Expat Wedding: A Guide for Tying the Knot Abroad

31 May 2024·0 min read

Planning a wedding abroad might seem complex, but many choose to get married overseas. This guide will help you plan your dream with ease. Our team at Easy Wedding ( includes both locals and expats. We are here to ensure your special day is truly unforgettable from start to finish.

Key Takeaways

  • Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular among expatriates.
  • It’s important to know the legal rules for marriages abroad, as they differ from your home country.
  • Think about how your guests will travel to your .
  • A professional wedding planner can ease the stress and help deal with cultural and legal issues.
  • Adding local traditions to your wedding can make it special and memorable.

Choosing Your Wedding Destination as an Expat

Finding the best place for your expat wedding means looking into the local laws and how easy it is for guests. It’s important to know what’s required by law and in terms of logistics in your chosen spot. Think about what makes a location special for both you and your partner. You could mix traditions for a one-of-a-kind ceremony.

Consider places with stunning settings that fit your dream. Destination weddings are more common now. You might check out popular spots or explore new, personal ideas.

Deciding on a location

Planning an expat wedding requires digging into the local rules in your choice place. Getting married in another country means you need to follow its laws, not just your own. Remember to look into what paperwork you’ll need, like marriage permits or any stay requirements.

How you plan your wedding will largely depend on the laws there. For example, some spots need you to live there for a bit before the wedding. Others have rules on how foreigners can get married. So, the legal side is a big deal in your planning.

Understanding local laws and regulations

Organizing an expat wedding also involves thinking about your guests coming from afar. It’s about making sure they have a place to stay, a way to get around, and their travel papers straight. Give your guests all the details early so they can get ready.

Don’t forget about language or cultural hurdles your guests might face. Offering translations or sending invites in their language can mean a lot. It helps everyone be part of the wedding in the best way.

Considering logistics for loved ones

Tips for Saving Money on Your expat wedding

Planning an expat wedding, destination wedding, or overseas marriage can be thrilling but overwhelming. It’s even more challenging when you think about the expenses. Yet, making smart choices can slash your costs. This lets you have a dream international nuptials, cross-cultural unions, expatriate ceremonies, or multicultural weddings without breaking the bank.

Avoiding peak wedding season

Choosing a time off from the peak wedding season can save you lots. Off-peak months mean you spend less on the wedding place and places to stay. You get more choices for where to hold your wedding and who to hire. It also means you get decent weather without the high costs.

This decision is key early on. Why? It influences many other parts of planning your international nuptials, cross-cultural unions, and expatriate ceremonies. By picking the right time, you make things easier and cheaper.

Skipping traditional bachelor/bachelorette parties

For expats, cutting out the usual bachelor and bachelorette parties can save money. Instead, why not do group activities? It’s a more affordable and enjoyable option, especially if guests are coming from far away. This way, expat couples focus on spending memorable times with those close to them.

Opting for a hotel wedding

Choosing a hotel for your wedding simplifies a lot. Many hotels have packages that include everything you need. This includes food, staying overnight, and organizing the big day. It takes a load off your shoulders, making it an excellent choice for expats planning a destination wedding or overseas marriage.

Hotels are used to hosting weddings with all kinds of traditions and languages. They often have experts who can help. Having your ceremony and party at the same place is also very convenient.

Considering translation needs

When you’re having an expat wedding, translation is very important. It’s crucial that everyone understands the legalities and the ceremony. A professional translator can make sure both parties know what’s happening. Don’t forget to translate your invites and programs too. This makes all guests feel welcome and part of the event.

For a successful international nuptials, cross-cultural unions, and expatriate ceremonies, good communication is key. Making sure everyone understands through translations is a big part of that. So always have a plan for managing the language differences.

Early Preparation for Your Expat Wedding

Start planning your expat wedding soon to make everything go smoothly. Make a plan for tasks like looking into local marriage rules, picking venues, and setting up where guests will stay. Keep in touch with people who are helping you, and make sure to communicate well with those in charge at your wedding spot. This will help you avoid problems right before your big day. Also, use tools like destination wedding planner books or online lists to keep organized and not miss anything important. It’s smart to check the local rules for marrying in your chosen spot early. Doing your homework will make managing things like paperwork, visas, and the legal stuff easier.

Planning ahead and being well-prepared can lower the stress of marrying abroad. This careful planning will assure your cross-cultural union or expatriate ceremony is a lovely and smooth event. Including some local multicultural customs can make your global vows and transnational celebrations extra special.

Relying on Yourself for Wedding Planning

Planning your expat wedding on your own is key to a smooth journey. Doing everything yourself helps ensure each detail is just as you want. It means you can make your wedding special with your own customs, making it memorable for you and your guests.

