A Foreign Wedding

Mar 19, 2018
civil celebrant before outdoor civil ceremony abroad

A foreign wedding can be exciting and so different! Your surroundings are likely to be beautiful and even exotic. You can probably look forward to better weather than the UK will provide. The atmosphere will be a holiday one, and that can add to the occasion. People will have a chance to get together before the wedding in a relaxed way, and get to know each other.

What’s not to like?!

A foreign wedding may make one set of family and friends very happy. It means that your honeymoon starts even before the wedding!

On the debit side, cost, travel and accommodation arrangements for yourself are likely to be an issue. Even more so if you are looking after your guests’ arrangements.

And which guests do you invite, anyway?

Language may be an element that works against you, especially if the wedding co-ordinator does not speak good English. Making arrangements at a distance can be difficult anyway.

Who are you paying for? Is it just yourselves? Perhaps it’s you and your close families? Maybe you’re paying for your guests’ accommodation? And meals?

Are you going to arrange a subsequent ceremony, like a wedding blessing, for those left behind in this country?

There’s a lot to consider, so planning a foreign wedding is not a step to be taken lightly, appealing as it may well be.


You’ll have to decide how long before the wedding you arrive at your destination. Allow time to recover from the journey, and long enough to sort things out with the wedding co-ordinator (if you have one). You may also want to arrange a rehearsal.


You need to make contact with the co-ordinator at an early date. Have a look at the ceremony space, and then the reception area. Do (or will) they have everything you need and asked for? Can you arrange a rehearsal (if required)?

Check that all suppliers are confirmed (celebrant, catering, photographer, make-up, florist etc.).

You may be in charge of your guests’ arrangements. How will they get from the airport or station to the hotel? Are the rooms booked? And meals?

Every wedding will be different. Nonetheless, I hope this will be useful as a starting-point before you decide whether a foreign wedding really is for you.