Don’t be blinded by that shiny sparkler on your ring finger because whether your dream involves exchanging vows on a beach in Thailand, while the sun sets in Fiji or in front of an Elvis look-a-like in Las Vegas, it’s important to be extra organised when planning your overseas wedding.
The all-important decisions are still the same – what dress will you wear, how will you wear your hair and who will you invite – but there is a little more research involved.
Sure, an international locale is tres exciting but just because a destination looks like the most picture-perfect wedding location, it doesn’t mean getting married there will be easy or that it will be legally recognised upon your return to Australia. Marriage laws differ substantially around the globe; some countries insist on blood tests or on the ceremony being performed in the local tongue. In others, you must arrive at least two weeks before you plan to say, “I do”.
Usually it’s simply a case of having the right paperwork so it’s important you check with the relevant Consulate or Embassy – the other side of the world is not the place you want to be when you discover you’ve missed applying for the necessary documentation!
The most commonly requested document is a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage, which confirms that you are single and are not in a “prohibited relationship” (incest, under-age). You can download the one-page form from the internet (for more information, click here www.smartraveller.gov.au/marriage). Other necessary documents can include your birth certificate and your passport.
If this sounds like too much extra organisation, there are a growing number of companies specialising in overseas weddings who’ll take care of everything, even your dress. All you have to do is show up. Now isn’t that what a dream day should be made of?