Being at the heart of your wedding planning as an expat is empowering. You pick the place, work with suppliers, and more. This way, your destination wedding or overseas marriage shows your special cross-cultural unions and expatriate ceremonies. It lets you bond deeply with your multicultural weddings and foreign matrimony. You end up with truly unforgettable global vows and transnational celebrations.

Taking charge in your expat wedding planning also lets you mix in traditions from your past and present. This personal touch can make your day more special. It shows off your cross-cultural union in the perfect way.

Expat Wedding Planning

Getting hands-on with planning lets you truly understand all the steps needed for a destination wedding in another country. This deep dive is rewarding. It helps you value the unique beauty of your overseas marriage and expatriate ceremonies.

Consulting with Professionals for Guidance

Planning your expat wedding? Talking to a destination wedding planner is key. They know about local laws and customs, making things easier for you. They can also help with understanding the legal side of expat marriages.

Hiring a bilingual wedding coordinator is a good idea. They can help you talk to vendors and officials without language barriers. With their help, the process becomes smoother and less stressful.

Getting advice from experts on international nuptials and cross-cultural unions is very helpful. They will handle everything from working with local suppliers to making sure your expatriate ceremony is memorable. Their experience is essential for successful global vows and transnational celebrations.

Navigating Marriage as an Expat

Tying the knot as an expat involves understanding the legal steps. You might be a non-citizen marrying in the USA or living in the States as an expat couple. Either way, knowing the required actions is key to a smooth marriage.

Requirements for marrying a non-citizen in the USA

Non-citizens marrying in the USA need a marriage visa or must adjust their status through marriage. This applies to U.S. citizens or those with a green card. For a green card marriage, you have to complete Form I-130 and Form I-485. These show your marriage is real and allow the process to move forward. If you’re an expat marrying a non-citizen in the USA, remember that the laws may change depending on where your partner is from.

Options for expat couples living in the USA

If you’re living in the USA as an expat couple, you have some paths to marriage. A civil ceremony at a local courthouse or city hall is one option. This is often the simplest way for ceremonies.

Researching the Country’s Marriage Laws

For your expat wedding to be recognized legally, different rules apply. In France, you need a residence permit that’s 40 days old. If you wish to marry in Spain, you must show you’ve lived there for two years. Some places require both partners to share the same religion for a religious ceremony. Same-sex marriages often involve more paperwork and might not be allowed everywhere. It’s best to first check with the local council where you plan to marry. Then, make sure your marriage will be valid in your home country by contacting your embassy.

Country Marriage Requirements
France At least one partner must have a residence permit at least 40 days old.
Spain Proof of residing in the country for at least two years is required.
Italy or Croatia U.S. citizens do not have to meet an official residency requirement.
Bahamas Couples must be present for 24 hours before the marriage application.
China One spouse must become a permanent resident before the wedding.
United States Only one legal spouse is recognized, and polygamy is not permissible.

Each place has its own set of marriage laws. So, it’s crucial to consult a family law attorney before an international wedding.

Embracing the Regional Culture

Getting married abroad lets you dive into local customs and food. It’s a great way to learn about the traditions, flavors, and beliefs of the area. In Italy, they give out sugar-covered almonds as parting gifts wrapped in tulle. This dates back to Roman times and signifies family life. At a Filipino wedding, the couple sets doves free, showing their wish for a peaceful life together. In Germany, newlyweds prove their teamwork by sawing a log in two.

You choose how much local culture you want in your international wedding. It can be a fun way to connect with your guest from the new country. And, it shows your respect for their traditions.

Embracing regional culture makes your wedding unforgettable. It honors the place you’re in and gives everyone a true sense of the area’s spirit. This deepens the celebration and adds special meaning for you and your guests.

From releasing doves in the Philippines to log-cutting in Germany, each tradition brings meaning. It makes your wedding unique and offers a rich experience. Your transnational celebrations will be a cherished memory for all.

Hiring a Local Wedding Planner

Planning a wedding is a big task that can be stressful. A wedding planner can help a lot, especially for weddings far from home. They know the area and speak the language, making planning easier.

Your planner will find the best suppliers and venues to fit your budget. They’ll talk with vendors for you and handle things in the local language. But, they should always keep you updated on the plans and costs.

To find the right wedding planner, ask for help in expat forums. You can also check expat websites for recommendations. This way, you can get a planner who’s the best fit for your big day.

expat wedding planner

Supporting Your International Guests

Organizing a wedding in a different country means your guests travel far. They’re making a big effort to join you. You should help make their trip as easy as possible.

Give your guests lots of details about the wedding location and dates three months early. This will help them plan better. Also, share a list of nearby places to stay if you’re not providing lodging. Let them know their options for a comfortable stay.

Also, tell them about the weather and food in the area. Offer advice on clothing and how to get around. Stay available to answer their questions. This shows you care and want their experience to be great.

