One sixth of Britons now marry abroad. Alice Olins went to three weddings last year – in Italy, South Africa and Florida…
In the last five years, the number of British couples getting married abroad has increased by 43 per cent to an estimated 51,300 in 2008. According to a Mintel report, that’s a whopping 16 per cent of all marriages registered in the UK.
This is extremely good news for the bride and groom. But what about the guests?
Well it certainly beats the local registry office. But being invited to a wedding abroad involves more than just the celebration.
There’s the cost for one. Then the extra days out of the office. And what about the fact that you might be travelling to a destination you wouldn’t previously have considered?
When you break it down, sometimes a wedding abroad can feel more like a burden than a joy.
Last year I was invited to – and attended – four destination weddings. This makes me well placed to suggest some ways in which you can make this unexpected addition to your travel plans still feel like a worthwhile holiday.
My foreign wedding relay kicked off with a colleague’s alpine nuptials in Chamonix. The next leg was at a South African vineyard, where my fiancée (for the record, the furthest we are dragging our own guests is West Sussex) was best man.
Then in May, we headed to Italy for my brother’s wedding in a Piedmont castle. And finally it was on to Miami in October, where a British friend of mine married her Argentine love.
I do not want to sound spoilt, it was an amazing year of travel but thanks to all these overseas marriages, I now have an aching overdraft and no more holiday time.
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