Other than organizing a traditional wedding banquet, some couples tend to have overseas wedding…
Apart from avoiding to deal with a complicated traditional wedding, more couples keen to combine their wedding and honey moon…
…and they may also look for something different to make their Big Day even more special and memorable.
However, despite the cost, things you should consider for planning a wedding abroad is not less than a traditional wedding.
The matter of fact is…
…No matter you are organizing a wedding abroad yourself or joining an overseas wedding package…
…there are quite a lot of things and paperwork you need to prepare.
And to ensure that you can put everything into account and take the best way to celebrate your special day…
… INES WEDDINGS has prepared 11 overseas wedding tips for you:
1. Is Joining An Overseas Package Necessary?
If you are not joining any wedding abroad package or not hiring a wedding planner…
…then, you need to prepare all the documents by yourself. (For example, Non-Spouse Certificate, Notarization, Translation…etc.)
You need to prepare wedding dress and tuxedo by yourself.
Moreover, you have to find a local agent to help you on submitting documents in the region where the wedding take place.
Thus, it’s not a bad thing to join an all-done-for-you package, right?
2. Procedure for overseas wedding
The procedure for holding a wedding ceremony in foreign country is more complicated than in Hong Kong.
The documentation may vary from country to country, for example, some of the country requires you to have a non-spouse certificate.
Some requires yours and your partner’s Birth certificate and passport.
You may also need to go to the local notary office, health ministry and licensing office for the paperwork.
The best practice?
Make you decision with your appointed overseas wedding company 3-9 months or so before you tie the knot…
…so they can have enough time to prepare your big day.
If you plan to have the wedding on the specific festivals such as Christmas day or Valentine’s day…
… you probably need to make the appointment 1 year before or even earlier.
Also, please be aware that if the date of your marriage certificate match with the actual date as there may be time zone difference between countries.
3. Make Sure You Know Your Marriage Is Legally Recognized In Hong Kong
Before you plan your overseas wedding, check the legalities carefully.
Generally speaking, marriages held abroad are usually recognized in Hong Kong if they comply with the law of the country in which the wedding took place.
However, each country has its own laws and for a marriage to be valid.
In other words, it all depends if your wedding is following the local procedures legally.
4.Different types of marriage ceremony
It is important for all who wants to get married abroad to be clear about the different marriage ceremonies.
This could directly affect your choice of wedding destinations, wedding ceremony and the legality of the marriage.
Here is the different types of marriage ceremony:
Legal Religious Wedding －Religious Proof Needed
Legal wedding usually hosted by Priest / Pastor / Monk / Minister and performed in Religious way. The couples will need to provide Religious proof (Baptism Certificate.)
E.g. Catholic Churches
Legal Religious Wedding －NO Religious Proof Needed
Legal wedding hosted by Priest / Pastor / Monk / Minister and performed in Religious way. No need to provide Religious proof.
E.g. Christian Churches(Like the Béthanie Chapel in Hong Kong)
Civil Wedding －Non-Religious Legal Ceremony
Legal wedding hosted by Civil Minister and performed in civil way
Religious Wedding －Religious Proof Needed, NOT Legally Binding
Religious wedding hosted by Priest / Pastor / Monk and performed in Religious way and it’s not legally binding.
The couples will need to provide Religious proof (Baptism Certificate.)
E.g. Catholic Churches
Religious Wedding －NO Religious Proof Needed, NOT Legally Binding
Religious wedding hosted by Priest / Pastor / Monk and performed in Religious way and it’s not legally binding. No need to provide Religious proof.
E.g. Christian Churches
Symbolic Wedding－NOT Legally Binding, Non-Religious Ceremony
Symbolic wedding hosted by Master of Wedding Ceremony and performed in Non-Religious way and it’s not legally binding.
It is for those couples who would legally register their marriage in the chosen country but want a Non-Religious wedding ceremony.
So, what if you and your partner are not disciple but want a church wedding?
Don’t worry. In some country, you can marry in church regardless of your beliefs, even if you are not a regular churchgoer.
