Getting Married Abroad – the Pros and Cons

Written by    Last updated: April 20, 2010

Thinking about marrying abroad but worried that your grandparents won’t be able to make it? Perhaps your close friends and family can’t afford an overseas holiday or maybe you’d rather just get away on your own. Weigh up your options here with our list of pros and cons to help you decide.

Beach Wedding Abroad

The biggest issue with getting married abroad tends to be that not everyone on your guest list will be able to make it. So if your grandmother has always dreamed of being at your wedding but is unable to travel, don’t be surprised if she seems upset when you drop the bombshell that you’ve decided to get married abroad. Do reassure anyone who can’t make it that you’ll have a second reception when you’re back in the UK.

Pros

  • You’ll be able to take your vows in the open air and celebrate your special day in an exotic or unusual location, with different food, flowers and music to complement your wedding.
  • Getting married abroad can often be less expensive than the average British wedding. Many couples buy their own tickets and, while the bride’s family may pay for the wedding package, it’s acceptable for guests to pay their own way.
  • You can invite just a small handful of family and friends to the wedding, so you’re only with people that you really want to celebrate with. It’s the ideal excuse for not inviting your 20 odd cousins and all their children.
  • Alternatively, you can jet off alone and get married in a romantic, private ceremony, just the two of you.
  • If you book through a travel operator, they’ll do practically all the organising, leaving you plenty of time for dress shopping and planning your honeymoon!
  • If you’d rather be totally involved in the planning process, you can opt for a tailor-made wedding.

Cons

  • Friends and family might not be able to afford to travel abroad, or be able take the time to go further afield.
  • You might upset people who’ve been left off your list – but you may be able to ease some disappointment by having a big bash when you get home.
  • You won’t have as much control over the organising as you would at home.
  • You might end up regretting not inviting family members if you jet off alone.
  • If it’s just the two of you, you’ll need to rope in a stranger to act as witness.
  • Although your wedding abroad may work out cheaper initially, if you put on a second reception in the UK for all those who couldn’t make it, you can end up paying as much or more than you would have done if you’d married in the UK in the first place!
  • Even if you head for tropical climes, you can’t guarantee sunny weather.

And remember, unless you head off for a second week somewhere else, you might be stuck on honeymoon with your friends and family! For expert advice on your wedding abroad check out these specialist tour operators and overseas wedding suppliers.

We have lots of great weddings abroad advice on Confetti!

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