Jul 06

Marrying Abroad and Service of Blessing – Wedding Preparation

Marrying Abroad and Service of Blessing – Wedding Preparation
It is becoming increasingly popular to combine the wedding and honeymoon in an exotic location. The legal requirements and procedures for marriage differ from one country to another. It is, therefore, important to establish exactly what is required for your intended location. Many leading tour operators offer a comprehensive wedding package and have a Wedding Department to assist you with all the necessary arrangements.

They will request a minimum of 7 0 weeks to process all the paperwork.
Civil partnerships may take place abroad providing the country has existing legislation for such partnerships. You should contact the Consulate/Embassy for the relevant country for advice on what documentation will be required or contact your local register office for further information.

Refer to Checklist 8 ‘Marrying Abroad’,
□ Decide if it is appropriate to consult a Superintendent Registrar – see ‘Marrying Abroad’,
□ Decide how you wish to book your wedding – see ‘Honeymoon
• holiday Company «travel agent «website
□ Set a provisional budget
□ Discuss whether you will get married and take your honeymoon at the same destination or different ones
□ Identify suitable destinations
□ Establish the required period of residency before the ceremony can take place Usually 3-5 working days
□ Decide on length of stay (allow for period of residency and to complete the legal formalities)
□ Decide if you wish to invite any family and friends to attend the ceremony
□ Consider whether you wish to have a church Service of Blessing – see ‘Service of Blessing’
□ Discuss your requirements with the tour operator. If they offer a wedding package, ascertain what is included and the cost:
• wedding insurance to cover your wedding attire being lost or damaged, your photographs
needing to be re-taken, etc.
• transportation costs to the resort authorities
• Marriage License and Certificate
• Services of the Registrar
• wedding cake
• hors d’oeuvres
• sparkling wine or Champagne
• bouquet, buttonhole, additional flowers and decorations
• musicians
• photographs and video.

The Necessary Documents
All resort authorities require English language documents. If yours are in another language, you should have them officially translated and take the translation with you as well as the original documents. Some countries ask for birth certificates, divorce documents and death certificates to be ‘legalized’. This can be done through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (the telephone number is listed in your local telephone directory or refer to the website fco*gov*uk).
You will need to ascertain from the tour operator which of the following you require for your chosen location:
• passports
• birth certificates
• Decree Absolute if divorced
• death certificate if widowed
• proof of change of name by Deed Poll
• parental consent (depending on your age)
• adoption certificate
• passport photographs
• photocopies of documents prior to travel
• all original documents to be taken out to resort
• translations of foreign documents to be taken out to resort.

Additional Requirements
Your tour operator will be able to advise you if any special requirements apply to your chosen destination. These may include obtaining a letter prepared by a Notary Public stating that you are free to be married or obtaining an Affidavit to prove single Status.
It is advisable to obtain two copies of the marriage certificate at the time of your marriage.

Service of Blessing
A Service of blessing is sometimes held after a civil ceremony or following marriage abroad. The Church of England calls this ‘An Order for Prayer and Dedication after a Civil Marriage’. It can take place directly after the marriage or on another day, including a Sunday. The Service can include hymns, prayers, readings, etc., but there is no exchange of vows.

Refer to Checklist 9 ‘Service of Blessing’
□ Make an appointment with the church officiant to discuss the following details:
• date and time of ceremony
• content and order of Service – see ‘Order of Service’
• bell-ringers, Organist and choir and the relevant cost
• suggest a meeting with the organist and obtain a contact telephone number
• check if there are any other ceremonies on the same day
• flowers and who will provide them

Some churches provide flowers and you may wish to state a preference for the type and color. Ascertain whether you will be required to contribute towards the cost
• permission for photography and video recording
• amount of church fees and details of payment
• date for a rehearsal, if required
□ Make an appointment with the Organist to discuss the music – see ‘Order of Service’
□ Make a sketch of the inside of the church if required by the photographer, videographer, etc.
□ Ascertain location and quantity of parking space for guests’ cars


Checklist 8 Marrying Abroad
Travel agent/holiday Company
Telephone Fax
Email Website
Wedding location
Contact Telephone
Email Website
Date of ceremony Time
Period of residency
Requirements for Wedding
Wedding insurance
Transportation costs to the resort authorities
Marriage License and Certificate
Services of the Registrar
Wedding cake and hors d’oeuvres
Sparkling wine or Champagne
Bouquet and buttonhole
Additional flowers and decorations

Checklist 8 Marrying Abroad (Cont.)
Documentation Required
□ Passports
□ Birth certificates
□ Decree Absolute if divorced
□ Death certificate if widowed
□ Proof of change of name by Deed Poll
□ Parental consent (depending on your age)
□ Adoption certificate
□ Passport photographs
□ Photocopies of documents prior to travel
□ All original documents to be taken out to resort
□ Translations of foreign documents to be taken out to resort Additional requirements