By Mark Stillman
Warm weather and cheaper prices are increasingly luring British couples to get married abroad, according to a new report.
As many as one in six married couples (280,000) have had their ceremony overseas in the past five years, says the LV= study.
This is a rise of nearly 20 per cent on a decade ago.
Brits have spent nearly £7.3 billion to attend overseas weddings during the last five years, including the price of new outfits, travel, accommodation and wedding gifts.
In order to meet the extra cost involved, some guests may be tempted to cut back on travel insurance.
But the research reveals that one in 11 (9 per cent) people who attend a wedding abroad fall ill or get injured there, so economising on cover is a false saving.
Overseas weddings are far more expensive for guests. They typically spend nearly £2,000 each to go to a wedding abroad - about four times as much as they would spend to visit a UK wedding (£500).
Consequently, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of those who attended a wedding overseas say they had to minimise costs on their own holiday in order to attend.
A similar figure had to scrap their vacation completely.
One in 11 Brits say they have had to reject invitations to weddings abroad because they were too costly to attend.
Weddings abroad cost couples £10,000 less than a typical UK ceremony, however.
Travel and accommodation abroad costs them more, but the venue, entertainment, catering, photography, decorations and the honeymoon are all cheaper on average.
The USA is the favourite overseas wedding destination, with Las Vegas the most popular city to tie the knot.
Then comes Spain and Italy.
The primary reason couples give for picking the destination is that they have family connections with the country (63 per cent), with better weather (32 per cent) and an exotic setting (27 per cent) also leading considerations.
In total, 3.7 million Brits (8 per cent) have been to a wedding abroad in the past five years.
A further one in nine have been invited to one happening soon.
Selwyn Fernandes, Managing Director of LV= travel insurance, said that choosing to marry abroad can be a "savvy move" to save money and guarantee good weather.
But he said it can be expensive if you're a guest.
Mr Fernandes said that combining the wedding trip with your annual holiday is a good way to save money, but you travel insurance costs should not be compromised.
Commenting on the new figures, he added: "It's vital you're covered should the worst happen, even if you're only away for a few days."