Getting married abroad: The costs involved
These costs do look rather high compared to those of the most popular places for Brits to get married abroad. While the average cost of a wedding abroad is said to be £6,585, according to a survey by Mintel, many places cost a lot cheaper than that.
Weddings Abroad Guide ranked a number of destinations** and the cheapest places to have weddings abroad (before the cost of flights) on average were:
- Mauritius (£414)
- Malta (£459)
- USA (£488)
Other places on the list that regularly come up as most popular wedding locations for Brits were Sri Lanka (£876) and Thailand (£2,004).
If you're getting married abroad, is it recognised in the UK?
An international marriage should be recognised in the UK, providing you comply with the laws of that country, and that will depend on where you carry out your nuptials.
For example, in Italy, civil weddings have to be carried out in a town hall while divorced women have to wait at least 300 days from their decree nisi to marry again, while in Thailand, marriages of both UK and Irish citizens are legally binding in British law.
In some countries, such as France, a civil marriage has to take place before a church ceremony, so it may be best to do that at home first before the picture-postcard French village wedding. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, 122,000 couples a year get married – all you need is to be 18 years old, and pay $77 for the licence and a further $20 for a copy of the certificate.
What is the cheapest way to get married abroad?
There are several things that can affect how much weddings abroad are going to cost. For a start, it will depend where and what time of year you do it, and how big an event you want it to be. If you’re staying within Europe, then a cheaper but beautiful destination such as Greece or Cyprus may be reachable via budget flights and could be a good option for inviting guests to join you for the big day. Opting for the winter season may also keep the price lower, as long as it’s not around Christmas/New Year.
There are some resorts, especially in the Caribbean, that provide all-inclusive wedding packages abroad, particularly if you can guarantee a certain number of guests. You don’t have to bring guests at all, of course. Many people get married in quiet, idyllic locations by themselves and then have a big party back home.
Some things to think about include:
- Are the weather conditions at your chosen destination reliable? You wouldn’t want to go to an island paradise in the rainy season.
- How many guests do you plan on flying over? School holidays or Christmas will mean peak-season prices and less availability.
- Consider the total costs – while getting married abroad is cheaper, getting there can be expensive.
- Seasonal events – are there any local festivals or events going on at the same time that may affect flight, accommodation and venue availability?
- Opening hours – planning a village wedding? It’s common in many countries for businesses to close between August and Christmas, which could affect the chances of finding suppliers, venues and staff.
What about Brexit?
Some couples may have put off their weddings abroad due to Brexit uncertainty. The result of the General Election should give couples more certainty in 2020, but it’s not just visas that need to be considered. The prospect of Brexit continues to have an impact on the pound-to-euro exchange rate – and in turn the cost of having a wedding in continental Europe – so it’s worth keeping a close eye on the impact of the Brexit process on relative currency values to help determine an accurate budget for an overseas wedding.
How Telegraph Financial Services can help with international money transfers
If you are transferring money abroad to pay for an overseas wedding, then it may be worth working with a currency specialist to save you time and money.
Using Telegraph International Money Transfers, there are no transfer fees, helping you make the most of your budget. You can set up a payment plan to automatically transfer money when you want to, which can also help with planning ahead and managing the cost. It’s an efficient service and you have access to guidance from the expert team and can make use of a range of specialist currency tools that help you make the most of your money.
Transfer money with forward contracts
By using a forward contract to lock your transfer at a prevailing exchange rate, you can guarantee the exchange rate in advance for a set period of time while you get your plans together. This is particularly useful if you think the exchange rate may move before the time you need the transfer. Please note that a forward contract may require a deposit and that rates may move in either direction – this means that you may miss out if the rate moves in your favour, but it does give you a definite cost when making plans.
Get great exchange rates when you use the Telegraph’s International Money Transfer Service.
Telegraph International Money Transfer Service is provided by moneycorp which is the trading name of TTT Moneycorp Limited which is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Service Regulations 2017 (reference number 308919) for the provision of payment services. TTT Moneycorp Limited (company number 738837) is registered in England. Its registered office is at Floor 5, Zig Zag Building, 70 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6SQ.
*Source: bridebook.co.uk’s National Wedding Survey 2018
***Forward contracts may require a deposit.
The above article was created for Telegraph Financial Solutions, a member of The Telegraph Media Group. For more information on Telegraph Financial Solutions click here.
Information correct at date of publication.