Recently we conducted a wedding ceremony for Stacey and Ian who have their legal marriage booked in Cyprus later in the year. As with many couples they both felt strongly that they wanted their wedding to be abroad. However, not all of their family could make the journey abroad and in there lies the dilemma.
A wedding is often a balance of what the bride and groom would like and what the rest of their families will find acceptable. It is a brave bride and groom that completely stick to their guns and don’t make concessions to either their family members, traditions, heritage or culture. A wedding is often viewed as a whole family occasion and as such bride and grooms will often want their whole family to be part of that experience.
So if you want a wedding abroad, what’s the best way to approach this with family members? There will be those family and friends that will immediately signed up and will relish the excuse to head off abroad with you. However, there are those family members who, for whatever reason, don’t feel able to join you or who are unable to. How can you ensure that they feel part of that wedding experience?
One way is to have something in this country to mark the occasion, a family celebration or a party, for example. Another way is to have a celebrant led ceremony in this country so that those family members not attending will still get to see you make vows to each other. A celebrant led ceremony can look as close to a legal wedding as you would like and family members will feel like they have witnessed your marriage.
Another issue with weddings abroad is the legalities of the marriage. Countries have differing marriage rules relating to residency and the documents you need to provide. This can often be a minefield, although most wedding venues abroad worth their salt will have a wedding co-ordinator on hand to guide you through all of this. A clever way around this is to have a small legal wedding in this country before you head off and then you can have your dream beach wedding abroad without any worries of not having that all important piece of paper with you. Remember most those weddings on beaches abroad are not legal weddings anyway, they are celebrant led ceremonies.
So whether you opt for a legal marriage abroad, do it here first or have a celebrant ceremony here for those that cannot make it abroad, there are many options to consider it may not be as straightforward as you think!