Things to consider before getting married abroad

As you may know, me and Paul are getting married next Summer in the town of our dreams – the one-of-a-kind Cinque Terre in Italy. This place had been our dream (okay my dream) wedding destination ever since I first laid eyes on it over 10 years ago. If I’m honest I always knew I’d get married abroad, it has always appealed to me more than a wedding at home in Ireland has – all my friends & family in a beautiful destination celebrating the most important day of our lives.

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A Cinque Terre Wedding (photo courtesy of Pinterest)

A destination wedding is very “us” considering our love for travel and what better way to celebrate that love and our love than with an epic celebration in Italy. It was a relatively easy decision for us, deciding to get married abroad. A wedding in Cinque Terre is certainly not cheap but it’s not extortionate either and considering all that is included in the wedding package we think we got a pretty good deal. We are very lucky that our parents are helping us out a lot, otherwise we definitely wouldn’t be getting married in the Cinque Terre.

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So, if you’re currently going through the dilemma of deciding whether to have your wedding at home or abroad this list of the pro’s and con’s of having a wedding abroad may help.

Will the most important people in your lives be able to make it?

Make a list of the people close to you that may not be able to make it abroad for whatever reason. Would you be happy to have your wedding without these people? For us, my grandparents can’t make the trip to Italy for health reasons so we will legally get married in Ireland. It will be something small and intimate – a ceremony at the Registry Office and a nice meal afterwards with immediate family and anyone else who can’t make the trip to Italy. This way we are pleasing everyone and those who can’t make our Cinque Terre wedding won’t feel like they are missing out.

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Love is all you need (courtesy of Pinterest)

Why do you want to get married abroad?

Why are you getting married abroad – is it because you think it’s cheaper? Is it because you want a small intimate wedding? Is it because that country is special to you like Italy is to us? Think about the reasons you want to get married abroad and then weigh up if the stress of a wedding abroad is worth it.

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A gorgeous potential venue in Cinque Terre

What is your budget?

Typically, a wedding abroad is cheaper than a wedding in Ireland. In Europe, countries like Greece and Croatia are on the ‘more reasonable’ end of the scale. For the ever-popular Italy it really does depend where you want to get married for example Lake Como and the Amalfi Coast are notoriously expensive, whereas lesser-known regions like Puglia or Tuscany are great value for money. But as always there are hidden costs to a wedding abroad – for us there are taxes and a music licence that we didn’t consider before. Also, you need to consider your loved ones financial situation and if they can afford to be at your wedding.

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Do you want a big or a small wedding?

If you want a big wedding, think 200+ then it may be easier to have your wedding at home. You will be paying big money for a large venue abroad, I know in Italy the only reasonably priced large venues we liked were deep in the Tuscan countryside and you need to think about the logistics of getting 200 people from the airport to a remote location. Of course you may choose to marry in a large hotel or resort, but usually because these large hotels are in tourist-heavy areas you will be paying a premium per head.

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Beautiful bridesmaid dresses (courtesy of Pinterest)

Think about the logistics

How are you going to bring your wedding dress over? How about the bridesmaid dresses? These are all small things but things you need to consider and will cost extra money.  Where will most of your guests be flying from – is there a flight from here to your wedding destination? Or will your guests be travelling long distances to get to your venue? Not ideal really considering the money they are already spending to attend your special day.

Consider hiring a wedding planner

If you can afford it, it certainly takes the majority of the stress away from planning a wedding in another country especially if you’re getting married in a non-english speaking country. They will have a wide list of vendors in the area too so finding your perfect photographer/ band/ wedding cake will be all the more easier. Also worth noting is that a lot of wedding venues abroad now include a wedding planner in the package so you’re essentially not paying anything extra

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Join wedding abroad groups on facebook

Here, you an ask any questions about your wedding abroad from those who have experienced it or are going through the same process as you. The best and most active groups we found are:

  1. Weddings Abroad Guide Community
  2. Weddings Abroad – Destination Weddings
  3. Destination Weddings – Wedding Abroad

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And there you have it, we think we’ve given all the information that helped us to make our decision. We hope this information helps you to make one of the most important decisions of your life. Don’t overthink it, ultimately you will know in your heart what’s right for you. One last piece of advice  -try not to think too much about other people it’s YOUR day. And above all have fun, planning your wedding is such an exciting process.

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