Wedding Insurance

Planning an Overseas Wedding


The Destination Wedding


While the traditional wedding in the bride’s hometown is still preferred by many, it is becoming very popular for adventurous couples to shun tradition and opt for something more unusual or unique.  Also with the ease of worldwide travel these days, it is highly likely that the hometown of the bride and groom will be in a different part of the world. 


The decision to choose an Overseas Wedding tends to be for a variety of reasons:  Most often a desire for guaranteed sunshine and good weather!  A far away destination is sometimes preferable or necessary because friends and family have moved or emigrated to another country, such as Australia, New Zealand or Canada.


Tropical beach locations are hugely popular, and often come with lavish, colourful and luxurious arrangements.  On the flip side, some prefer to keep it simple and go barefoot on the beach.  Scuba diving enthusiasts have even tied the knot underwater.  Cruise ships are also a big favourite.


A spectacular overseas wedding in a historic or romantic city such as Venice or Paris is always a winner.  Venues may include historic locations such as castles with banquet halls, Elizabethan mansions, and beautiful country houses with open fireplaces and flagstone floors.


The choice of overseas wedding locations and venues is endless.  You could have a fairy tale wedding in the snow in the Swiss Alps, or by a pristine mountain lake in summer.  Or go really wild with a wedding and safari.  Ever popular is a glittering wedding in Las Vegas, complete with stretch limousine and an Elvis impersonator.


Wedding CoupleSports themes are also popular, and there is usually a venue to suit any passion, whether it is a rugby club, tennis club or golf club.  Just about anything is possible.  Those who are really serious about taking the plunge might consider a bungee-jump wedding!  Why not!  Just double-check that this is okay with the insurer before you book!


Planning a wedding overseas can take a fair bit of work and planning, depending on the country and their particular laws and customs. It can take many months to obtain the necessary documents and visas, and sometimes proof of residency is required. 


A good place to begin researching some of the finer details of the requirements and documentation is the DFA - Department of Foreign Affairs (An Roinn Gnothai Eachtracha) in Dublin:

Helpful information can also be found on the embassy web site of your destination country. It is especially important to read-up on the local laws and customs.


It is a requirement in some countries for non-nationals to produce a certificate from their country of origin to prove that they are free to get married before they can proceed with their wedding (Letter of No Impediment to Civil Marriage).  This may be known as a Certificates de Coutume, or in Italy a ‘Nulla Osta’. 


The DFA can provide the necessary forms for Certificates de Coutume or Nulla Osta as well as information re grading the requirements and fees.  The forms can also be downloaded from the web site.  Perhaps most important to note is that the forms cannot be completed earlier than six months prior to the intended marriage date, but they must be returned to the DFA at least four months before the marriage date.  Also, be aware that a marriage is not recognised in Ireland unless it has been civilly registered in the foreign country.


In some cases it may be important to contact the foreign embassy or local authority of the destination country to find out exactly which documents are required – and the process could take several months. In some countries proof of residency is required – which may be more than 30 days.  Again a checklist is a good idea to make sure that everything is done in the correct order. 


A few suggestions:

  • Check passport expiration dates
  • Apply for visas, if needed
  • Apply for proof of residency, if required
  • Arrange with doctor for vaccinations, if needed
  • Purchase wedding and honeymoon insurance 
  • Obtain written quotes from wedding planners, caterers, etc.


Lastly, don’t forget to give your guests plenty of time to arrange to take time off work, purchase clothes for the occasion, obtain passports, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance – and choose the perfect wedding gift – of course!.






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