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Everything you need to know about getting married abroad

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Everything you need to know about getting married abroad

We get more enquiries than ever about weddings abroad, with money saving a huge factor in the decision-making process – the average UK wedding costs £20,000, while the average price for an abroad wedding is only £6,500.

This, along with the guarantee of beautiful weather, and the novelty of combining the ceremony with a holiday, and an intimate guest list, has convinced thousands of couples to tie the knot in another country.

Advice for destination weddings

We gathered some handy tips and statistics about getting married abroad in 2017/18:

The top destinations for 2017 and 2018

The major wedding destinations for weddings differ seasonally – of course, there’s 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.

Getting married in France

While France is known as the city of love, it can be a tricky destination to get married in. You’ll need to be in the country 40 continuous days before the ceremony, with copies of your birth certificates- issued less than 6 months ago, with proof of domicile, certificates of your single status, and translations of all documents, to name just a few of the requirements. If your heart is set on getting married in France, we recommend performing the legal element in UK beforehand, with a symbolic ceremony in France.

Book early

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.

Consider the climate

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.

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 organise 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.


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 doors. Both you and your partner will need a CNI, unless you’re getting married in a Commonwealth countries and both British citizens,

Wedding insurance

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.

Flight upgrades

Despite what we often see at 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 travelling alone, so don’t expect to be bumped into business or first class on the way to your destination.

Hotel upgrades

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 on the Indian ocean, will upgrade your rooms as standard if you’re getting married, but make sure to check availability before your trip.

Same sex marriage

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 rather than 1017, there are many countries where same sex married still isn’t legal. Luckily, most of the most popular destinations are available, but check out our infographic to see which countries you can choose from.

Helen Millward Travel Consultant

Helen is our liveliest character in the office, she can make a Monday Morning smile! She has been working at eShores since Jan 2012 but has over 17 years experience in the travel industry. Helen has a wealth of knowledge across the globe, whether you are looking for Europe, the USA, the Far East or South Africa, Helen will give you everything you need to know. And although she’s great fun, when it comes to her clients she’s completely focused and makes sure they are well looked after. She may even give you a song if you're lucky!

Why choose eShores?

One to One Service

Our experienced personal travel consultants will ensure you find the most suitable holiday, whilst taking care of every last detail. Everything from start to finish will be effortless.

100% Tailor Made

We can use any hotel, in any destination, so we will craft an itinerary to suit your exact needs. Also, as we can provide any itinerary, the only holiday we'll offer, is the one that's right for you.

Fully Protected

Our ATOL bonding provides you with the financial protection you need and as a member of the Travel Trust Association, you'll have 100% financial protection. Covering you for any eventuality.

Competitive Pricing

As a tour operator & travel agent, we'll search the market to ensure that we find you the best price. Also as an online business, we can ensure our prices are as competitive as possible.

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