By Judith Keeling // thisistravel.co.uk // 31st January 2007
It is undoubtedly the most important holiday booking you’ll ever make and the possibilities are as far-reaching as your imagination.The number of couples marrying abroad have been rising sharply in recent years – around 45,000 British couples tied the knot overseas in 2000.
The growing popularity of foreign weddings is partly due to the savings in money while marrying abroad compared with the average cost of a traditional white wedding in Britain.
A survey conducted by You and Your Wedding magazine put the cost of an average reader’s wedding at around £15,000, including the costs of gown and morning suit, marquee, champagne and wedding breakfast. A typical wedding in the Caribbean, by comparison, even taking into account the air fares, will cost only around a quarter of that.
Increasingly, couples are footing the bill for their own weddings, particularly those who have delayed marrying until their 30s or even 40s and no longer expect the father of the bride, now sometimes retired, to pay the costs.
Couples in their 30s also find the notion of celebrating with their friends more appealing than having to contend with the worries of battling in-laws, a tiddly great aunt or a lewd speech by the best man.
A wedding abroad also appeals to those who are marrying for the second or third time, for whom the notion of a traditional wedding with all the trimmings seems inappropriate.
And finally, getting married abroad is an obvious way to combine a wedding with a fabulous holiday! You can escape the unpredictability of the British climate, ensure a picture-perfect setting for your big day, and relax into honeymoon mode before you even tie the knot.
Judith Keeling is former features editor of Marie Claire magazine and former assistant news editor of The Express and The Evening Standard. A keen traveller, she is now a freelance contributor to The Daily Mail.