Statistics from the Government Office for National Statistics suggest that more and more Brits are choosing to get married abroad. In the last two years, more than 200,000 couples got married abroad.
Primarily these have been in tropical resorts, but wedding planners are noting a growing trend of European venues in places as rich in history and culture as sunshine. Traditional favourites in Europe include Lake Como in Italy and Mykonos and Santorini in Greece. Cyprus and Italy are tipped to become even more popular, together with more unusual locations including Croatia.
Research commissioned by moneycorp shows that almost a third of Brits either have already got married abroad or would plan to do so in the future. While Europe may be growing in popularity, the list of top three most popular destinations suggest that the tropical island wedding has not yet gone out of style. The Caribbean was the top choice for 20% of respondents, with the Pacific Islands and Europe making up the rest of the list.
Are tropical island weddings going out of style?
Tropical weddings continue to be popular and offer endless sunshine and luxury. Bora Bora is surrounded by stunning lagoons and brides often arrive at the ceremony by canoe. Venues include white sand beaches, overwater chapels or even yachts in the middle of the turquoise lagoon.
A romantic and festive traditional Tahitian wedding ceremony is not binding, but could be combined with a simple and legally binding ceremony at the city hall. The traditional ceremony is often followed by a romantic sunset cruise where the bride and groom continue to be serenaded by soft Tahitian music – the experience and the memories are more than worth the effort of marrying twice.
A more laid-back ceremony can be found on the Hawaiian island of Maui. A ceremony on the beach and the unique Hawaiian laid-back vibe can be a magical way to start married life.
European weddings offer sunshine and culture
Weddings in Europe also offer sunshine and romance. Santorini in Greece is a popular choice with couples drawn as much by the breath-taking sunsets and clear water as the romantic Greek concept of ‘philotimo' - unconditional love and respect.
Italy offers stunning architecture and historic cities as well as gourmet food and wine. Similarly, France promises to deliver a wonderful first meal as a married couple, and plenty of attractions and quiet spots across the country to enjoy a honeymoon.
The added advantage of these closer locations is that if you do wish to invite guests, there are regular affordable flights and a wide variety of accommodation options for an intimate wedding party.
Managing the cost
Due to the fact that weddings abroad often involve a much smaller wedding party and the ceremony costs can be cheaper abroad, it’s no surprise that the moneycorp survey also showed that nearly one in five (17%) choose a wedding abroad because it can be cheaper than getting married in the UK.
However, those remaining costs are likely to have to be settled in another currency. While relying on your high street bank to settle expenses overseas might seem the simplest thing to do, it can pay to use a transfer specialist for your international payments to settle your bills instead.