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Getting Married Abroad: Everything You Need To Know

Everyone dreams of the perfect wedding and now more often than ever we see people traveling halfway across the world to celebrate the wedding of their dreams. With a little preparation and planning, that dream of standing on the beach with your loved ones around you as you say ‘I do’ can become a reality more easily than you think.

There are certain key questions that you have to ask to have the perfect marriage ceremony abroad:

Where do you want your wedding to be?

Getting Married Abroad: Everything You Need To Know

Probably the first question to answer, this is something your partner and you should definitely decide together.

Choose your wedding destination accordingly and shortlist areas and venues after some research. With more detailed research, narrow your list down eventually to one, keeping in mind of things like the budget and accessibility when making the plans. Will your guest be able to visit? Would the accommodations be adequate enough? Travelling around the world is an expensive proposition and a trade-off has to be made. You might want to go to Fiji to have your wedding but if that means that only ten of your nearest and dearest can come visit, then you might want to reconsider. It will most certainly require at least twice the planning it would to conduct a wedding in your own native land.

Can I get legally married abroad?

The United States will only consider certain types of marriage ceremonies as legally binding so that has to be taken into account as well. Nothing will be more frustrating after your whirlwind honeymoon than coming home to find that you were never married in the first place. Do your research and find out you whether the country you’re getting married in allows you to have a legally acceptable document of marriage or not. So if you are getting married in a Japanese ceremony, the marriage will not be considered legal in the United States, unless you’ve also had a civil marriage ceremony at the registry office. While in Indonesia, they only accepts marriages which are religious. If you are getting married in an Islamic tradition, then you do not need to record it in the civil registry. So do your research before you tie the knot.

Getting Married Abroad: Everything You Need To Know

For any wedding you need to be prepared with your documents. Bring your passport (make sure that it has a minimum of six months validity) and your birth certificate. If this is not your first marriage then bring your divorce decree, certificate of annulment or death certificate certifying that you are free to marry again. In many countries, it is a requirement that these documents are translated in the native language and notarized.

Some countries require you to present an “affidavit of eligibility to marry”. This is a testament that there are no obstacles preventing your marriage from taking place. In many countries, the permission of the parents is required if the either the bride or the groom is under the age of consent.

A final issue that you need to be aware of is the residency requirements. Simply put, residency requirements dictate how long you actually have to be staying in a country before you are allowed to get married there. Places with higher residency requirements make it difficult to marry there. In the Caribbean, for instance, different islands have different residency requirements. In Barbados and the Cayman Islands, there are no such requirements whereas in Martinique, there is a considerable waiting period of one month before you can get married there.

These are some of the major things that might happen while planning your dream wedding and knowing them is the first step on the path to achieving the dream that you and your spouse-to-be deserve.

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