Question for couples w/SO from another country, how did you handle your wedding?

posted 11 months ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 2
1149 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I’m US and SO is NZ and we live in Europe — not an easy decision. We sat down and looked at guest list to figure out where would be easiest for the maximum number of guests and decided to have our ‘main’ wedding there. 

Our ‘main’ wedding was in the US and only his immediate family plus one uncle/aunt combo were able to attend. Luckily SO had done his MBA there so had friends who attended. We then had a NZ wedding for the family and friends of his who couldn’t make it to US but this was probably only ~40 people and we just had a less formal affair (probably paid ~5k tops all in for the event). 

Some of our EU friends joined for the US wedding but they were the group that was largely left out. However we also knew that these were the friends that are less certain for the future since once we leave EU many of those ties will fade. 

Post # 3
641 posts
Busy bee

I’m British, fiancé is Spanish. So it’s not as bad for us as it’s a 2.5 hour flight from the uk to Spain. However, does still entail a flight. 

I always knew I wanted the wedding in Spain. We have the weather here 😜 I live in Spain with my fiancé. We have decided we will sign everything and legally get married a few days before, then the day of the ‘wedding’ we will have my best friend and his best friend stood up as the officiants so that it can be in English and Spanish πŸ™‚

We are decidíng what time to start the ceremony. In the uk it’s normal to start around 1:30pm but in Spain it’s normal to start at 7pm. Also trying to work out what to do about the speeches – whether we miss them out completely or have them translated…

The venue of our wedding has a farm house included which can sleep up to 16 people so me and my family are there from fri-mon, with my friends staying in hotels in a town close by. We will meet everyone for drinks Friday, Saturday is the wedding and a bus will collect everyone. Sunday we are inviting everyone back to the venue for paella and Monday everyone is going back home (luckily that particular Monday is a bank holiday in the uk). However of course people can stay as long or short as they like. One of my friends is coming with all her family and they’re staying in a villa with a pool close by for 2 weeks and making it their annual hholiday. Then she’s got her mum to babysit her baby for her as she’s at the wedding πŸ˜‰

That is our plan so far πŸ™‚

Post # 4
145 posts
Blushing bee

I’m from Australia, he’s from Germany. We had the wedding in Australia for two reasons. Firstly, his closest family members were more able to afford the airfares than mine, and secondly, we would be going to live in Germany so it seemed fair. His family threw a party for us when we went back to Germany. We didn’t ask them to, it was their idea and very kind. I got to meet all the aunts, uncles, cousins who couldn’t attend the wedding. 

Post # 5
9080 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

i attended a wedding where this was the situation.  groom from US, bride from australia.

they had the wedding in the US since they live in australia and will see those friends and family more often.


Post # 6
2698 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I have seen a few options – below.

Groom UK, Bride Austrialian, lived in Cayman Islands. Small wedding in the Caymans – everyone had to travel

Groom UK, Bride Mexican, would live in UK after the wedding. Had a huge wedding in Mexico only about 8 of us came out from the UK but bride had a massive family and she would be leaving them to move after the wedding

Bride UK, Groom Turkish, would live in the UK after, wedding in Turkey because the groom couldn’t get a tourist visa for the UK so they waited until he could get a spousal one.

Groom UK, Bride Maroccan, would live in Morocco, the South Korea after the wedding. Married in Morocco as she wouldn’t have been able to travel with him without being married, plus it was a big deal to say ‘good bye’ to her before moving to Asia.

Bride UK (but PR in Australia), Groom Australian, lived in Australia. Got married there. She had a smaller family but only her parents and a couple of friends were able to travel to the wedding. They started their honeymoon with a trip to the UK and spent some time with those of us who couldn’t travel.

Groom UK, Bride American, lived in US. Married in the states as it was important for the bride to be married at her church. Then held a reception in the UK for his family (about the same size) here it is common to have an evening reception after a destination wedding so I think that helped too. They didn’t wear their wedding outfits (though wish they did) and had a buffet dinner and some dancing.

Lots of options there. It is also worth looking at the legalities of marrying in both locations – which one is easier in terms of paperwork?

Post # 7
266 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

I’m from India, my Fiance is from the States. For the most common reasons – visas, costs, timings, holidays (or lack of), we couldn’t just get married in one place because one side of the family would miss out either way. We decided to do two wedding ceremonies, one in each country, so family and friends from both sides could be there and be part of our day. We’re having a small Indian wedding in January, followed by a small Jewish wedding in the US, after my immigration process is complete. Only our immediate families are flying out to the other country.

