Tying The Knot Abroad
Imagine yourself getting married on a beach at sunset with a fragrant breeze wafting over you, or exchanging your vows in a tropical garden. These are lots of choices of ceremonies abroad, and they can be very easy to arrange, especially if you choose the right wedding planner to do all the hard work for you!
Unsurprising then that an increasing number of couples choose not just to take their honeymoon abroad but say those two time-honoured words there too (that's 'I do' by the way). A marriage made in holiday heaven:
Going abroad for your nuptials can not only be cheaper but less stressful 'Getting married abroad is becoming more and more popular,' says Megan Barker, a wedding consultant at travel firm Kuoni, which offers packages in 27 countries around the world. 'Our number one destination is Sri Lanka. This is because you can get five-star luxury and a beautiful unique wedding for great value. Our other top destinations are the USA, Mauritius and Italy.'
Cost benefits aside, booking with a tour operator can also relieve some of the pressure. Wedding coordinators in the UK and at your destination will be there to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Getting married abroad can also simply be more exciting, Barker adds. 'It is a wonderful way to combine your wedding with your holiday or honeymoon and a wonderful way of spending time with your nearest and dearest.'
A study by consumer research group Mintel showed on Tuesday that 18 percent of Britons chose to tie the knot abroad last year, a rise in the number of such marriages of 27 percent between 2005 and 2010.
In 2010, the average wedding abroad cost £ 6,585 while the average British wedding costs just below £20,000 "The lower costs of overseas weddings are an important factor for many, with cost concerns influencing the whole market," said Mintel Senior Travel and Tourism Analyst Tom Rees.
"However the various desires to do something different, seek out better weather than can be expected in the UK and to avoid overblown, too-many-guest affairs are attracting more and more couples to the weddings abroad market."
One early reference to a honeymoon is in Deuteronomy 24:5 “When a man is newly wed, he need not go out on a military expedition, nor shall any public duty be imposed on him. He shall be exempt for one year for the sake of her family, to bring joy to the wife he has married.”
Originally "honeymoon" simply described the period just after the wedding when things are at their sweetest; it is assumed to wane in a month. The earliest term for this in English was hony moone, which was recorded as early as 1546.
In Western culture, the custom of a newlywed couple going on a holiday together originated in early 19th century Great Britain, a concept borrowed from the Indian elite, in the Indian Subcontinent. Upper-class couples would take a "bridal tour", sometimes accompanied by friends or family, to visit relatives who had not been able to attend the wedding. The practice soon spread to the European continent and was known as voyage à la façon anglaise (English-style voyage) in France from the 1820s on.
Honeymoons in the modern sense (i.e. a pure holiday voyage undertaken by the married couple) became widespread during the Belle Époque,as one of the first instances of modern mass tourism. The most popular honeymoon destinations at the time were the French Riviera and Italy, particularly its seaside resorts and romantic cities such as Rome, Verona or Venice.
Typically honeymoons would start on the night they were married, with the couple leaving midway through the reception to catch a late train or ship.
However, in the 21st century, many couples will not leave until 1–3 days after the ceremony and reception in order to tie up loose ends with the reception venue and/or visit with guests from the reception.