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On distant shores. Getting married abroad.

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It sounds romantic, getting married on a Spanish beach, or in an Italian vineyard, and many couples are opting for a foreign wedding. The good news is that at least 60% of Irish people said they would travel for a wedding abroad.

The bad news of course is that if you invited 100 people to your wedding, that means 40 of them won’t be prepared to travel to your wedding. The people least likely to travel are the elderly, so your granny most probably won’t be attending. Couples with small children may also decide that the effort of traveling with a baby might not be worth it.

Depending on the cost, some of your younger friends, those who are studying or just starting work might not be able to afford it. If your wedding is a short hop on a budget flight to Spain this is most probably not a problem, but a short stay in a Swiss ski resort for your wedding may not be in everyone's budget. In the same survey, guests made it clear that if they are traveling abroad for a wedding then the couple shouldn’t expect wedding gifts as well.

There are also the practical considerations. If you want a traditional wedding, will you find a Roman Catholic English-speaking priest in Switzerland? Would the food in Germany be to the taste of all your wedding guests? Would the Portuguese DJ or wedding band know the Irish songs to play at your wedding?

An important consideration is the cost and planning. Having your wedding outside of Ireland can easily double the cost of your wedding. The amount of planning is also doubled - do you travel to check the venue, do you book the hotels and the transport for the guests to and from the venue, are you sure that the Spanish person on the other end of the phone has understood your concerns?

Lastly, having your wedding abroad increases the chances of something going wrong. Missed flights, bad weather, language confusion, unfamiliar travel arrangements and so forth. So, it sounds romantic and could be a wonderful experience, and as long as you know what you are getting into, it could well be the experience of a lifetime.