To conclude ‘wedding anniversary week‘, I am sharing my experiences on getting married abroad today. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are contemplating being a ‘runaway bride’ like I was.
1. Likely, your family and friends would love to share this special day with you.
As the Hobbit and I had always said we wanted to do it like this, it came as a surprise for no one, but I appreciate that it is a decision that’s not made lightly. We chose not to bring anyone, but even if you do invite people to your wedding destination, chances are not everyone will make it. To make sure we did get a chance to celebrate with our loved ones, we threw a party afterwards. Added bonus: I got to wear my dress twice.
2. Work with a travel agent who specializes in weddings abroad; they will know all about the formalities and administrative handling needed to make your marriage legally binding in your own country as well. Maybe this costs a bit more, but you do want all of this being dealt with the right way; you will save yourself a lot of time, money and headaches if you get a specialist involved. We booked with (British) Luxury Travel Agency Kuoni, and we were very pleased with them.
3. Check out if your wedding will be legally binding in your home country if the ceremony is taking place abroad; I had to get a special stamp for ours to be legal in NL, yet for the UK we did not need that. If you decide to work with a specialized travel agent, then they should be able to advise you on this.
Also, make sure you bring very recent birth certificates, even if you’ve sent them beforehand. This saved us another formality in a dusty office. Needless to say; make sure your passport meets validity requirements of the country you will be travelling to.
4. Make sure you buy a dress that is plane-proof; a huge Cinderella dress with hoops and tulle is hard to carry through the airport and onto a plane. (Do make a point of asking the flight attendants to be extra careful with it as it’s your wedding dress.
You never know if they might throw in a glass of champs or even an upgrade.)
5. I did not do a hair trial back home, and that is one thing I do regret. I did have a trial at the resort, but I should started this earlier on. I wanted beachy waves, but because I had to go on a boat, the hairdresser was afraid they would be blown out by the time I got there, so she put in really tight curls instead. Most of the pictures of me in my dress were taken before I got on the boat however, so I think the curls are a bit too much. I should have done some trials here already.
6. If you are doing a beach wedding like we did, you might want to think about your footwear for bit longer; high heels on a sandy beach will be a bit awkward. I wore my heels for the pics and during dinner, but I took a pair of chic slippers for walking on the beach. For the ceremony, I took my shoes off all together, as I loved the idea of getting married barefoot.
7. Do realize that some parts of the day might feel a bit lonely; you won’t have your mother/friends around to help you get dressed, you husband-to-be is getting ready himself plus he can’t see you in your dress yet. The morning of our wedding, when I was getting ready, was the only moment I missed the ladies in my life for a second.
I am curious to hear you thoughts: would you consider a wedding abroad? If so, would you bring guests or would it just be the two of you?