(Closed) Getting married internationally. In a month. HELP!!

posted 7 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I just started planning an international wedding and can relate to the stress.  How small is the budget that you’re working with and have you decided on getting married here or in Belgium?

Just recently I came across videographers as well as independent vendors that will live stream a wedding through websites or in some cases, direct connections.  Personally, we’re planning on having a buffet thing set up in New York for anyone from here who can’t make it and give all the details to an uncle that doesn’t live close so that they can still “attend” the wedding.

Here’s what we’re doing to make $8k wedding happen:

To save money on a venue, we’re asking his aunt who has a beautiful yard if we can have the ceremony and reception there.  For food, even in a different time zone, we’re doing brunch because it’s easier on the wallet and for picky eaters like me!  But we’re also making as much of the food as possible by ourselves and providing all sodas/juices/milks.  We originally priced out a string quartet but might be going with an iPod for music to further increase our budget for other things. I’m making the centerpieces and aisle decorations myself with flowers provided by my garden and easy to make paper poms (I think they’re costing me like $2 each).  Our biggest costs will be the photographer, videographer, and the food back in New York.  I haven’t even gotten around to a dress but my tastes seem to be around the $800 mark.

You can also always throw a blowout bash for your five year anniversary and let people know that’s your plan.

I hope at least some of this helped.


Post # 5
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

@redorchid86:  No problem!  I definitely agree with the getting married where you’re going to be living.  Originially we were planning on getting married in California but it was more than double what we could even see spending on a wedding.  I do envy your guest list!  My SO’s family is huge and I think we’re getting away with 72 between the NY thing (I have no idea what to call it, viewing?) and the wedding/reception in NZ.  Another thing I forgot to mention is that sometimes a weekday wedding can be less costly because it isn’t usual for vendors to have work on that day.

Post # 7
2889 posts
Sugar bee

So exciting! I’ve never beeen to a wedding in Belgium but, if it is similar at all to Germany, you should be good. Doing the week day thing followed by a toast of sparkling wine outside (in nice weather) and then an intimate lunch for your friends and family would totally be normal here. I would imagine your Fiance could suggest a caterer or a restaurantand take care of the logistics of that. Most Europeans don’t do bridesmaids the way they are done in the US so you will most likely just need to be sure you guys have a witness. Since you don’t speak the language, see if you need a translator. In my exerience, we were required to have a translator (because I was not a native speaker) but it could be anyone so Darling Husband asked his best man to also be the translator. Even if you think you could be fine, it was super nice for my parents to have someone translate the whole thing. In my experience, people in Belgium are very friendly and love a good party so if all else fails, provide plenty of beer and wine and you will have a great wedding reception 🙂 Since it is a small country with a lot of languages, I think you should also get around quite well speaking English. I have not had any problems in Brussels but if you are in a smaller city it may be more of a challenge. Good luck on your wedding and your move!

Post # 8
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Having a small wedding is very normal here in Europe, normally they are much smaller than in the US, and in general you don’t need as much anticipation and organisation !

You can find flowers and catering budget friendly without any doubt and have a beautiful and intimate wedding

Check this web site from a belgian caterer, is in english http://www.paulus.be/en/



Post # 9
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

@redorchid86:  Well I’m from Rochester, NY and he’s from the Taranaki region of New Zealand.  We figured California would be a good place because then it would be equally unfair to everyone and we have a few mutual friends, one who even gave me the recommendation for the venue, that live close by.  I think by the time the prices came out it would’ve been in the neighborhood of $25,000 for a wedding with maybe 20 guests, and to both of us, that’s ridiculous!  We want a little more bang for our buck which is why I’m trying to do so much DIY even if it takes me time to do it.  For the year that I’ll be living there before we actually tie the knot, I’m restricted to “casual employment” which I guess means less than 25 hours a week?

Thankfully, we still have about 2 years before we’ll be able to actually get married so it gives us time to get the funds together.  Now we just have to decide on a real date.

Post # 10
651 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012


I live in a neighbouring country (The Netherlands). I assume things are not too different so first things first, did you apply to get married already?!

In Holland, the couple needs to apply to get married (ondertrouw) at least 1 month before the wedding. For this, you need a single status (which you probably have already since you’re applying for the visa) certificate/declaration and possibly some other documents. Please ask your fiancé to check for you (if he hasn’t already).

$2000 is a pretty small budgetif it includes a dress, suit, ceremonial fee etc. but it’s doable if you’re not too picky. What works in your favour is at least in NL, it’s OK to invite certain people for dinner and others only for the ‘party’.

I don’t know the prices in Belgium but in NL, if you’re not too picky, you could get away with the below:

i) Dress (2nd hand) 200 euro. New: AT LEAST 600 euro for no-brand dress.

ii) Suit: off-the-rack from a department store: 120 euro

iii) Bridal bouquet: 40 euro (simple, basic flowers and simply tied together. Best to say it’s for a low table centerpiece instead of “wedding”). Boutonniere about 5 euro if it’s very simple.

iv) Get married during the free half an hour (in most city halls, between 9.00a.m.-9.30a.m. on Mondays). You do have to pay about 50 euros for the ‘marriage book’ (basically it’s the official document that you guys are married). If you do not marry during the free period, it’s at least 350 euro. On Fridays, it’s about 750 and during the weekend, it’s about 1000. Depends on your city hall.If you get married in his parents’ courtyard, you might have to apply for special permission and in any event, the official celebrant is about 600 euro or so (unless you get married legally during the free hour and get a friend or something to conduct the ceremony)

v) If you get a basic basic buffet (European Chinese food), no decor, it’ll be about 14 euro p.p. for food.

vi) You can buy drinks from certain supermarkets on consignment.

vii) If you want a party, you need to rent a hall/bar/cafe. This will be at least 250 euro but if you are lucky, you can bargain with the place and see if they can let you have the place in return for a certain amount of drinks (drink are about 2 euro each). For unlimited drinks, it’ll be at least 6 euro per hour per person.

viii) Student photographer/videographer. Maybe around 200 euro-ish without album. Pros are at least 1500 euro incl. album.

x) make-up. DIY but actually, pros aren’t expensive. 100 euro-ish. 150 euro if you want a facial thrown in.

Will the above be elegant? No. BUT it could be charming especially if you for eg. do a barbecue/picnic, DIY flowers etc.

Please let me know if you have more questions. Happy to help:) Was a foreign bride as well

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