Ask the Expert – The Logistics of Getting Married Abroad

July 18, 2014 | christine

Thinking of having a destination wedding? Getting married abroad is becoming more and more common lately, but it is essential to be prepared for the requirements necessary to be married outside your own country. We’ve connected with Italian wedding planner Alessia Santa of White Emotion to learn a little more about what it takes to get married outside of your legal country of residence.

intimate wedding in Florence, Italy, photos by Italian wedding photographers Alessandro and Veronica Roncaglione | via junebugweddings.com
photo by Alessandro and Veronica Roncaglione

Junebug: What laws do you need to abide by for a marriage to be considered legal in both your country of residence and wherever you choose to tie the knot?

White Emotion: You need to abide by both! You need to be compliant with your country’s laws and the country’s laws where you are get married. Once you are legally married in one country, you are legally married in your country as well! Be sure to look into both country’s legal requirements, as they are oftentimes different.

destination wedding in Sienna, Italy - photo by This Modern Love | via junebugweddings.com
photo by This Modern Love

Junebug: What kind of preparation is necessary to getting married abroad?

White Emotion: It depends on your citizenship and where your legal country of residence is, but as a general guideline, you need to prepare the following documents: you will need to produce your Birth Certificate, documentation of termination of any previous marriage and most importantly, an Affidavit which is the final declaration to be made before the consulate or embassy stating that you are free to marry. We advise couples to start the process 6 months in advance and to arrive to their destination at least five days before the wedding to be sure that everything is in order.

romantic purple and white wedding with photos by Daniele Del Castillo | via junebugweddings.com
photo by Daniele Del Castillo

Junebug: Do many couples simply wait until they return home to make the marriage legal?

White Emotion: It is definitely easier, because you skip all the document preparation. Actually most of the time couple get married in their country before coming to Italy for the big celebration with relatives and friends. This is a great way to avoid all the preparation necessary to be married abroad.

elopement inspiration photo shoot in Sicily, Italy with photography by Stefano Santucci | via junebugweddings.com
photo by Stefano Santucci

Junebug: What is the most important piece of advice you can give to couples getting married abroad?

White Emotion: The biggest piece of advice that I would give is to hire a local planner who is familiar with legal requirements and with the location. And don’t forget to enjoy the long celebration with your nearest and dearest. It will be an experience that everyone will remember and talk about for years to come!

picturesque elopement in Tuscany with photography by Roberto Panciatici | via junebugweddings.com (11)
photo by Roberto Panciatici

Thank you Alessia Santa of White Emotion for sharing your insight with us all!

Are you considering a destination wedding? Stay tuned for our Love Around the World – Best of the Best Destination Photography Collection for the best of destination photography!

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  1. Professional photographer capturing such photography .

  2. Good web-site! I am lucky that I found such information, because next year I will get married and now i am looking for any information!

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