The Real Costs of Getting Married Abroad

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The Real Costs of Getting Married Abroad

What price can you put on love? Well, £30,355 to be rather exact! That is the average cost of a UK wedding according to recent statistics.

As well as the expense of course, there’s the unpredictable British weather and challenges around inviting colleagues and extended family when hosting a local wedding. It’s easy to see why getting married abroad holds such appeal for many.

It can be no surprise then, that overseas weddings are on the rise. Last year couples getting married abroad rose by 14 per cent according to reports. 

What it Costs to Get Married Abroad

If you’re one of the many thousands of couples considering a far-flung celebration, whether it’s a wedding in Greece, Italy or beyond, cost is just one factor to consider. 

There’s also the feasibility of guests attending, planning all the finer touches with the issues of a language barrier and sorting accommodation and potentially flights for guests.

That said, a large reason so many couples get married abroad is to get-away from it all and have an intimate affair.

Although the average overseas wedding is said to cost £6,585, there is no one-size fits all, and expenses will vary depending on destination and scale. A small intimate wedding abroad with 30 guests will be a lot cheaper than 100 guests, and this is the same weather you get married in the UK or abroad.

Here we look at some of the costs associated with getting married abroad:

  • Travel Insurance
  • Airport Parking
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Hotel & Acommedation
  • Food and Drinks
  • Photographer

These are just a few of the things to consider when budgeting for a wedding abroad, of course wherever you get married there are costs for the usual items such as cake, flowers and your dress. You may wish to hire a UK based wedding photographer and they may fly out to capture your wedding, you will just need to budget for the additional expenses.

The Planning

Unless you know your destination inside out, chances are you will need to travel abroad several times to visit your venue. Getting married abroad still requires careful planning , organisation and meeting local teams on the ground to establish your preferences.

Even simple weddings abroad will need one or two visits prior to the big day. Taking into account accommodation and taking time off work, this can cost anything from £350 to £5,000 depending on destination and how many times you both visit.

Check out our top Tips for Planning Your Wedding Abroad and other things to consider when looking at booking a destination wedding.

Destination 

As weddings abroad guides advise, it’s worth researching the destination well before committing. For instance, weddings in Cyprus tend to be more budget-friendly compared to the cost of weddings in Italy, yet both provide romantic backdrops with stunning weather.

Popular wedding destinations include Santorini, Ibiza, Cyprus, Italy and France. Right now, with the pound being weak, there’s some destinations where your money will go further, such as; Turkey, Mexico, Thailand and Poland. Exchange rates means you’ll get more for your money here.

As you are looking to get married abroad you may wish to extend your stay in that country for your honeymoon, by doing this you can help save money on flights for your honeymoon and may get a better deal as well.

The Venue

As with any destination, where you choose to say your vows will dictate the cost. Typically, ostentatious and five-star venues in coastal retreats will charge much higher than intimate lodges and private rooms in restaurants. 

It’s important to consider the sort of theme you want for your big day and the experience you want for your guests. 

If your intention for getting married abroad is due to a special backdrop or venue, then you can expect to pay thousands for the privilege. If, on the other hand you just want a simple wedding abroad, a small reception in a mid-range hotel can be as little as a few hundred pounds. Be sure to understand what is involved in the cost, including food and drink and any decorations or sound systems they may provide.

Depending on the country you are getting married and the style of venue you want, it can range from a chateau in France, or a beach restaurant in Ibiza, of course each of these will vary in price and all depend on what you wish to include in the package, from food and drink, to evening entertainment.

Suppliers

For an overseas wedding, it may be wise to use a local wedding planner to help with planning on the ground. Sometimes this will come courtesy of the wedding venue, otherwise you may have to pay anything from £500-£2,000 for a private planner that is local to that area. This has many benefits though, including not having to travel to the venue as often, and potentially discounts from their network of contacts helping with your wedding abroad prices and packages.

In some cases, however, you may choose to bring some suppliers over from the UK. This might be a preferred wedding photographer, musician or make-up artist. Although costs won’t differ to the UK, you can expect to pay more for their time, as well as front flights and accommodation. For each supplier, budget somewhere between £1,000 and £4,000.

Time of Year

If you can be flexible on timings, this will help with your budget. For instance, accommodation during peak summer months can cost two or three times more than travelling out of season. Therefore it pays to research your destination in advance, to ensure you’re benefitting from the perks of getting married abroad.

If you’re keen to elope during the British summer, then possibly look at overseas wedding destinations that are out of peak season during this time. The Caribbean and Miami for instance can be cheaper between July to October, where you can bag some great bargains. However, this comes with the risk of potential hurricanes and unpredictable weather, so it’s a case of weighing up the pros and cons.

Guest Costs

Some couples see an overseas wedding as an opportunity to cut back on guests and therefore costs. However, with smaller parties you may feel obliged to offer transportation costs and maybe even accommodation, in return for their attendance. It’s important to be clear with expectations from the get-go so there’s no misunderstandings.

However, do consider that if guests are travelling from afar, it would be remiss not to host a special meal or BBQ the day before or after the wedding. Although this might be a relatively low cost (£200 – £1,200) it’s still worth factoring in.

How Much do Weddings Abroad Cost Compared to in the UK?

Weddings abroad tend to be cheaper than in the UK, this is down the venues being cheaper as well as local suppliers to compared to in the UK, however you do have to take into account travel costs and accommodation.

Getting married abroad is an appealing option to many couples tying the knot for many reasons. Although reports suggest that it can be a fraction of the price of a UK wedding, it’s important to research your destination and venue in advance. Take into consideration the hidden costs outlined above, to ensure your budget goes far.

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