Money Matters Team

Will you marry me? Abroad?

By Money Matters Team 26/06/2013

Marrying overseas

18% of weddings now take place overseas but, is it less expensive?

The warm trade winds ruffle the orders of service amidst a backdrop of sun-blessed beaches and turquoise skies. In front of you both are happy, expectant faces. The atmosphere is relaxed, almost perfect for uttering the words, 'I do'.

Yes, you're getting married abroad. And you're not alone either. According to research from Mintel, around 18% of weddings now take place overseas rather than on home soil.

Top 10 places to get hitched abroad

The average UK wedding costs just under £20,000

According to

Las Vegas
The Seychelles
New York
The Caribbean
So how can couples prepare for the novelty of marrying in a foreign culture and, usually, a nicer climate than the UK?


In April 2013, Sainsbury's Bank saw borrowing between £3,000 and £16,000 through the use of a loan to help fund a wedding.

Getting married in another country is likely to cost less – but most likely because there might be fewer guests to cater for. Exchange rates may also make costs more favourable and couples may be able to have the wedding costs included within a 'package holiday deal'. 

In 2010, the average wedding abroad cost £6,585, around a third of the cost of a UK wedding (source Mintel).   

With the average UK wedding costing just under £20,000 (source Mintel), weddings abroad are set to become a popular choice.

Tips for planning a wedding abroad

• Do a recky first. If you haven't been there before, visit the country beforehand to soak up the culture and discover the ins and outs of the location.

• If that's not possible chat with friends and family who have visited the country.

• Find a 'professional on the ground' who speaks the local language and can help with arrangements

• Search the web extensively; there are dozens of wedding sites which have sections dedicated to marrying abroad, such as and

How many guests to invite?

Keep the number contained. Unlike a UK wedding, prepare for a few more call offs due to the time and distance involved. Allow as long as possible for guests to arrange time off work and to save money for the trip. Many couples also set up a website to keep guests in the loop and this could be a good way of giving people information on accommodation and transport in the local area.

Legal documents

Most countries have specific legal requirements and couples may be required to provide particular documents. Want to know about each country’s requirements? has a useful section on this - oh, and don't forget the passports!

From this day forwards

Just like organising a UK wedding, try to get all the details in writing and know exactly what is included in the package.

Whether it includes a one-day trip to Holland or a more extravagant week-long experience in Barbados, the most important part is tying the knot in a place you both love.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.