5. Legal Religious Wedding
And most of the religions are recognized including Catholic, Christian, Protestant, Orthodox, Moslem, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu.
However, in some country, only being legally married during the wedding ceremony is accepted.
Thus, if you want to hold a religious wedding in those countries, you better get a marriage certificate first and celebrate your “official” marriage at a later date and time in there.
6. Flexibility Of Symbolic Wedding Ceremonies
… it offers more flexibility as it can be held in any rented places such as castles, opera houses, museums, yachts and even private mansions, or any outdoor venues(like beach)
Without any legal restrictions, the Symbolic Wedding is best for married couples who have gone through the traditional wedding in HK…
…and look for another private knot tying ceremony in foreign country, followed by a sweet honeymoon trip.
Some non-religious couples, for example, dream to have their weddings to be blessed in churches.
Some simply want to say their marriage vow once again to their loved ones.
And some are keen to have the weddings in countries where foreigners are uneasy to be issued official marriage certificates.
Remember, pay close attention to which overseas wedding organizing company you choose…
…if you want to get married legally as some of the company only provide symbolic weddings.
7. Is it necessary to register for marriage again in Hong Kong?
It’s depends on which types of marriage ceremony you choose.
If the foreign marriage celebrated outside Hong Kong is in accordance with the law in force at the time and in the place where the marriage was performed…
…it is generally recognized in Hong Kong as a valid marriage and you don’t need to register again in Hong Kong.
8. Will my marriage application get rejected?
However, in case if you have lost your originals documents or the proofs are insufficient, they have the rights to reject your application.
If your application is unfortunately rejected, some overseas wedding agencies would refund your deposits after deducting the paid cost.
Therefore, it is important for you to make sure the refund policy of the wedding agency before you hire them for your big day.
9. Expense of Wedding Abroad
In terms of wedding expenses, there is only little difference between country and country.
It all depends on the length of your vacation, wedding date, the location you choose and your whole budget.
The average price of overseas wedding packages all inclusive of different company in Hong Kong generally start from HKD 20,000 – 50,000.
And these package includes a set of wedding dress and tuxedo, with a legal wedding certificate.
Packages’ content is mainly depending on different locations.
For some Asia destinations wedding packages all inclusive, 2 flight tickets and few nights accommodations would be provided.
10. Steps To Plan Your Overseas Wedding
And, do research with your desired wedding date, religion, type of passport you’re holding, etc.
Here’s are the 9 details to plan your eloping overseas wedding:
- Flight Ticket: It is more secure book with travel agent.
- Hotel & Transportation: Let the travel agency to arrange is more convenient.
- Wedding dress & Tuxedo: Choose your wedding dress in Hong Kong first will save you a lot of time in the wedding.
- Church & Staff member: Better for you to choose a wedding company which also has local office set up to make an appropriate arrangement.
- Music & Ceremony: Choose the music you love and let your wedding planner help you with the ceremony.
- Wedding Photography: Pay attention to the extra charge for some projects.
- Meal Arrangement: You can arrange by yourself or choose the company with full board service.
- Guest Arrangement: Try to find a company that could offer flexible arrangement for your guest. i.e. flight and accommodation package
- Travel Insurance: Don’t forget to purchase your travel insurance.
If you hire an overseas wedding agency, they will help you with all the documents and paperwork and make the reservation, followed by flight tickets and hotel reservation.
All you have to do is just make the choice!
11. A Popular Wedding Abroad Destination Could Make Everything Easier!
In Asia, Bali is now the hottest spot for those looking to get married off the map.
Taiwan, Guam, Okinawa and Phuket are also popular.
In Europe, the romantic of Italy and the little white houses in Greece are always people’s first choice.
And for Australia and New Zealand, couples are just in love with Sydney and Gold Coast.
For United States, the most popular spot must be Hawaii.
Most of the wedding abroad company in Hong Kong has offer various wedding services in the countries that mentioned above.
Therefore if you choose a popular destination, the whole process and your big day will definitely be more smoother and more successful.