Getting Married in a Foreign Country – What you Need to Know

Getting Married in a Foreign Country

If you have fallen hopelessly in love with a young lady in another country and you wish to relocate to be near your bride-to-be, marriage is likely on the cards. In this short article, we offer useful information to assist you preparing for a foreign wedding.

Understand Their Culture

If you will be undergoing a traditional wedding ceremony and gathering, it is imperative you understand the culture; What is expected of you as the groom? Are there rituals you need to perform? Do you need to pay a dowry? The answers to these questions will help get you ready for the big day. In the event you know next to nothing about the country, a few hours with Google should change things. The last thing you want is to be disrespectful to your host nation and many have been down this road before you; search for online forums for expats in your chosen country, where you’ll get accurate info.

Choosing a Wedding Reception Venue

Whether a wedding hotel in Manila or a beach resort in Phuket, you need to do some online research on the venue. If you know guest numbers, this will ensure the venue size is suitable, with adequate parking. Read the online testimonials, which should be glowing! In the event your bride-to-be is in the country, ask her to select a suitable venue and she can pay them a visit and enjoy a guided tour. You can be there virtually with a Zoom call (a great idea).


Of course, every nation has its own laws regarding marriage; you will probably have to show papers that confirm your single status and that you are able to marry in that country. Your partner should be able to help in this regard and prepare the documents well in advance. Take note; An organised party is not a legal marriage, one has to visit a government office and a marriage certificate is issued after the short ceremony. Documents likely have to be translated by a certified translation service (only in non-English speaking countries). If you are concerned about your health, check out proton therapy.

Hire a Local Videographer

You want a professional to create a wedding DVD; using a local service is cheaper and if possible, have a face-to-face meeting with the videographer, which gives you a chance to connect. A brief chat about how you want your wedding filmed (angles etc) and any special features you include.

Health Insurance

If your partner is a citizen, they will probably have some form of health insurance; you can easily find an online insurance broker to get good health insurance; hospital treatment can be very expensive.  It is easy to compare quotes online.

Include the Honeymoon

Many couples choose a wedding venue where they can stay for a couple of weeks, killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. As soon as the reception is over, you are already at your honeymoon venue; no flights to catch or packing, which is very convenient. This will save you quite a bit in airfares and that time can be better spent being with your soulmate.

Contact Your Embassy

You will receive the best advice if you contact your embassy; they have experience helping their citizens to marry; a single visit should be enough for you to prepare all documentation and translations. Of course, some embassies are better than others

If you are planning to live with your new wife in her home country, don’t forget you will need a long-term visa, which you should apply for prior to the wedding. If your target country is the Philippines, the process of marrying a local and obtaining a marriage visa is relatively straightforward; many couples use a local visa agent, who has a working relationship with government departments.

So, with everything arranged, you are your bride can get ready for what will be an occasion to cherish, then after a few weeks on honeymoon, you can embark on your new life together.


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