Planning a destination wedding is probably unchartered territory for you, so before you go booking your plane ticket, here are a few things you should know about planning your wedding abroad.
1. Did you know that some airlines will not allow you to fly internationally if your passport expires within six months of your departure? “Technically” your passport has not expired, but you will still not be able to fly. Check that passport date!
2. Did you know that there are still many countries that will not perform same-sex weddings? This goes for commitment ceremonies as well. Do your research. Also be considerate of your LGBTQ guests when choosing a destination.
3. Did you know that some locations will only perform certain religious ceremonies? This could be due to the officiant on staff or the laws of the country. If you choose to bring your own officiant, check with your wedding coordinator to be sure she/he is legally allowed to perform the ceremony.
4. Did you know that many resorts will offer free or discounted wedding packages depending on the number of rooms that you book? They can also offer group rates according to your number of guests.
5. Did you know that some resorts will offer a deal for a pre-wedding visit? Take a look at your venue, meet with the wedding coordinators and confirm that the location and details meet your needs. Plus, get away for a few days and enjoy the sun!
6. Did you know that if you ship your favours or décor to another country, you may have to pay a fair amount in duties? In fact, if Customs believes those 40 monogrammed shotglasses are for resale, they may get held at the border indefinitely. Investigate any potential shipping issues before you send items ahead of your trip or if you pack them with you. If you have time, source local items when you arrive at your destination, or ask your on-site wedding planner for some assistance.
7. Did you know that blood tests are sometimes needed before you can get your marriage licence? Often, these tests have to be completed in the destination country. Do your research.
8. Did you know that some countries require you to be in the country 3 to 5 days before your ceremony? This is to be sure all the necessary paperwork is completed. Check with your planner or tourism board for your destination’s legal requirements.
9. Did you know that if you have previously been married (and are now divorced or widowed) you have to provide your divorce papers or a death certificate in order to obtain your marriage licence? In some countries, if a divorce has happened within the year, a negative pregnancy test is also required.