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  • Writer's pictureChloe Christine

4 Things You Should Know Before Getting Married Abroad

Getting married abroad is a popular choice for Brits. We're not saying that you can't have a perfect wedding in your own country, but with the increase of people getting married abroad, we thought it was important to note the top 4 things you need to know before getting married outside of the UK.

Legal Requirements

The laws for getting married differ from country to country. It's essential to study each country's marriage rules and requirements before you decide to tie the knot. If you're not sure what you're doing, consult relevant embassies for guidance. Some countries require people to be an inhabitant of the country they want to get married in, before they can obtain a marriage license or have their wedding ceremony performed there.

To be able to marry in France, for example, you must complete a civil marriage before a religious ceremony. Indeed, to even get that far in the process one of you would have to have resided in France for at least 40 days prior to the wedding to comply with the residency requirement.


It is common for a couple to have to submit documentation and information when planning a wedding in a different country. This tends to mean birth certificates, divorce documentation (where relevant) and a Certificate of No Impediment (a document which states that you are free to marry available from your local Register Office). You may be expected to apostille these documents.

After the wedding, if possible, obtain several certified copies of the extract marriage certificate locally. Getting an extract marriage certificate from the country you were married in, when you're back in the UK, is often a time-consuming process.

Legality in the UK

Marriages made in any country are automatically recognised in the UK if you have a valid marriage contract (a marriage certificate) from the country where you got married. That's so long as you had capacity (that is, legal ability in terms of your age, consent and mental awareness) to marry in the UK at the time of your foreign nuptials.

If you need to divorce ...

There is a common misconception that the country you married in or the country you lived in before your marriage breaks down is relevant in terms of a divorce. In actual fact, it is the country that you live in or that you are domiciled in when the marriage breaks down that is important in terms of a divorce.

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