10 myths about getting married abroad

You’ve always loved the idea of jetting off to tie the knot but not sure if it’s all it is made out to be…

1. A wedding abroad isn’t legal at home.

In general, yes it is, as long as it was conducted legally in the country in which you married. So as long as you follow the marriage laws of the country in which you exchange vows then you’ll be fine. Although bear in mind that if you marry in a non-English speaking country you’ll have to have your marriage certificate translated to use it at home.

2. Having a wedding abroad will upset people not invited.

Even if you marry at home chances are you’ll upset someone! If your nearest and dearest really love you then they’ll want you to have the type of wedding you want, not just to please them. You can always have a big party when you get home.

3. It’s easier to get married abroad

Sometimes you can’t even marry somewhere unless you are a resident – it really depends on the country. So double-check the paperwork before you decide where to marry.

4. You don’t need wedding insurance for a ceremony abroad.

It’s worth taking out specific wedding abroad insurance, as well as travel insurance, to cover you just in case something goes wrong.

5. A wedding abroad is the same as at home.

There’s no etiquette to getting married abroad – you just do what you want to for your big day, so ditch the big guest list and dress, and rule out that reception

6. You can fly home using your married name.

Well, maybe, unless you have changed your passport before you got married then you can’t travel in your married name.

7. It’s cheaper to plan your wedding abroad yourself.

That depends on whether you have good contacts in the country you wish to marry in and/or speak the language. It’s generally easier (and cheaper) to hire a local wedding planner – they can get you the best deals on everything.

8. Marrying abroad is a cheaper option.

There’s an even wider choice of wedding ceremony than at home, so it’s suitable for all budgets.

9. You should have a beach wedding.

Not necessarily. Beaches are great but you can choose from a really wide selection of different ceremonies… In a tropical garden, up a mountain in the snow, underwater, in a palace, the choice, as is the globe, is all yours!

10. It’s always sunny and warm in the summer.

Not always! In the Caribbean their summer is also the rainy season (June to November), and remember that the seasons are opposite in the southern hemisphere, so a July wedding in South Africa will be cold. Check out our Climate Calendar on page 62 before you decide.