RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

Runaway weddings - why getting hitched abroad could cost thousands of pounds

23rd July 2013 Print

With the cost of getting married in the UK now around £20,000 compared to an average of £7,000 for overseas weddings, it is no wonder that 1 in 5 Brits will choose to get married abroad.

While a getaway wedding will save you money, many couples are unaware of the risks involved if they don’t do adequate research and invest in specialist wedding travel insurance, says travel insurance specialist

Holidaysafe Brand Manager, Amber Howard said “Over 80,000 Brits flee the UK each year to get married abroad. The draw of beautiful weather and tropical beaches is usually enough to attract couples, however many risk a holiday disaster rather than wedding day bliss.

“The happy couple must remember that while wedding insurance will cover the cost of the event itself, it will not cover the rest of the trip abroad. Some of the likely disasters that could ruin your big day include delayed or cancelled flights, lost baggage containing the wedding dress or your airline or hotel going bust.

“If you are packing expensive items such as a wedding dress, make sure you check the single article limit in your travel insurance policy. Although the overall baggage cover may be large, these limits may only be £200.

“It is always useful to check if your travel insurer provides a separate Wedding Extension to the basic policy – this will provide separate cover for wedding rings, clothes, photographs, and gifts for a small additional premium.”
If you’re planning a wedding abroad, advises the following wedding travel checklist:


Plenty of research – it may sound obvious, but it is important to do a wealth of research before booking your wedding abroad. It can be easy to get distracted by booking the venue or buying the dress, but you need to do substantial research into the laws and regulations of your chosen destination. This is especially important if you’re planning a same sex marriage or civil partnership. You can usually find all the information you need by contacting the local British Embassy.

Make sure you have the correct paper work – in some countries you will be required to present a specialist wedding visa to be allowed to marry, check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for more information.

Beware of tropical locations – many couples opt for places like Bali or Florida to get married, to enjoy the great beaches and climate. However, you must be careful when visiting tropical locations, especially if you’re booking your wedding trip quite far in advance. The weather can turn dangerous very quickly, ranging from strong winds and rain, to floods and hurricanes.

Make sure your passport is valid – check that you and your important guests have a valid passport before you book your trip. This should give everyone enough time to order a new one if necessary. Remember that some destinations have strict entry requirements, and will only let you enter their country if your passport is valid for at least 6 months.

Think about a wedding planner – a wedding planning service can be a really great resource; they should be able to help with plans and advise on any red tape. However, if you’re using a wedding planner, make sure they are from a reputable firm who has experience in booking weddings overseas or for wedding travellers. You should also make sure that they have some kind of financial protection for their customers, in case they go out of business before your big day.

Be respectful of local laws and customs – some countries have very strict rules about loud music and drunken behaviour, and nobody wants to rescue their relatives from a police station. Before you purchase your dress, you must also remember that some religious venues may have strict rules about how much flesh you can show, or whether you can forgo your veil.


Put wedding rings or valuables in your hold luggage - keep them in your hand luggage and with you at all times. Most insurers will not provide cover for valuables which are lost or stolen from your hold luggage.

Forget your marriage certificate – many couple’s don’t realise that they will only receive one marriage certificate from the country in which they were married, they will never have a British certificate.

Assume your marriage will be recognised in the UK – to make sure that your marriage will be recognised in the UK and by UK law; you need to ensure that you’ve followed the correct procedures. For more information you can always consult a lawyer or solicitor.

Put your cherished possessions at risk – if you travel without specialist wedding insurance and lose your wedding presents, photographs or video recordings, you probably won’t be compensated, meaning that you will have to pay for replacements or lose the precious memories forever.

Forget your budget – in some places you’re required to be in the country for a certain amount of time before you can marry (for example 7 days), so make sure you don’t turn up the day before the wedding. Furthermore, remember to add a few trips into your total wedding budget, as you will probably need to visit quite a few times before the wedding, to check and finalise details.

Forget time zones – if your chosen destination has a different time zone, you must make sure that your guests and your venue are aware of what time they need to be ready – local time or GMT time.

Overlook your guests – in some countries you are required to officially register your wedding with the local town hall or authority a few days after the ceremony. To do this your witnesses usually must be present, so you need to make sure that they have no plans to leave before this is done, otherwise your wedding won’t be official!