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Debate: Abroad or at home?


Issue 47: When Time Stood Still


Debate: Abroad or at home?

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So many times now I have come across brides to be who ask the same question – “Should I get married abroad?” And it’s a question which I always greet with the same response – ‘Well that depends ….” Because it does. It depends on a hell of a lot. The big one of course being the guest list and who you would like to be there when you say ‘I do’. But then there’s lots more to consider such as budget, where you’d go, the weather, logistics and control.

So, let’s discuss these points and see if we can find an answer to this tricky question:

*Apologies for the less than great image, it’s the words that count 🙂

The Guest List:

So, your granny is 86 and can’t even get the bus into town without coming out in a rash. So, the likelihood of her getting on an actual aeroplane to another country with a totally different culture and heaven forbid, new food to get accustomed to, is pretty low. Yet, she’s your granny and you really, really want her to be there. Tough call. And this is only one example. Along with the granny, there will be mates who just “can’t afford it”, you will inevitably have someone who turns their nose up and just doesn’t understand why you want to go abroad when you’ve got everything you could want here (you can hear the conversation now) plus there’ll be the odd few drop outs who promise to come and then don’t. I’ll put it bluntly – this is your wedding, it is up to you where you say ‘I do’ and the people who really want to see you get married, WILL be there. Of course, there’s the lovely granny who just can’t manage it and I’m sure there will be some guests who genuinely can’t afford to come but those with valid and understandable excuses will be in the minority and I think you can safely say that at least 90% of the people who you really really want to come, will be there – come hell or high water. You just have to get over the fact that you can’t have absolutely everyone who would have been there had you got married down the road and the fact that you’ll be in an idyllic location will, I would think, make up for that fact.

Plus, of course, this gives you the best opportunity ever to wear your dress twice and have a wedding reception back at home with everyone who couldn’t make it.

Big numbers are great at a wedding but if you were truly honest with yourself, I’m guessing that most of us could (if we had the heart) cut our guest list quite considerably to include just our nearest and dearest. An overseas wedding gives you the excuse to do this and you can have your wedding, your way and with those you consider your closest ‘wolf pack’ 🙂


This is an easy one. Unless you’re heading to the Seychelles or insisting on paying for all 60 guests to fly to your wedding or exclusively hiring some swanky hotel, you will save money getting married abroad. Fact. Firstly, a great deal of overseas wedding venues/destinations offer ‘packages’ whereby you pay one lump sum and you’re covered for your venue, food, drinks, photographer, transport, license fees, ceremony etc – saving you money and hassle. The average wedding in the UK costs £21,000, in Cyrpus, this is £8,000 and in Italy, £14,000. Obviously, there are lots to consider – these are just averages. But it goes to show …. don’t rule out an overseas wedding because you think it will cost the earth. If anything, you should save money.

Where to go

Is there somewhere really special which is ‘your’ place? Did he propose on a sleepy Greek island where you’d love to return for the big day? If so, you’re lucky – you’ve got it sorted. If you’re considering going abroad to marry but haven’t a clue where then it’s a bit of a minefield. Think about what you both love. Skiing? Beaches? Adventure? The party scene? Narrow your search down by considering how long you’d be prepared for you and your guests to fly. How much would you like to spend? Are kids involved and therefore do you need to find somewhere child friendly? Recommendations are always good so be prepared to spend some hours googling and researching to find your dream destination. Always remember, this is your day so put yourselves at the top of the list when you make your decision.


Are you a sweaty betty and worry about getting a rather unattractive bead of sweat across your top lip on the big day? Then, if you’re heading for warmer climes, consider when and avoid getting married in the peak of the midday sun. A wet lip and damp dress is not a good look.

Or, are you nesh and winge about being too cold on a frequent basis? Then consider this when booking that idyllic ski resort in the Alps ….

This is all stuff you know already but definitely worth mentioning as there is nothing worse than feeling like you’re going to boil or freeze, especially when it’s your wedding day.

Logistics and control

This is the part which really freaks me out. I like to be able to pick up a phone and sort something out which is on my mind, there and then. I am impatient with a capital I. I like to feel in control and on the day of my wedding, I had a minute by minute schedule … (which nobody, myself included, took any notice off but the fact that I’d performed my brain dump was satisfaction for me). So, the thought of having to wait for a response due to time zones makes me feel quite nervous. As does the thought of language barriers and not getting my point across to someone. Golly gosh, I really am a control freak. However, if you’re relaxed and chilled, I’m sure you’ll be fine. You’ll be dealing with professionals who do this for a living, day in, day out so chances are, everything will be calm and under control.

So, in a nutshell, this question has no clear, black and white, methodical solution. There are just too many things to consider and it really does depend on so much. So, if you were expecting an answer which will put an end to your deliberating, I’m sorry …. but, one thing is for sure, whether you choose abroad or at home for your big day, one thing is for sure, it will be amazing.

So, come on, I want to hear your thoughts … did you get married abroad? Are you considering an overseas wedding? Are you an English rose through and through and couldn’t stand the idea of saying I do  anywhere other than home? Let’s strike up a debate! Comments in the box below. Thanks and don’t forget, the next edition of the magazine comes out on Monday so get ready!

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  1. Lucy Stendall Photography

    Oooh controversial! What about the legal part as well? Not all countries allow you to legally marry there without meeting residency rules etc

    PS. the bit about the sweaty top lip made me laugh out loud – I get one of those dashing across Nottingham in my lunch break!

  2. lydia

    Good point Lucy, hadn’t considered the legal bit – far more interested in talking about sweaty upper lips and 86 year old grannies! haha. Definitely something which is a major consideration though. Anyone out there reading this had any issues or know anything about the legalities of getting married abroad?
    And Lucy, I’ll be sure to look out for you dashing across Nottingham in a flustered state, how funny 😉 xx


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Issue 47: When Time Stood Still

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