With a wedding abroad typically being cheaper than getting married in the UK, it’s understandable why so many of Brits want a destination wedding that not only saves them money, but can also offer better weather, a more select guest list and even the option of combining a wedding with a honeymoon.
However, whether you’re getting married in Mexico, saving with a wedding in South Africa or nip over the Channel to exchange nuptials in France, there could still be hidden costs when it comes to weddings overseas. Here are five costs to watch out for and to put in your wedding abroad budget.
Surprisingly this is something happy couples tend to forget about. While many airlines offer decent facilities, weddings often mean taking a lot more than an average holiday. Check with your airline if you’re transporting bulky and/or delicate garments, and think about how you’ll be taking the wedding dress. You might not want it to be crumpled up in the holdall so you could look into the option of paying for an extra seat to store it on. It’s best to confirm costs ahead of travelling and book it advance so you won’t get a nasty surprise at check-in.
2. Administration and Paperwork
Just because you’re all covered from the UK side, it doesn’t mean your wedding overseas has the same legal requirements. Research the country you are getting married in and the different legalities, otherwise you may find your wedding won’t be able to go ahead. Different legal requirements can also mean more administrative costs, so remember to budget for these. Plus, if you haven’t requested the correct documents then your wedding insurance might not cover you if you have to cancel.
3. Local Taxes
Getting married abroad means you might get to make the most of the local businesses, such as choosing a local florist, getting a nearby distillery to make your favours, and even just taking advantage of a restaurant in the area. It’s important to check when organising with these suppliers how you’ll be paying and whether that price includes local taxes and also what currency they are quoting in. It could be useful to get your suppliers to break down the cost so you can see how much taxes represent of the total quote.
Far-out exotic destinations can be even better value than Europe, especially with volatility between British sterling and the Euro. If you’re thinking of getting married somewhere such as Latin America, Africa or South East Asia though, you need to make sure you’ve got all the correct vaccinations. Not all of these will be available on the NHS, so be prepared to pay for a few of them. While some countries offer vaccinations in transit, others can simply turn you away at passport control.
5. Currency Exchange Fees and Fluctuations
Foreign exchange rates can go up and down due to market volatility, which can affect the savings you’ll make when getting married abroad instead of in the UK. This means costs for your venue, flights and much more could vary, so it’s best to find a specialist provider who can guide you through paying your wedding overseas.
Choose to pay in 30+ currencies, 24/7 online, and access 120+ over the phone where you can also set up regular payments if you’re paying your wedding off in instalments. Lock in a prevailing rate with a forward contract and you will receive the same exchange rate throughout the chosen time period. This may require a deposit, and means when rates move up, or down, your selected rate will stay the same. However, you will be unable to take advantage if exchange rates subsequently move in your favour because you are committed to deal at the contract rate.