According to a poll by YouGov on behalf of a UK insurance company insurance, almost one in four British couples now marries abroad. This figure does seem a little high and is difficult confirm statistically, however, the fact remains that over the past couple of years over 400,000 British brides and grooms have married abroad and there is a definite trend towards destination weddings.
In fact, the UK’s largest travel association, ABTA, revealed that over 1.5 million people were planning to travel abroad to a wedding tuin 2014, either as a guest or as part of a wedding party.
The main reasons given by couples, for choosing a destination wedding, are better weather, escaping unwanted guests and the chance to combine their wedding and honeymoon. Naturally, the ‘wow’ factor of offering your guests a wedding celebration abroad and the truly ‘once in a lifetime’ experience of marrying away from home are great motivators.
Cost is also considered an important factor as many couples believe it is cheaper to marry abroad than in their own country. Favourable exchange rates (when and where available) and a lower number of wedding guests contribute significantly to savings on wedding costs.
According to ABTA Members specialising in weddings abroad, Italy is among the top European destinations. The country has long been a preferred wedding destination for high-profile couples and has gained further popularity and press recently, thanks to George Clooney’s Venice wedding.
There are so many advantages to a destination wedding and you really can create a unique and unforgettable experience for you and your guests, however organising a wedding abroad can be a very challenging and potentially frustrating experience! It is also easier to marry in some countries than in others, due to factors such as minimum residency before marrying. Some countries, like Italy, ask for between 1 and 7 days residency, while in others, like France, a much longer residency or special dispensation is necessary in order to legally marry in the country.
I truly cannot overemphasise the importance, in my opinion, of a wedding planner. A professional, experienced wedding planner situated in or specialising in your chosen country will be able to provide you with a wealth of advice and information, help you avoid pitfalls and enable you to take advantage of their contacts and knowledge of trade secrets.
It is totally possible to plan your own wedding abroad and I personally know many brides who have DIY-ed their destination wedding and created amazing results. However, to do so requires an in-depth knowledge of all-things-wedding in your chosen country or the time, resources and, potentially, the finances, to develop this. Red tape, language barriers and cultural differences are only some of the issues you may hit upon in your efforts to create your dream wedding.
There are many great resources online to help couples considering or planning a destination wedding, whether alone or via a wedding planner.
In particular, the Weddings Abroad Guide website (www.weddings-abroad-guide.com) is a great resource for destination wedding couples. It is a completely unbiased source of advice, information, useful tips and, importantly, the real-life experiences of real wedding couples. The site features a huge variety of wedding destinations in Europe, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, Asia, Australasia and Africa and covers all aspects of planning a wedding.
Having planned her own destination wedding in France, with all it’s challenges and satisfactions, the website’s creator Natalie Wingrove, wanted somewhere to share the priceless knowledge and experience she had gained during the wedding planning process, and so the Weddings Abroad Guide was born! The ethos behind the site is, in Natalie’s words, ‘To provide trusted, independent, information and advice to couples planning their wedding abroad’.
The site guides you through all of the stages involved in planning a wedding from the most serious aspects to the most fun elements! For those couples searching for a wedding planner or specific wedding services, there are details of recommended wedding service and product suppliers. And for couples planning their own wedding abroad, there is also a helpful guide to doing so. The personal experiences and inspirational stories of real-life brides and grooms are an invaluable element and provide helpful hints, tips and ideas and recommend destinations, venues and suppliers.
The website buzzes with Natalie’s passion for weddings abroad, based on her own fabulous experience. Natalie says she cannot recommend getting married abroad highly enough and the Wedding Abroad Guide website is the perfect resource to help you do this!
Naturally I would always recommend Italy, with its beautiful sunshine, amazing food, charismatic people and breathtaking backdrops, as the perfect destination for a wedding abroad. From the majesty of cities such as Rome, Florence and Verona, the unique and colourful beauty of Venice. From the charm of the Amalfi Coast and Italian Lakes to the lush Tuscan countryside, Italy is the home of romance and there truly is no end to the fabulous wedding destinations available! Wherever you do choose to marry, at home or abroad, your day will be an amazing, unrepeatable event that will live in your memory forever!
Visit our wedding photo galleries, to be inspired and tempted by the amazing Italian wedding destinations available as well as other beautiful European wedding destinations.