Announcing your getting married abroad

I was having a chat with a good friend of mine recently who has just got engaged and starting on the wonderful journey of wedding planning.  She is thinking about all the different options in regards to wedding venues and of course I brought up the option of getting married abroad (I did say abroad and not just France).  She rumpled her face up and said: “But even if we wanted to, could you imagine telling the family!”

This got me to thinking about how strong you have to be to stick to your own personal choices for your wedding and just how do go about announcing your getting married abroad?

Personally I don’t see why getting married abroad would be an issue, just one big adventure, but I can understand that whenever you announce your wedding plans there are always family and friends who have an opinion as to what you should do.

celynnen photography © Celynnen Photography

So I have put together a little guide for options for announcing your wedding abroad:

Sate the Date/ Invitation

Whilst sending the save the date or invitation is the conventional method, with no preparation you can imagine all the gasps  when the invites land on the door. Of course part of the shock factor will be dependent on exactly where and when your wedding is abroad, but at least you can turn your phone off the date the invites should arrive!

Pre-warn family and friends then send invitation

Especially if people are contributing to the wedding, sharing your plans with key members of family and friends can be a polite and wise move.  Why not arrange an intimate dinner and share your plans, that way you can answer any queries that they might have, without having to have the same conversation more than once.  A plus point in having the inner circle briefed, is that when the invitations to additional guests are sent out they can act as part of the first line of defence for any questions or difficult relatives.

Informal Party

Set the scene for your wedding abroad with an informal party masked as a family get together or an engagement party.  Take the opportunity to thank your guests for coming and then make the announcement that you have set the date for your wedding and the location.  It takes a brave soul to break with pack politeness, everyone will cheer and then they will be ready for the further information that will arrive on their wedding invites, but be sure to only invite those who you are planning to invite to the wedding.

When you get back

Weddings in France are primarily celebrations of marriage rather than a legal ceremony due to the restrictions on overseas couples having to be a resident in the country first.  Why not get legally married in your domestic country, elope to the city of love Paris with a wedding celebrant to conduct your ceremony and stay and have your honeymoon in style!  Arranging a post-wedding party once you’re back, gives you another chance to wear your dress and celebrate with all your family and friends and you never have to worry about how to tell people you’re getting married abroad….. just you’re now married!

If you are planning a destination wedding how did you tell your family?

Monique xx


Leave a Comment


  • I think most of my family know we have booked our wedding in France next year (aug 2013) but not so sure that all our friends know. Im having some ‘save the dates’ printed. I was just going to send invites as I though ‘s.t.d’s’ were a waste of time but we want people to join us for a week so they might want to use it as their main family holiday, they might need plenty of time to book the time off work and we want them to get the best deals on travel etc. Cant wait to get everyones reactions:-)

  • We’ve just had to do exactly this…tell our friends and family that we are getting married in France!

    It was slightly more awkward than it sounds though because we had already sent our save the dates. And although the S.T.Ds didn’t have a venue on, everyone pretty much knew that we had booked a venue in the UK. The costs were mounting up and without putting my finger on, something didn’t really seem ‘us’ enough until we saw our chateau in Ginestas.

    We opted for a very quirky group text that apologised for it being informal but asking their opinion and inviting them to join us in France at the same time. Now we have an idea of numbers we can go ahead and book the right place knowing that our close friends and family want to come! I can’t wait to send out French invites now!


  • I think the way you announce it is so very important and there are 3 easy steps to follow to make sure the announcement is well received :

    – If possible explain why you chose this destination (because it is where you met, for the atmosphere etc.)

    – Get your guests excited by showing them all the upsides (the sun, the activities around, the food), explain how great and different and easy you are going to make it for them. Do not hesitate to create a wedding site with photos of your venue and of the area with all the things to do around, and you will see that most of your guests are going to be very excited with the opportunity to spend a long weekend or a holiday in France.

    – Reassure them about accessibility and cost : There are low costs going pretty much everywhere from London so a return flight to Bordeaux or Nice can cost as little as £60!

    This way your decision should make everyone happy !

  • Hello All,

    I am searching for help on sending I guess what you would call pre-wedding announcements. We are getting married abroad in oct 2013. We want to send announcements to tell everyone of our good news but it is private. (Close family members are already aware) Only bride and groom. We would like to send a message in a bottle announcement, but I have no clue on how to word this. Any suggestions?