Planning your wedding, no matter the location, is not all about decorations and attire. Some of the legalities to think about include obtaining your marriage license, becoming officially married and changing your name. Having a destination wedding can throw an additional curveball into some of these steps – and you’ll need to think about them in advance. Some countries have additional requirements for getting married. It can be as simple as some additional paperwork or more complicated, such as having your blood drawn or providing certified copies of important documents like your birth certificate. This is actually something that we considered when narrowing down which location we wanted to have our wedding.
Providing all of these documents and filing the appropriate paperwork usually means more money. Not only in the foreign country but also in the U.S. after your return. Once you return from your wedding, the marriage documents may have to be translated, depending on where your wedding took place, and this usually requires a fee as well. Also, the appropriate paperwork will have to be filed with the county clerk so that you are officially married!
With all of this information at hand, you have two options for your marriage ceremony abroad – a legal ceremony or a symbolic ceremony. The symbolic ceremony will save you money and time, but is not the official wedding date. You would need to also have to have a ceremony performed in the U.S. either before you leave or after you return. It really is all about personal preference, so consider all the steps required for both and what suits you best. You really can’t go wrong either way!
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