Organizing a wedding abroad: where do you start?

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We would love to get married for a second time, but in a tropical location abroad. On my social media timeline I see that a wedding abroad is a trend and I agree with them. Nothing beats a romantic stay in an idyllic place with a select group of loved ones.

But what does all that actually entail? Isn’t it too much hassle and paperwork. And is the marriage legally valid at all under Dutch law? We dive in!

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Wedding abroad

If you are planning to get married abroad, there are several things you should take into account. The following points are good and also wise to consider:

1. Legal Validity

Check whether the marriage abroad is actually legally valid under Dutch law before you dress in bridal fashion from In general, marriages that are legally valid in the country where they take place are also recognized in the Netherlands. You can confirm this by contacting the Dutch embassy or consulate in the country concerned. It is wise to find out so as not to come home from a rude awakening.

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2. Paperwork

Each country has its own rules and requirements regarding paperwork. Make sure you are aware of the specific documents you need. This can include various items such as a valid passport, birth certificate, declaration of unmarried status, proof of termination of previous marriages (you never know, and sometimes include translations and legalizations. Also applies here: Contact the embassy or consulate of the country where you want to get married for specific information.

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3. Residency Requirements

Inform yourself about any residency requirements in the country where you want to get married. Some countries require you to stay in the country for a certain amount of time before you can get married. For example, you often see in France that you have to live in the country itself to be able to get married here. Please ensure you meet such requirements to avoid disappointment.

4. Matrimonial property law

It may be important to check which matrimonial property regulations apply to your marriage. In some countries certain matrimonial property rules apply automatically, while in others the choice is left to you. It is wise to obtain legal advice about which regime suits you best.

5. Language barrier

If you do not speak the language of the country where you want to get married, it is useful to arrange for an interpreter or translator to avoid communication problems, especially when signing official documents. Or maybe you could take a crash course in Italian or French.

Related blog: Marriage is good for your health, it’s not a joke

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Italy, France, or Spain…

There are some countries in Europe that are known for their smooth procedures and where it is easy to get married. Denmark and Cyprus in particular have relatively simple procedures for foreigners to get married. You also see that many go to romantic Italy and check all the ins and outs at the embassy or consulate of the country where you want to get married. And also to obtain legal advice to ensure you are well informed about the requirements and procedures that apply to your specific situation.

In any case, you have a nice prospect if you are planning a wedding abroad! Now the budget, the guest list, one save the date, the invitation, a wedding planner and of course the perfect outfit! And we will certainly look at the possibilities of getting married abroad…. long live love

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