By sharing all the information, you can help your international guests have a smooth time. They will enjoy your wedding even more, feeling truly included in your special day.

Marriage Trends and Attitudes in Switzerland

In Switzerland, marriages are becoming less common. The number of couples getting married is going down. Figures from the Federal Statistical Office show that 38,200 couples got married in 2019. This was 6.2% fewer than in 2018.

This trend is visible for all kinds of marriages, whether Swiss, foreign, or mixed. Marriages involving foreign people saw the biggest drop, down by 13.1%. In comparison, Swiss couples had a decrease of 4.6%, and mixed couples fell by 5.1%.

Compared to other European countries, Switzerland had an average number of marriages in 2019. While it may seem surprising compared to countries like Germany, France, and Italy, this is due to changing views on marriage.

Country Total Marriages in 2019
Germany 416,324
France 224,740
Italy 184,088
Switzerland 38,974

This table underlines the clear gap in marriage numbers between Switzerland and its European neighbors. It shows the special situation of marriage in Switzerland.

Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Switzerland

If you plan a wedding in Switzerland, know its legal steps. To marry here, both must be 18 or older. They need to be able to say yes. If you’re not Swiss and plan to marry here, you must have a legal right to live in Switzerland then.

Necessary Paperwork and Documentation

For a Swiss wedding, you must show you’re free to marry. This means you’ve never been married or are single again. You need documents like birth certificates and if previously married, divorce papers or the former spouse’s death certificate.

All these papers must have an Apostille if from another country. They should be new, not older than six months. Learn about Apostille stamps here. Start collecting these documents early to avoid delays.

Getting Married in Switzerland: The Procedure

If you want a civil marriage in Switzerland, begin by filing a request and providing documents to the local civil registry office. After this, the wait can be up to 5 weeks.

This waiting period allows for the publication of bans. It’s a necessary part of ensuring that your marriage is recognized, especially for international nuptials or cross-cultural unions.


What factors should be considered when choosing a destination for an expat wedding?

When picking your expat wedding spot, keep key things in mind. Check local laws and how guests will get there. Think about the feel and vibe of the place too.

Be sure to look into what legal stuff and plans your place of choice needs. This comes before you make any big decisions.

Why is it crucial to understand the local laws and regulations when planning an expat wedding?

Knowing the laws of your chosen spot is a must. They can be very different from home. Be alert about needed paperwork and if you must live there for a bit first.

How can expat couples consider the needs of their international guests when planning a destination wedding?

For your international guests, plan ahead. Sort out where they’ll stay and how they’ll move around. Also, make sure they know all about the wedding details early on.

How can expat couples save money when planning their wedding abroad?

Plan your wedding for a less busy time. This could save you money on many things. Also, think about doing things a bit less formally to cut some costs.

Why is translation a crucial consideration for expat weddings?

For your wedding, translation is key. You want everyone to understand what’s going on. A pro translator will help a lot.

What are the benefits of starting the planning process for an expat wedding early?

Starting early makes everything smoother. Set up a timeline for all the steps. This includes the paperwork and any legal requirements.

Why is self-reliance important when planning an expat wedding?

Helping out yourself is big for a good wedding abroad. It lets you make your day exactly as you want. You also get to add your own special cultural touch.

How can expat couples benefit from consulting with professionals when planning a destination wedding?

Talking to experts can be a real help. They know the local scene and can make things easier. This includes wedding planners and even lawyers for marriage laws.

What are the legal requirements for non-citizens marrying in the USA?

To marry in the USA, non-citizens need a special visa or to be sponsored for residency. This is important for the marriage to be legal.

What options do expat couples living in the USA have for getting married?

In the USA, expat couples can have a simple civil ceremony. This means getting married at a courthouse or city hall. It’s a good choice for non-citizens too.

What are the typical legal requirements for getting married in countries abroad?

For weddings overseas, countries might need you to live there for a bit first. Bring your paperwork to prove who you are. If it’s a religious ceremony, they might want you to share the same faith.

How can expat couples embrace the regional culture of their wedding destination?

Having your wedding abroad means you can celebrate local traditions. Use the local flavors and customs to help share your host country’s culture with guests.

What are the benefits of hiring a local wedding planner for an expat wedding?

A local planner knows all about the area and the language. They can make sure everything looks and feels just right. They also help with getting the best deals and avoiding cultural slip-ups.

How can expat couples support their international guests attending the wedding?

Since most guests will travel far for the wedding, give them lots of info early. Help them find a place to stay and make their trip as easy as possible.

What are the current marriage trends and attitudes in Switzerland?

Marriage in Switzerland has been getting less common. This is especially true for those from other places. People seem to be changing their views on marriage.

What are the legal requirements for getting married in Switzerland?

Thinking of tying the knot in Switzerland? Make sure you’re of legal age and have all the documents. You’ll also need to fill out a marriage form for the local office.