Post # 8
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I am from Turkey, my husband is from MA, US. We live in MA. We got married at the city hall in Boston and had our big wedding in my hometown Antalya. My parents and one of my aunts traveled to US, my husband’s brothers came to MA from other states for the civil ceremony. 5 weeks later we had our wedding. The reasons why we choose Antalya are; we have many friends who live all around the world and and no matter where we had our wedding they would have to take a long flight if they decided to come, my husband’s family always wanted to see my hometown and this was a great opportunity, I have lots of relatives and we are a very tight family, it would be very hard for them to take a 9 hour flight, finally we wouldn’t be able to afford a big wedding in US. We had 35 guests came from US and Europe.

Post # 10
30 posts
  • Wedding: December 2018

I’m British and my partner is Australian. I’ve lived here for almost 11 years with our friends, our kids, all of his family etc, it just makes sense to have it in Australia- this is where our life is. A few UK family members will come but mostly it’s just Australian guests – but I’m ok with that.

Post # 11
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

We are currently in the same situation. I am from the US and live here and my future fiance is from Bosnia. My boyfriend has many many friends here and there. Originally we decided on a destination wedding to cut costs and stress, but suddenly he mentioned that he would have to invite at least 100 guests if we did a destination wedding near his home! I know if we had a local wedding would cost us so much and he would probably invite at least as many people if not more. I want his family to be able to celebrate with us, but certainly don’t want to go over budget on a wedding while we are looking to save up for a house. My family can afford to fly anywhere for our wedding whereas his family is limited to basically driving distance. 

For now, we are basically waiting to officially be engaged to settle on anything, but eloping is sounding like the best plan for us unfortunately.

Post # 12
571 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I don’t think my comment will help you in any way but here it goes. 

I am from Sweden but lived mostly in Germany. My immediate family lives in SE, DE, FR and DK. Most of my friends live in Cologne. My husbands immediate family is in the US in AL, FL, TX, GA and PA. The rest is all over the place. He’s moved to much to have close friends. 

We got married in a beautiful Jewish-Hawaiian-American Ceremony on a beach in Maui. Guest: 0 = Stresslevel: 0

I get that this is not everyone’s cup of tea but it was so nice and relaxing and none of that stress I often read about here on the Bee. 

Post # 13
310 posts
Helper bee

I am Canadian (originaly from Cyprus, brought up in Dubai). My fiance is fom Mexico. We ived in Edmonton but I moved to Toronto for a while. Now, we both live in Vancouver. We had discussions to have our wedding either in Mexico, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto or Cyprus. I found out that our close friends would come to our wedding which ever place we had it. After we checked the prices, we decided to go for the cheapest option: Mexico. We also thought of eloping to France and realized that our close freidns and family would invite themselves to Paris. Some of them are already inviting themselves because they really love us and want to be part of our wedding. They are asking me for a date so they can save up for their tickets, etc. We have been together for 7 years and people have been waiting for this moment. Plus, our friends are looking for an excuse to travel to a nice city. We plan to only have around 50-60 people.

You can start a guest list for each city in an excel spread sheet and shop around for prices (that’s what we did). The decision will come to you. 

Post # 14
213 posts
Helper bee

We had two weddings πŸ˜€ I am Armenian, lived in Canada for awhile, immediate family lives in USA, extended family and friends are scattered around the globe. Husband is Swiss, and we are living in Switzerland now. So we had an intimate legal ceremony and dinner with immediate families in USA, and then big wedding with church ceremony and reception in Armenia. 

Post # 15
249 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2018

We did one wedding at a venue a few hours from the city where we currently live. Every guest had to travel at least two hours. We accepted that not everyone would come but ended up having a decent turn out. Just remember that it’s not guaranteed all your guests will come even if you’re both from the same country!

Also, a lot of posters on these boards will tell you it’s rude to have more than one wedding (especially more than one ceremony), but among transnational couples my husband and I were the odd ones out for only having one–and even got pushback from people who wanted us to have another! One of my friends had a civil wedding, then a medium sized wedding in the US, then a huge wedding in her spouse’s country. Another friend did city hall, then big wedding in spouse’s country slash where they live, then religious ceremony in hers. There are lots of combinations to choose from πŸ™‚ 

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