Getting Married Abroad 20th April 2018 – Posted in: Weddings – Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Now folks, you MUST know by now that we absolutely love a good wedding here at GWJ. We see tying the knot as a beautiful union of two souls, the ultimate commitment to your lover, the promise to spend the rest of your life loving another human being deeply and unconditionally and other such romantic thoughts; what could be more amazing than that? Oh, and it definitely has nothing to do with the free food and booze, and being encouraged to throw our best shapes to the most shamelessly cheesy pop until the wee hours. Nope, definitely not that….


But these days, people are looking more and more for that one thing that will make their wedding unique; so how do you feel about the idea of getting married abroad? Somewhere a little exotic maybe? Sounds very tempting doesn’t it! Well, many of you seem to think so, with a recent wedding survey showing that 1 in 5 UK couples now get hitched overseas.

And I must say I don’t blame them; why not incorporate a different culture into your big day, or simply

His and Hers wedding rings from Guy Wakeling Jewellery

swap the gloomy British weather for some sun, sea and sand – I mean, everything’s better when you have a tan, right? And the best part is only the people closest to you are likely to travel thousands of miles to watch you walk down the aisle, so you don’t have to invite your fifth cousin once removed that you haven’t seen since you were 7. Win!


Though as great as getting married abroad sounds, the thought of actually doing it can be quite daunting; there must be so many things to sort out – where to start? – and it must be so expensive?! Well don’t panic, because our favourite supermarket-come-life-guru Sainsbury’s has stepped up again with a handy, fail-safe guide on getting married abroad, which covers everything from choosing the perfect venue, to sorting out all the boring stuff like paperwork and budgets. Good, eh?


Best Venues For Getting Married Abroad


So first things first, you need to choose your venue. You may have already picked your dream destination – maybe a favourite holiday haven or simply a place you’ve always dreamed of going – but you must remember to do your research first. Different countries have different residency laws and so some will require you to stay in the country for a certain amount of time before you tie the knot.


If you were looking to wed in France, for example, you’d be required to stay in the country for a minimum of 40 days before getting hitched, which is obviously not ideal in most cases. Ooh, but think of all the crepes you could eat though…not to mention the time off work…maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all. If you’re unsure as to what the residency laws are in the country you’ve got your eye on, you can always go to and use their Marriage Abroad tool to find out.


And if you still can’t make up your mind, then the travel company Kuoni have put together a list of the top 10 foreign destinations for Brit weddings, finding that Sri Lanka is the most popular choice for all the overseas-wedders, followed by Mauritius, the Caribbean, Thailand, Bali, Hawaii, Las Vegas, New York and last but not least, Italy. Well, when in Rome!

Marry me written in Sand


When To Get Married Abroad?


The beauty of getting married abroad is that you don’t have to wait until the very tiny window of British summertime (a couple of days mid-July I think?) to ensure great weather for your big day. On any given day of the 365 we have each year, there will be somewhere in the world where the weather is fab.


For example, in Vegas, the best time to wed is either March to April, in Mexico you should get hitched sometime between October and May (avoid the rest of the year as it’s their wet season and that is a BIG no-no…think of your hair! And the dress!), whereas, if you’re planning on sticking to Europe, then between May and September is your best bet.



Tighten Those Purse Strings!


Yep, it’s the word that strikes fear into the heart of every bride to be – budget. Although we want our big day to be absolutely perfect, we may have to forego those diamond-encrusted shoes we’ve got our eye on and face the fact that Adele may not be our wedding singer.

happy couple kissing recently engaged

That doesn’t mean you can’t still feel like a princess on your big day, but it’s important to set a budget and then make sure you stick to it by keeping track of the outgoings. If you’re a dab-hand with Excel, why not create your own spreadsheet? Alternatively, there are loads of wedding websites out there that offer really helpful ready-to-use spreadsheets, such as


It’s also really important to squeeze the most you can out of every pound, which again comes down to doing your research! There are a few really simple things that you can do to keep within your budget, such as using sites like and to compare air fares, getting hitched in countries where the pound is strong against the local currency, and speaking to travel agents for info about all-inclusive wedding packages, which often include your airfare, accommodation and food as well as the actual wedding ceremony. This is where being an expert-level bargain hunter really comes in handy!




Now for the boring but just as essential stuff – the paperwork! Bleurgh. Every country has its own rules and requirements as well as its own load of forms that need to be filled out, so once you’ve decided on a venue, it’s really important to contact the local authority to find out what needs to be done.


Some countries will require documents to be translated for example, whilst some will require a marriage application to be submitted much further in advance than others. What’s more, if you marry in certain countries, it won’t even be recognised in the UK, so you need to make sure you make secondary arrangements to be married at home too. Fortunately, you can easily check out what’s required by going to the ‘Foreign and Commonwealth Office’ section of


So there you have it, thanks to the lovely people at Sainsbury’s (and moi, obviously) you now know how to go about getting married abroad. And it doesn’t sound too difficult does it? There’s just a few more things you need to remember, regardless of where you tie the knot – you need to laugh a lot, relax, get sloshed and, most importantly, enjoy your big day!


Get in Touch


Don’t forget we have loads of gorgeous wedding jewellery available here at Guy Wakeling Jewellery. If you’d like to take a look at our stunning collection, or would even like Guy to make a beautiful bespoke piece especially for your big day, then please don’t hesitate to contact me.


You can drop me an email at, give me a buzz on 01772 379 956, or even pop in to see us at 15 Church Row Chambers, Longton, Preston, PR4 5PN.