Guest Post By: Michelle Hutchison
Putting a ring on it is often one of the more expensive engagements made during a lifetime. Deciding to say ‘I do’ at an overseas location, and you could be increasing the accumulative cost of your wedding substantially. Depending on the destination of choice, getting married abroad could see newlyweds fork out much more in comparison to a traditional wedding on home-soil. But hey, it’s rumoured to be one of the biggest days of your life, so if getting married in an exotic country on the other side of the world is what you want, then we’re not here to convince you otherwise!
Before you depart however, consider implementing a few tactics that could see you save on your international wedding.
Keep your venues close in proximity
Sure, the deep Amazon jungle might make for a nice, leafy-green backdrop or perhaps a shot above the tree line on a snowy mountain in Switzerland would look incredible framed on your mantlepiece. However don’t forget to consider the cost (and the convenience) of carting yourself and your guests to and from different locations. Try and find a venue that offers the opportunity to hold both the ceremony and reception within walking distance to avoid a transport fee. Alternatively, utilize the natural, outdoor beauty of your chosen destination to save on a venue fee entirely. If you can locate a venue that rests off a beach, a mountain, a national park, perhaps you could use the open space free of charge for your ceremony and then walk to the venue for a hired reception.
Don’t get carried away and book the two handful of places you fall in love with as they could be a half hour drive away from one another and not only will it cost you, but it’ll disrupt your wedding and the atmosphere in between.
Join local forums
Doing some prior research on your destination is a great way to grab some saving advice. Seeking out online forum discussions and interacting with people who’ve already experienced what you’re about to is the best way to source savings tips and tricks.
Online forums will reveal trends, common money mistakes, fraud tactics to keep an eye out for and might even contain the details of local, trusted individuals who are able to help you with your marriage set-up. Start networking with others who’ve tied the knot at your destination of choice and see what recommendations they have.
One of the biggest money mistakes anyone venturing cross-country can make, is not taking out insurance. If something terrible was to interrupt your trip, the start of your marriage could see you paying off an unforeseen incident and venturing deeper and deeper into debt rather than looking at putting down a mortgage or investing in assets.
Many third-world countries are popular wedding destinations as they generally offer cheaper alternatives, however typically, health and safety standards aren’t generally as high and there’s consequently an accelerated chance of confronting injury, theft or illness. Purchasing insurance when travelling internationally protects you from unpredictable disasters that’ll have a far worse financial strain if they were to occur when uninsured.
Open an international money transfer account
Once you’re overseas, it’s likely that last-minute planning will lead to last-minute finances needing to be transferred between countries. Online specialty providers will typically offer a better rate than your usual bank, and often, if you’re setting up an account as a first-time user, you might even be eligible for new-customer rewards. An online international money transfer account will also allow for those wanting to help with preparations from home transfer money effortlessly and without being subject to a high transaction fee.
Do some research on your money transfer options, like this guide on sending money to specific countries will come in handy once you’ve chosen your destination.
It’s very easy to be tempted into purchasing a packaged deal with everything included. Although packages should come with the assurance of a hassle-free day, you could be paying for expensive extras you don’t need. Your guests are capable to double as designers when it comes to set-up, a buffet style layout will save a catering service fee and a pre-purchased alcohol package could even save you from having to hire a bartender. Consider the elements you’re able to pull off without assistance that comes at a cost and purchase other services individually.
Michelle Hutchison is a Money Expert at personal finance comparison website finder.com. Michelle loves to hunt down great value deals, including for her own wedding.