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What insurance do I need if i'm getting married abroad?

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Here we take a look at what you need to know about getting married overseas, discuss the most popular destinations, costs including insurance cover, and potential problems to avoid.

A couple on the beach after just getting married abroad

A standard travel insurance policy will cover illness during your trip, or if you have to cancel the trip altogether. Travel insurance can also cover you if you can't make the flight to your wedding.

Depending on the travel insurance policy some of your belongings might be covered if you lose them or if they're stolen.

A specialist wedding insurance policy can cover your rings, dress, any ceremonial items abroad. It could also cover the cost of venue hire if you need to cancel your wedding.

Carry out detailed research to ensure everything you need is covered by the policy. You certainly don’t want any unwanted financial surprises if things go wrong.

It's not a legal requirement. But it can give great peace of mind if you're planning an expensive wedding.

Most specialist wedding insurance policies cover weddings abroad, but make sure you check this on each policy. You should also check how much the wedding insurance covers you for. Some offer cover for up to £50,000.

What does wedding insurance cover?

Most wedding insurance policies typically cover:

  • The venue closing or cancelling your booking
  • Cancellation due to illness, accident, or death of the bridal party or close family
  • Cancellation due to dangerous weather
  • Supplier no show
  • Lost, stolen or damaged items
  • Wedding photography or videography faults

Every wedding policy is different, so be sure to shop around and check the small print of your policy.

What’s needed in order to legally get married depends on your chosen destination. Every country has its own rules and regulations. The following documents are most commonly asked for:

  • A passport with six months validity
  • A full birth certificate
  • If you’re adopted, an adoption certificate
  • If you’ve been married before, a divorce certificate
  • If you’re a widow(er), the death certificate of your previous spouse
  • Any relevant visas needed to enter the country
  • A certificate of no impediment (CNI) Certificate

What is a CNI certificate?

A CNI is a certificate that confirms there are no objections to a proposed marriage or civil partnership. You should also check if the certificate needs to be legalised or translated. In some instances, these certificates can’t be issued due to various legislation or agreements in place between relevant countries.

You need to carry out thorough research on your chosen destinations. The first step is reading the basic information provided by the UK government.

It's a good idea to contact either the British embassies in these countries or official departments to clarify the exact requirements.

Your marriage should be legal in the UK as long as:

  • It’s legal in the country where you’re getting married
  • It would have been legal if the wedding was in the UK

You can check the local requirements for weddings on the GOV.UK website.

The costs of marrying abroad largely depend on what you want.

The average cost of a wedding venue in Europe is a staggering £6,501, with France topping the list with a whopping £9,398, according to SNTravel.

According to SNTravel you can save up to £13,500 by opting to get married abroad instead of the UK.

Its analysis revealed that the most expensive country in which to get married was France, with an average all-inclusive cost of £26,059.

This price included:

  • The venue
  • Photography
  • Videographer
  • DJ/band
  • Florist
  • Officiant
  • Make-up and hair

Around £9,500 of various extras.

France was followed by:

  • Italy with £24,738
  • The UK with £23,141
  • Greece with £22,755
  • Spain with £19,832
  • Portugal with £19,38

However, the cheapest on the list was Mauritius, which came in at a comparatively cheap £12,493. The Maldives, Seychelles, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Antigua were all less than £14,000.

Travel specialist Kuoni saw a 40% increase in forward sales of weddings abroad since 2020.

In its Worldwide Trends Report, the company had highlighted five amazing locations that are top of the list when it comes to planning a wedding abroad. These included:

  • The Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Thailand
  • Saint Lucia
  • Italy

The company noted particularly strong demand for tying the knot on private islands with close family and friends.

Here we take a look at the key pieces of advice to make getting married abroad as stress-free – and as successful – as possible.

Get everything in writing

It might sound obvious but don’t rely on assurances over the phone without written confirmation. At the very least this should prevent any innocent misunderstandings.

Having such confirmations make it clear to all parties what’s been agreed, the prices involved, and any other requirements or conditions.

Check your passports

In all the excitement of booking your wedding, it’s so easy to overlook the most essential element of all: your passports!

Check to see how long you need to have left on your passport to ensure entry into a country. If in any doubt, get the passport updated well in advance of the big day.

Check the weather

Weather conditions can be unreliable wherever you are in the world – but improve your chances of it not affecting your day by carrying out some research beforehand.

For example, what time of the year is the weather likely to be ideal for such a ceremony?

It could be worth thinking of a backup plan if the weather puts your wedding plans at risk. For example, if you’re planning on an outdoor ceremony, consider having a marquee that you can retreat to if the heavens open.

Be prepared

There are plenty of travel companies that can help you in the process. However, planning a successful overseas wedding takes time.

Make sure you start your planning well in advance so there’s adequate time for everything. For example, the legalities can take a few months to complete in some destinations.

Finally, make sure you know what type of clothes to pack – and let your guests know. Maybe avoid a dress code of heavy suits and top hats if you’ll be sweltering on the beach.

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