Plan Your Destination Wedding!

Don’t let the logistics get in the way of a dream destination wedding! The National Wedding Show exhibitors have some  handy tips which should help you plan a drama-free getaway

Make sure you leave enough time to sort out the paperwork for your destination wedding, it can take some time (3-6 months), depending on the country

  1. Some hotels will offer a “free” wedding ceremony if you stay for a certain number of nights or bring a certain number of guests (quite often in the Caribbean)
  2. Send out “save the date” cards well in advance if you want guests to be able to join you. The more notice you give, the more likely they will be able to come
  3. Choose a wedding dress which is appropriate for the weather when you marry. A heavy wedding dress on a tropical beach may make you look uncomfortable in your wedding photos!
  4. Check the weather for the time of year in which you wish to get married. Hurricane or rainy season may not be ideal.
  5. Get married out of season – you may save even more money
  6. Make sure you book your travel tickets in your maiden name (unless you change your name before you go)
  7. Most airlines will allow you to bring your wedding dress as hand luggage, just contact them when you make your booking to ask.
  8. If your family is all travelling together then ask for a group rate with your airline, and save even more money.
  9. Make sure you have wedding insurance which covers your wedding abroad, and take out general travel insurance too.


Legalities information

Each country has different marriage legalities, ranging from simple paperwork in some Caribbean islands to a two year residency period in Spain, but, in general, you will probably need most of the documents below in order to have a legal wedding abroad.

Most countries require the following paperwork:

 Full birth certificates showing both parents’ names

  • Passports
  • If divorced, show your original final divorce papers
  • If widowed, show the death certificate of your former spouse
  • If you have changed your name then show legal proof of the change

If you are marrying in a non-English speaking country then these may all have to be translated by an official translator and stamped with an apostille.


Some countries also require these documents:

 Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI)

This can be obtained from your local register office or your consulate/embassy in the country in which you are getting married.

 Certificate of Single Status/Sworn Affidavit that you are free to marry

These are similar to a Certificate of No Impediment, but instead you have to swear you are single in front of a legal representative (solicitor/notary).

 Apostille Stamp and translations

Some countries require foreign legal documents to be stamped with an apostille which then makes them legal documents in that country.

You may also have to have your documents translated officially and then stamped with an apostille – it really depends on the country in which you’re getting married.

 2 is a free information portal for engaged couples, where they can find a a wedding provider, marriage legalities, information and advice on getting married abroad.

For more details on the perfect destination wedding please visit them on stand D42 at the National Wedding Show Olympia.