Tying the knot across the pond is a beautiful and absolutely memorable way to make it official. But, whether it's a location that means something special to you and the future hubbs or it's just somewhere you have always wanted to go, planning a wedding overseas is oceans apart from planning a wedding here in the states. So, to avoid any choppy waters for your walk down the aisle, here are some tips for a smooth ride to the altar, overseas.
· Every country has different laws regarding weddings, and many require you to be in the country a certain number of days prior to the actual wedding date. Make sure to check on the laws where you're getting married before booking any flights.
· Some countries require blood tests prior to letting you wed, and some require certain documentation (verifying your age or proving the ends of any previous marriages), so check on that as well before you go.
· There are countries that require special visas, and if you don't get them enough in advance you may be spending crucial wedding budget dollars on rush fees. As soon as you've decided on where you're getting married, visit the U.S. State Department website or the Embassy website of the country to learn about the visa application process.
· If you can, visit the location where you will be getting married prior to making all of your plans. This can be costly and not always possible, but it will help avoid any unexpected surprises that may not be noticeable on a hotel or venue's website.
· Go local! Rather than spending tons of money shipping items overseas or accruing tons of extra baggage costs, choose local wedding décor, such as flowers and linens. Not only will it add a local flair, but it will save you money!
· Send your Save The Dates about 8 months prior to the wedding date, rather than the usual 6 months. This will give your guests more time to plan, allowing them to find cheaper flights and save up for the trip.
· You may be doing an overseas wedding precisely to have a smaller guest list, but don't be upset if people you want to attend simply can't, whether due to cost or time restraints. You may want to consider doing a reception for all of your friends and fam back home once you return so that everyone can celebrate your new status as Mr. and Mrs.!
Planning a wedding overseas may not be exactly the same as planning a wedding here in the states, and it does require a few extra steps, but if you make sure to know the rules of the country and leave yourself plenty of time to prepare, your overseas wedding can be out of this world.