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Weddings Abroad ? Does Paradise Come At A Price?

For some couples, jetting off to their dream location would be the most romantic way to tie the knot. And with weddings abroad being generally much cheaper than having the big day at home, it would seem that this would be the ideal solution for every bride and groom. Well, not quite. The main problem with pledging your vows abroad is that you are giving up much of the control of the wedding preparations, simply because you can't go along and check out things beforehand. Therefore it's crucial that you choose your travel company carefully.

Many tour operators can now arrange everything for your big day as part of a wedding package. Typically, the ceremony prices can start from as little as £50, rising to over £500 if extras such as a steel band or native dancers are included. The wedding operator will arrange all the extras such as the cake, the decorated location, the marriage certificate and the registrar's fees. Some companies will also give you the option to tailor your wedding to your own preferences, which gives you more freedom over the order of the day such as choosing the exact location and time of the ceremony. This is particularly useful if you want to be more actively involved in the planning process.

If getting married abroad may seem like the perfect choice for you it is important to do your research thoroughly. Find out exactly what is included in the wedding package, where the wedding will happen and at what times of the day ceremonies can take place. Usually weddings are conducted Mondays to Fridays, excluding Public Holidays, but its important to remember that some hotels restrict the number of weddings that can take place each day. If your heart is set on getting married on the beach, you will need to check that this is legal in the country that you have chosen, as this is not always the case. It is always worth asking if there is a discount if you bring family and friends with you, whether the ceremony will be in English and whether the hotel will provide you with a separate room that you can each get changed in. Also, what happens if it rains? Can the wedding be moved to an indoor location, or will the date of the wedding have to be changed?

One of the most important considerations is whether the legal side of the marriage abroad is properly covered. It is not possible to register the marriage in the UK as this can only happen in the place where the marriage is solemnised. This does not affect the legal status of the marriage, however, and in some instances it is possible to keep a record of the wedding at the General Registrar's office in Southport (0151 471 4200). It is vitally important that you check which legal documents you will need to bring with you. Always bring your original documents with you, not photocopies. Usually you will be required to bring both birth certificates, which must show both parents' full names. If these are not shown on the birth certificate, you will need to attach details separately. You will also need a valid passport and an affidavit stating that both parties are single and free to marry. If you are divorced, you will need a Decree Absolute and if you are widowed, you will need the death certificate of your former spouse.

Another important consideration that you will need to address is the climate of the country that you intend to be married in, as this will influence what you wear to the ceremony. For hot weather, a short sleeved or sleeveless dress is preferable. Choose cool, light fabrics and consider having a detachable train, which can be removed after the ceremony for added comfort. For the groom, consider a lightweight linen suit with perhaps a short sleeve shirt. When it comes to transporting wedding outfits, most airlines advise that outfits be placed in hard backed suitcases. If you are worried about the possibility of losing your luggage, suit and dress carriers can be purchased for around £25 and are allowed on most aircraft.

Thousands of couples are happily married abroad each year. Many believe that by having the ceremony abroad, they can invite just a small handful of family and friends that they really want to cerebrate with. However, be warned that this can upset people who would love to attend but are unable to do so because of financial constraints. Ultimately, the choice is yours and with the right research and planning your big day in the sun should go off with a bang!

Caroline Smith is a successful freelance writer who has written many articles for your one stop source for finding the best deals on the internet for informal wedding dresses, favors, bridal gowns, accessories and more!

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