Whether you voted remain in Europe or leave, the result of the EU referendum will affect everyone “for better or for worse”. If you’re planning to get married in Europe or you’re thinking about having a destination wedding, you may be wondering how the British exit from the European Union will affect your decision.
Here’s how the Brexit could affect your marriage abroad:
1. Your Marriage Will Still Be Valid
Don’t worry that your upcoming union will be made invalid in the future. Thankfully, the UK recognises all marriages held abroad regardless of EU status. The only requirements are that your marriage was legal in the country of your ceremony and that it doesn’t go against any UK legislation, neither of which will be affected by the Brexit. You will still have to go through the same processes as before to legalise your wedding.
2. You May Need to Raise Your Budget
While it is too early to tell how Brexit will change the value of the Pound Sterling in the long run, initial results show that it has already fallen dramatically. This means that your money will be worth less in another currency than it previously was. Where flights are concerned, one of the benefits of EU membership was the policy of “open skies”, which allowed any EU airline to fly freely within Europe. This is what led to the rise of budget airlines and the decrease in fares from premium airlines. At this point it is undecided whether the open skies policy will remain in place. If it doesn’t, there is a good chance that the cost of your flights will rise noticeably. Only time will tell how these decisions will affect your budget, but make sure you’ve got a contingency plan in place just in case you need more money later down the line.
3. You May Need to Change Your Dates
If money is a big concern for you, you may have to prepare to change your dates. If the open skies arrangement is revoked and countries remaining in the EU get more say over which airlines they allow into the country, there is every chance that they’ll give favour to their own (more expensive) airlines. Right now, there are hundreds of cheap flights to European destinations every day.
If more expensive airlines are given preference by your chosen destination, there will be less flights available from these budget airlines. This may mean you need to be more flexible about dates to get the best price.
4. You May Need to Limit Alcoholic Gifts
Picture the scene: it’s your wedding reception, and some of your friends and family have chosen to present you with expensive bottles of wine as wedding gifts. You want to make these gifts last, so you decide to pack them away to drink at home. However, when you arrive at customs, you are told that you are only allowed to bring 4 litres of wine into the UK and you must pour hundreds of pounds worth of gifts down the drain or face extra charges.
This is a potential scenario that could arise if the Britain loses its right to abide by EU customs limits. You may find that it’s better to accept gifts when you’re back on home soil if you’re expecting to receive a lot of fine wine, regional spirits, craft beers, or even tobacco products.
However, it could be more cost effective to accept such gifts overseas if you only expect to receive a few bottles. This is because the UK is expected to revert back to the non-EU duty free allowance. A few bottles of champagne purchased at the airport could be cheaper than ever before. Just make sure your guests know there might be a limit on what you can bring back home with you.
5. You May Need to Wait to Share Wedding Photos
By 2017, the “roaming” charges that phone companies hit their customers with when they travel abroad are to be completely abolished — in the EU, that is. Now the UK is leaving the EU, there is a possibility that mobile phone companies will continue to hit consumers with excessive charges. If this does happen, you may want to hold off on uploading your smartphone wedding snaps to Facebook. If not, you could find yourself paying more for the upload than you did for the photographer.
6. You May Need More Paperwork
It’s impossible to get into all the nuances of what could happen regarding visas. Changes will vary depending on what each country sees fair. But it’s entirely possible that some countries will impose new visa regulations that require you to have more paperwork (and pay more money) to enter their country. Make sure you keep an eye out on information from your destination’s relevant embassy as negotiations progress.
7. You May Need to Rush Things
Many people choose a destination wedding because either they or their partner were born and raised in that country. If you’re one of those brides or grooms, you may want to bring your wedding date forward. While heads of the Leave campaign indicated that those already in the country would not be kicked out, this isn’t set in stone. The only people whose futures are truly secure are those who are entitled to permanent residence after being in the country for 5 years or more. There is no guarantee that the resident and rights of newer migrants will remain unaffected. If either you or your partner would gain UK citizenship through your marriage, you may want to get hitched sooner for peace of mind.
With all this in mind, hiring a destination wedding planner is now more important than ever. Planner are keeping up to speed with all the information brides are going to need in the coming months and years, so they’ll be able to help you will all the unexpected confusing bits and organisational struggles. You’ll be able to consult with them on budgeting and contingency, legal requirements and paperwork, dates, flight arrangements and more, giving you with wedding of your dreams without the Brexit stress.
Tell us how Brexit could affect you, and if you will make changes to your wedding plans?
More to follow: