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A Guide to Getting Married Abroad

If you are looking to exchange vows surrounded by your closest family and friends in a private stunning location, getting married abroad can give you an unforgettable experience. Many people dream about the most stunning and romantic locations for years and living out the fantasy is the perfect way to start your new life with your partner.

Apart from allowing you to tie the knot in front of a small number of your closest friends and family, overseas weddings can be cost-effective if you plan well. Add to this the benefit of gorgeous weather and the fact that your trip can be extended into a fantastic honeymoon, and there are many financial reasons why getting married abroad could be a great idea.

18th August 2020

Why get married abroad?

If you are looking to exchange vows surrounded by your closest family and friends in a private stunning location, getting married abroad can give you an unforgettable experience. Many people dream about the most stunning and romantic locations for years and living out the fantasy is the perfect way to start your new life with your partner.

Apart from allowing you to tie the knot in front of a small number of your closest friends and family, overseas weddings can be cost-effective if you plan well. Add to this the benefit of gorgeous weather and the fact that your trip can be extended into a fantastic honeymoon, and there are many financial reasons why getting married abroad could be a great idea.

How much does it cost to get married abroad?

Depending on the destination you choose, weddings abroad can be a few thousand pounds cheaper than getting hitched in the UK. Having said that, you must factor in funds transfer costs such as exchange rate margins and transfer fees to get the true cost of overseas weddings. 

In the UK, the average cost of a wedding is somewhere close to £25,000. For those looking to get married abroad, costs may vary depending on the destination. According to independent quotes sourced by SN Travel, the following are the averages for some of the top wedding destinations around the globe.

Europe
Caribbean
Other Destinations

The cost of getting married in Europe

  • France – £26,059
  • Portugal – £19,381
  • Italy – £24,738
  • Spain – £19,832
  • Greece – £22,755

The costs above include typical expenses, such as venue, photography, videography, DJ/Band, florist, officiant, makeup, hair and some extras.

How you could save money when making international transfers for your wedding

If you’re getting married abroad in a country that uses a different currency, then transferring funds to pay for the required services can rack up sizeable costs in both transfer fees and exchange rate margins. In order to keep your wedding as affordable as possible, follow these simple rules.

Shop around

It’s worth comparing options to find the best exchange rate, but it’s not uncommon to see less competitive rates in institutions that don’t specialise in currency. This latter category includes banks, who offer currency as just a branch of their wider services.

Markets move every day, and rates can fluctuate significantly in a short space of time, ultimately affecting the amount of currency you get for your money—even a few digits can make a considerable difference. Brokers such as Global Reach offer competitive rates, as well as a personalised service for international money transfers.

For example, you can receive market news and rate alerts straight to your inbox, so you can benefit from a positive market shift or protect your funds from further losses. You can also discuss the type of transfer that’s right for you, and benefit from an experienced dealing team which can help you determine the best times to trade for you with competitive rates of exchange. Global Reach has a track record of happy customers, and holds Feefo’s Gold Trusted Service Award.

Apart from the mainstream transfer fees, you may also end up paying intermediary charges, receiver or landing fees among other costs. For all these reasons, it’s best to use specialised money transfer services when sending money abroad for your wedding.

Use forward contracts to lock in an exchange rate

Since weddings have predetermined dates, you can take advantage of forward contracts to lock in an exchange rate for your preferred currency pair. This will shield you from any volatility in global rates and allow you to budget accurately for your wedding in advance.

The forward contracts available depend on each provider, but Global Reach has forward contracts that can be made up to 2 years in advance, so you can plan well ahead.

Look out for hidden fees

International transfers involve an exchange of currencies. For this service, providers charge a commission known as an exchange rate margin. Instead of exchanging the currency pair at the mid-market rate that you see on Google or Reuters, a margin is added on top of the rate.

You might need access to a range of currencies; with Global Reach, you can choose from all major and a range of exotic currencies. Whether you need to make a one-off payment or a series of smaller or regular transfers, Global Reach can help you make cost-effective payments with your needs and timescales in mind. Using money transfer companies such as this can help you maximize your international transfers, which is particularly useful when making the large payments involved with getting married abroad.

Find a provider with low fees & a small exchange rate margin

The best way to maximise your currency transfer is to speak to a market specialist. Currency brokers, such as Global Reach, can offer personalised transfers and competitive exchange rates, so you can make the most of your money.

To get the best deal, ensure you always compare across the various offerings by the different money transfer operators on your transfer route. This will help you know upfront the fees chargeable, the exchange rate, the available transfer payment options, and the transfer speed.

Our money transfer comparison tool can help you find the best provider to use when paying for your dream wedding.

Top destinations for getting married abroad

From France to the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean islands, there is a plethora of stunning, picture-perfect locations around the world to choose from when getting married abroad. Here are some of the top destinations worldwide to give you some inspiration…

Antigua

Antigua has the best collection of more than 350 super-fine sandy beaches and inclusive resorts. The warm cerulean waters and coconut palms give you an idyllic backdrop. December to April is the best time to visit if you want to enjoy that classic tropical Caribbean weather.

Mauritius

This Indian Ocean island is a stunning paradise packed with photogenic beaches, lagoons, and reefs. Mauritius packages are not as expensive compared to those in Europe, and make the most jaw-dropping backdrop to your destination wedding. Additionally, the legal requirements here are fairly simple – just a marriage application form and a birth certificate.

Los Cabos

Located on the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico, this destination has gorgeous scenery. It’s luxurious ecosystem brings together sparkling white sandy beaches, cosy hotels, top class golf courses and exclusive villas.

Saint Lucia

This is home to some of the most enchanting seascapes and mountainscapes. Aside from the pristine beaches, St. Lucia has a vibrant nightlife, mouth-watering Caribbean cuisines, and unique features such as a drive-through volcano. Wedding experiences here are jaw-dropping and unforgettable.

Bali

This Indonesian destination truly lives up to its nickname, ‘the Island of the Gods.’ Starting from its lush jungles to the sandy beaches and clear waters, Bali is overflowing with amazing scenery and rich cultural history. Whether you are looking at having your wedding in a 5-star resort in the lush green hills of Ubud, or at a location with epic ocean views in Kuta, Bali will leave you with unforgettable memories.

A step-by-step guide to getting married abroad

Organising destination weddings is better left to professional planners. However, it does help to know the steps involved as everything centres on you. Here is what to expect.

1. Decide where and when you want to get married
2. Set a budget and find the best money transfer provider
3. Find a wedding planner based in the country
4. Make sure you have the right documents and relevant paperwork
5. Book the venue and accommodation
6. Send out invitations early

What if there is a COVID-19 outbreak?

The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined a lot of things including how weddings are conducted. Wedding planners and vendors are supposed to observe guidelines set by their respective authorities. In case of a COVID-19 outbreak, here is what to do.

Cut down on numbers

You may have to revise your guest list to ensure compliance with government directives on mass gatherings. Expect the regulations on numbers keep on changing based on the severity of the outbreak and the wedding destination.

Practice social distancing

To minimise chances of person-to-person transmission the wedding attendants must ensure socially acceptable distancing. Currently, the distance is at least 3 feet, but if you can make it up to 6 feet the better.

Food and drink handling

Only authorised COVID-19 compliant vendors should handle food to avoid cross-contamination. Self-service should be highly discouraged.

Reschedule or change the wedding destination

If you are still early in the planning stage, you may reconsider rescheduling your wedding to a later date or changing the venue to destinations with fewer COVID-19 cases.

Do I need to take out insurance?

Yes, it is important to have your wedding event insured. Most of the policies available cover wedding suppliers, rings, and the venue hire. However, it is important to check if your essential documents (e.g. visa, passport, and birth certificate) can also be covered.

Summary

The feeling of getting married in a tropical paradise, or any other destination you have been dreaming out, is something you will never forget. With a host of different places to choose from, and a variety of reliable money transfer partners to help save with the costs, you can often achieve your dream wedding for less than you expect.

Making the international transfers and payments you will need to get married abroad should be done through a trusted provider, as using high street banks is unnecessarily costly. Using a specialist currency exchange company like Global Reach gives you access to an experienced team of dealers, who can help you make the most of your transfers. You can benefit from competitive exchange rates and discuss locking in a rate for two years with a forward contract.

To find the best money transfer provider to handle payments for your wedding abroad, you can simply use our comparison tool. All you have to do is let us know the countries, currencies, and rough amounts involved, and we’ll compare your options in seconds and leave you with more money to spend on your honeymoon. 

Disclaimer:

MoneyTransfers.com has an active affiliate relationship with Global Reach, and receive compensation when a user signs up at their service. This comparison & analysis has been made independently and the affiliate relationship with Global Reach has not influenced the rankings of the services.

Jonathan Merry

Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Jonathan is highly experienced in the currency transfer market, having previously worked in the FX trading industry, alongside being an avid traveller. Using his knowledge he identified a need for transparency and further education to help people save money on their money transfers, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com