Getting Married in Europe
Have you "tied the knot" overseas? Planning a wedding can be challenging enough, but getting married in a foreign country adds new challenges: finding an officiant, planning the menu, convincing your travel-leary family and friends to go, legal red tape, etc.
Share your wedding abroad planning tips, advice and experiences here.
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
A honeymoon tip
We had a great experience at hotel Splendid Montreux because it was affordable, in a great location, clean and quiet. We had a lakeside room with a balcony with nice views of the lake and surrounding mountains. All key stores and train station are a mere 5 minute walk from here. Hotel Splendid is a value hotel, the room I stayed in was a good size. This is a family run hotel and the owners could not have been move attentive; they offered good advice about restaurants, trains etc.
Fl USA 06/17/2012
Weddings in Europe
I am Italian and married my Canadian husband in Tuscany 3 years ago.
I am a wedding photographer and work between Switzerland, UK and Italy. Also work with a lot of wedding planners - I am happy to help if you need links and advices! Good luck with your wedding in beautiful Europe!
Not to scare anyone off but technicalities are the biggest impediment. My friend was married in EU and I am soon to be married in Prague. Helps that my fiancee is a Czech citizen so you would think the language barrier wouldn't be a problem. It doesn't help too much actually. You will likely need lots of documents and they'll need to be apostilled and translated into the local language. This is especially true if your are divorced or widowed. If you don't know what an apostille is, don't worry. Hardly anyone does. By international treaty it is a formal way of certifying documents from one country for use in another.
For an apostille, look for your state's Secretary of State website and they'll have easy instructions. It may take a while though. I was able to call Missouri's office to order birth certificates and have them inter-officed to the Sec of State's office for the apostille. In California it's a black hole from which your documents usually reemerge much later. Each state will vary. Every document I mention will need an apostille and usually a translation. If you've never been married you will need your birth certificate and certificate of single status*. If divorced, you will need birth certificate, single status and a certified copy of the divorce decree. If widowed, you will need your birth cert, single status and certified death cert for your former spouse. If you get married in a place which offers services such as translation, take them up on it. It's not worth the hastle of trying to find your own certified translator.
*There is the concept of a certification of eligibility to marry in most civil law countries. The US does not have a national tracking of everyones marital status as EU countries do. You'll need to sign an affidavit testifying that you are eligible to marry (single) and it must be notarized in that country or with the apostille and translation. The US embassy in most countries offer notary service by appointment to help with this and are usually aware of the what is needed. You may also ask for your state's records office to send you a marriage search to show that you are single but most of these specifically state that they only searched the records within that state and cannot testify to your status in the other 49 states and territories. YMMV with that document. It too needs apostille and translation. I got the search mentioned as well as wrote my own affidavit and had it notarized, apostilled and translated just in case.
In Czech Republic and Slovakia you are also required to register with the local authorities days prior to the wedding. My friend did not and the local police were knocking on the door a few days later! Plan to arrive early for this and make an appointment if possible. Don't assume you can fly in 2 days before and get everything done.
In all, it isn't always easy to get married in another country. Each country varies in its rules. Don't listen to any generalized conversation about specifics (including this one) without doing the homework on your target country yourself. The US Embassy website for each country is immensely helpful and the best place to start.
St Louis, MO USA 03/30/2011
Getting Married in Italy
We are getting married this year in Gubbio - Umbria - much more un spolied than Tuscany. We spent ages searching for the perfect place to get married and spend some time relaxing with our friends and family. We also wanted someone who spoke good English to plan our wedding - as we don't speak much Italian! In the end we chose Villa Pian Di Cascina -Isabel our wedding planner is lovely and doing a great job of planning - we have no stresses and are really looking forward to the big day! - Will keep you posted...we chose Pian Di Cascina, as it is run by the owners and the attention to detail is amazing...they are a find and we don't mind sharing the info! Happy weddings everyone...reach them at weddingsin umbria.info
London, UK 03/29/2011
Our wedding in Tuscany
We got married in Tuscany last Saturday. A dream come true. We truly want to thank Lorella and Gloria of Boutique Events fo r making this possible and perfect! We would also like to recommend their services to couples planning to get married in this beautiful country. http://www.boutiqueevents.it off to Rome tomorrow for our honeymoon!
Mr and Mrs Sharp
Toronto, On Canada 02/14/2011
Time Requirement (London)
My wife and i (both non-UK citizens) got married in London. We had to wait as there was a mimimum residency requirement to be married.
Los Angeles, CA USA 11/07/2010
Wedding in Italy?
My fiance and I decided to elope in Italy. We've narrowed down the locations to Cinque Terre, Venice and Lake Como. As neither of us have been to Italy, we are open to other suggestions as to locations. Additionally, we need a wedding planner because are thinking of getting married this September which gives us little time to plan! Any suggestions would be helpful. Lastly, we will travel throughout Italy for 1.5 weeks following our elopement and would greatly appreciate any suggestions!
San Mateo, CA USA 07/22/2010
Wedding in Tuscany
Hi everyone, we have just returned from our weddingmoon in Italy! WOW I can not say enough to describe how totally awesome it was!! I want to pass on some words of wisdom: 1. Defiantly donít try and do it alone. Get a good wedding planner that will guide you all the way. We used Kelly Hayes from The Italian Wedding planner (www.theitalianweddingplanner.com ) she is so professional and friendly you just know you are in capable hands. 2. You have to remember Italy is about 50 years behind the states when it comes to weddings. However I think they have it right, keep it simple, timeless and romantic! 3. You are not going to get answers from suppliers within a week. As frustrating as this is when we are planning a destination wedding and being so used to the faster pace of life in the US it was not until we arrived in Italy and met with Kelly and was taken to meet the florist as well as other suppliers did we finally grasp how totally different the Italians are from us and how laid back they are about everything! We felt so bad about the final few weeks before our arrival and phoning Kelly with our concerns to be told that she is hounding the supplier. Honestly as soon as we arrived it was an eye opener to the Italians way of life and we were delighted that we were not the ones dealing with them and that Kelly had taken on that stress for us. Kelly with her Irish humour and bright smile was our buffer and we can not thank her enough! 4. The wedding day and all the events around the day were beyond our expectations. We had scheduled lots of activities for our guests, as they were flying all the way over to Europe we wanted to make sure they got to see and experience as much as possible! Although Kelly made sure we gave people time to relax by the pool and recover with their hangovers the next day! 5. Your guests will shock you as ours did by the amount of hand holding they will need! Print out a schedule of events and if you agree with Kelly and her team in advance they will take care of all the RSVPíS and guest concerns in the run up and during the event. 6. Select what is important to you. For us it was the food, music and photographer! Then trust your planner to select the best for you! 7. Relax and enjoy and you will have the most amazing time. All of our guests are still raving about it and we could not have been happier with everything from the moment we touched down till the moment we arrived home. Now we have all our photos to look forward to!
LA, CA USA 06/28/2010
Italy Weddings - Services
Hi everyone, If you are planning a wedding in Rome and need a professional makeup artist, call me. I can also help you with recommendations for photography, and tours. I have been traveling between the US and Rome for two years now. I am a licensed, professional hairstylist,makeup artist and esthetician. pennysadler.com
vow re-newal in France
My fiance and I are going to France for our honeymoon. We originally wanted to go to France or England to get married but decided on a home wedding instead. If we decide to run into a little chapel somewhere in France can we re-new our vows? Does anyone know of any restrictions we would face? Do we need paperwork for a vow renewal?
Fort Collins, CO USA 01/28/2010