Plan Your Destination Wedding
Are you in love and engaged to be married? Do you want a unique location for your wedding away from home? Then, a destination wedding is exactly what you need. Celebrate with your partner in an extraordinary place and escape the stress of your daily life at home. We’ll show you how to make your dream wedding a reality. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about destination weddings.
Start planning early
Just like with any wedding, it is best to start planning early. The ideal time to start arranging everything is about six months to a year before the big day. When planning, consider how elaborate you want your wedding to be. If you want a small wedding, you don’t need to spend as much time with arrangements.
Once you decide on a country, read up on wedding regulations and processes at your destination. In some countries, the certification of marriage documents takes several months. Additionally, popular wedding locations are often booked out months in advance. So, look into it early to make sure your destination wedding will go as smoothly as possible, and without any unforeseen mishaps.
Required documents and marriage regulations will differ depending on the country you choose. Therefore, it’s hard to make a general list of the documents you’ll need; but here is a rough overview of what is typically required for destination weddings.
Here’s what’s often required:
- Identification documents (such as your passport)
- Birth certificate
- Certified parent’s consent, if not yet of legal age (in some countries the legal age to get married is 21)
- International certificate of marriageability
- A registration certificate confirming that your current marital status is “single”
- Documents that confirm a divorce (if you’ve already been married)
- Proof of baptism and communion/confirmation (for church weddings)
- Witnesses (compulsory in some countries)
It will probably be best to bring the original copy of the required documents, as well as a certified translation into your location’s official language.
When you are back home and want to have your wedding recognized, you will need a certified marriage certificate. In many cases, a simple marriage certificate is not enough; you will also need an apostille – a special certification. Apply for this on-site. Otherwise, you could have problems getting your marriage recognized in your home country later.
If you get married abroad, and follow the legal requirements there, the marriage will usually be considered legal in your home country. However, make sure there isn’t any legislation in your home country that won’t recognize your wedding abroad. For example, most countries require that the couple be of legal age or that they are not closely related. When it comes to legislation and paperwork, trying to legalize your marriage can become a strain on your time and nerves; so always make sure that all conditions are met, and that your destination wedding will be legally valid in your home country.
Independent destination wedding ceremony
If the wedding takes place apart from any church or the registry office, it’s called an independent wedding ceremony. For most couples who want a destination wedding, an independent ceremony is an absolute dream. You can choose any location you wish for – such as under the night sky, at the beach by the sea, or on green meadows with mountains in the background – and create your own experience.
Unfortunately, an independent wedding ceremony alone is not legally binding. So, before you have one, make sure you get married first in a civil ceremony in your home country or on-site by the local authorities. Your independent wedding will then celebrate your love in a romantic ceremony. Since it does not have a legally valid character, you can repeat it as often as you want.
Processionals for a destination wedding
You can customize your wedding to your taste – especially, if it takes place abroad. You decide how your celebration should go. Depending on the country you visit, there will be certain local traditions and customs for wedding ceremonies that you can integrate into your wedding. Of course, make sure you adhere to certain rules and regulations that apply in the country and respect their traditions. It’s important to be respectful towards locals and their culture.
LGBTQIA+ friendly countries
Unfortunately, not all places in the world are safe for LGBTQIA+ communities, and not everyone has the same rights everywhere. If you are an LGBTQIA+ couple, here are some countries where it’s possible to celebrate a safe destination wedding – no matter who you are.
Particularly LGBTQIA+ friendly countries are Canada, Malta, Sweden, and Austria. You are also welcome to celebrate your wedding on the incredibly beautiful island of Mauritius and the Seychelles. If you want your marriage legally recognized, it’s also possible in both Hawaii and in the Caribbean on Saint Barthélemy.
The Most Beautiful Places for a Destination Wedding
If you’re looking for stunning nature, unique backdrops, and beautiful beaches, the Hawaiian Islands are a dream travel destination! Getting married barefoot on the beach in a gorgeous white dress and with a wreath of flowers on your head is an absolute dream for many. Depending on where you come from, getting to Hawaii is not particularly cheap and can take a long time, but a big plus is that, compared to other places, it’s easy to get married there. If a wedding in Hawaii is your absolute dream, don’t let the journey keep you away! There are always ways to take care of the financial aspect of your trip.
Spain has beautiful beaches, Mediterranean towns, and a pleasant climate. You can get married on one of the many Spanish islands or on the mainland. Spain is home to a great selection of wedding locations. However, getting married in Spain is difficult, since one of you must be registered as a citizen there.
The Maldives is the ultimate honeymoon destination. Long, white, sandy beaches and turquoise-blue water promise a heavenly atmosphere you’d see in movies. So why just spend your honeymoon there when you could get married there, too? If you prefer a small, private ceremony with a quiet island atmosphere, the Maldives is perfect for your wedding. However, keep in mind that your wedding will not be legally recognized in the Maldives, as only people of the Muslim faith are allowed to get married there.
Thailand is home to spiritual traditions and ceremonies, beautiful beaches, hidden bays, and interesting culture. You can get married there without any legal issues. A civil wedding in Thailand does not have to be at the registry office. It can take place on the beach or at a location of your choice. In Thailand, it’s also possible to get married in Buddhist tradition and perform a spiritual ceremony. Although this is not legally recognized, it’s an experience that you are guaranteed to never forget.
A destination wedding is an unforgettable experience and a unique way to tie the knot. If you, as a couple, love to travel and discover new places, then a wedding in another country is a wonderful way to celebrate.
However, don’t forget that a destination wedding usually involves a lot more paperwork than a wedding at home. Since planning a wedding can generally be rather stressful, the effort involved in getting married in another country should not be underestimated. You will need a bigger budget for travel expenses and accommodations on-site, for example. Considering all these factors, you will need to decide how big you want your wedding to be and to what extent you want to celebrate your wedding.
You decide how your dream wedding will go and where it will take place. No matter where the wedding will be or what obstacles you have to face, if it’s your dream, you’ll be able to make it a reality. We wish you the best of luck planning your destination wedding!