If you’re getting married abroad and concerned about the legalities and paperwork you may need, you’re not alone! Destination wedding legalities can vary depending on your chosen country and location of marriage, so it’s worth pointing out that doing your research and asking the right questions is key. There are some main points that will help you across the board when it comes to checking. If you’ve already chosen your venue then you can ask for their advice on this too. At Château Saint Georges we’ve hosted lots of destination weddings from couples all over the world so we are armed with knowledge to be able to guide you through the legalities, and process and point you in the right direction. Here are the 7 key points to think about when doing your research for your destination wedding…
Research Local Laws
Research is key in your chosen country and location. As previously mentioned, every destination will be different. This is where working with industry professionals will help. If you have a wedding planner then they should be able to guide you through this. If you are choosing to go it alone make sure you find the local authorities and discuss with them the laws of marriage in their country. You can do your research initially online as this might dictate where you want your wedding to be!
You will need up-to-date legal documentation for both persons. This could include passports, birth certificates, divorce or death certificates, and any other documentation they may need. There will be time frames on this too so make sure you give yourself plenty. More time equals less stress! Here’s a handy list for you…
- Valid 10-year passport with at least six months remaining on it
- Full birth certificates
- Deed poll proof of any name change
- Decree absolute, if previously married
- Marriage and death certificates of a deceased spouse, if widowed
- Adoption certificate, if adopted
Translation and Authentication
You may need to get documents translated too! Some countries may require them in their local language before they are considered valid so double-check this. You can get them translated by a legal representative or by the local authorities if this is required.
Some countries will have a minimum residency before you can legally marry there. This can range from anything from 4 days up to 2 years, but don’t panic there are obviously ways around this if you still want to have a destination wedding ceremony. Some couples choose to do the legal bit in their home country and then have a big wedding with a blessing abroad. The key is to start your research early if you want to get legally married abroad this should be one of the first things you do if you’re thinking of having a destination wedding abroad.
Local MarRiage Officiants
Find out if the wedding ceremony must be conducted by local officials. If it’s a legal wedding most countries will require a local officiant to conduct your ceremony. This will depend on your type of wedding, the venue you choose, and the country you are getting married in of course.
Like most marriages, countries abroad will also require a certain number of witnesses to be present. Bear this in mind if you are thinking of eloping. You may need to arrange for people to be present if it’s just the two of you! Check the destination wedding legalities on this.
Registration of Marriage
After the wedding has taken place you will also need to register it. This ensures that your marriage is legally registered with the appropriate authorities thus making it valid in your country of residence too! Speak with your officiant and venue about this and they will be able to point you in the right direction as to where and how this needs to be done.
Always do your research when it comes to your destination wedding legalities. You may choose to work around this if you have your heart set on a specific location and or country. Consider seeking both industry support and legal experts to help you navigate this. Although it might seem confusing and overwhelming to some couples, whether you’re getting legally married or not a destination wedding is an amazing experience that will give you memories that will last a lifetime!
See What A Château Saint Georges Wedding Looks Like Here >> LUXURY DESTINATION WEDDING AT CHÂTEAU SAINT GEORGES, CÔTE D’AZUR