Getting married abroad: What to remember
For thousands of couples every year, the lure of getting married abroad is simply too much to resist.
According to Protectivity’s latest figures, one in 13 couples are now choosing to confirm their marriage overseas.
But if you’re considering a destination wedding, there are certain things to remember.
Some of these additional considerations will concern logistical decisions, such as transportation of the wedding dress, or the costs – how many guests will you invite? Perhaps more importantly though, an overseas wedding can be essentially obsolete if the legal requirements are not followed.
Documents needed for overseas weddings
It may not be the most exciting part of planning your ceremony, but obtaining the required legal paperwork is vital.
When thinking about places to get married abroad, it’s worth noting that different countries will have different requirements.
However, two pieces of paperwork that are definitely required to get married anywhere outside of the UK are your passport (with at least six months left to run on it), and a full birth certificate.
Many countries require both parties to provide documentation to show they are eligible to be married. Depending on your destination, this could be either a Certificate of No Impediment, or a Single Status Statutory Declaration.
The former, which is required in many popular destination wedding choices can be provided by the UK Government. However, it is vital to note that Certificates of No Impediments can vary in length of validity. Some countries will require your CNI to be no more than two to three months old, so ensuring your timings are correct is very important.
Once you have these documents you may also be required to translate them into that nation’s language. Throw in that the UK government may require you to translate any documentation received back into English, and there’s a lot of translation that is required if you’re thinking about getting married abroad.
For the full run-down of what you need to take for your ceremony overseas, take a look at the UK Government guidance on planning a wedding abroad.
It’s also important to remember that many nations will not allow couples to simply come to their country, get married, and jet back to the UK in the space of a couple of days.
Many jurisdictions will deploy residency requirements for any couple considering getting married abroad. Some countries will insist that the married couple either have some link to that nation (for example, at least one of the pair holding a passport for that country). Others will simply need you to be present in that country for a set number of days before the ceremony.
Here are the requirements for some of the more popular overseas wedding destinations:
- Italy – One of the couple to reside in the country for at least four working days
- Cyprus – A minimum of eight days
- Mexico – At least eight days
- France – At least 30 days
For example, a UK couple wishing to get married in Spain must either show that one of the couple is a Spanish citizen, or that they have held residency for at least two years. This could pose quite tricky to a couple with no links to the country!
Many couples will simply chose to enjoy the delights of their overseas wedding destination, and throw a party or hold a ceremony, before dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s with a legally-binding ceremony back in the UK.
Overseas wedding insurance
Just as you should always protect a wedding held in the UK, taking out overseas wedding insurance is equally important.
This will cover you for things such as cancellation, damage to the wedding dress and the failure of your suppliers.
Many policies will also provide you with ‘Essential Document’ cover. This protects you should you lose or damage the documents required to get married in a particular country. This cover will ensure you are reimbursed with the costs you face if you need to obtain replacements.
What it is important to remembers when you compare wedding insurance is that not all policies cover overseas weddings. Protectivity’s Wedding Insurance provides cover for weddings worldwide, and starts at just £16.80.
Bare in mind that the majority of policies that cover weddings overseas do not include protection for your travel out to the country where the ceremony is taking place. Therefore it may be a necessary take out a travel insurance policy ahead of your big day.
Then, not only the ceremony itself is covered, but so too are the travel arrangements of the wedding party themselves.