores has a team of dedicated personal travel consultants that offer an unrivalled service when it comes to booking bespoke trips around the world.
Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here.