Picture of Italian Wedding
So you don't want to get married in America. I don't blame you, we didn't either. My wife and I saw a lot of friends go through the wedding process and pretty much the most consistent advice we got was to just skip it all and elope.

We decided instead to do something that we wanted to do. If we were going to spend the money on an event, we wanted to go and travel and see a cool part of the world. If you're thinking about doing this it is definitely possible and can be done with less stress than a local wedding.

We even managed to save some money along the way because it was a small wedding. Go figure.

Some pros and cons to think about:

Smaller, more intimate wedding.
Extended relatives can't come.
A foreign location for everyone.
Mixing a wedding with travel.
Can start honeymoon immediately.
Longer trip means everyone gets to know each other better.

Extended relatives can't come.
Lots of friends won't be able to come.
Long trip with everyone in one place.
Some people aren't cool with travel.

Still interested? OK, here's how to do it.

Step 1: Where do you want to go?

Picture of Where do you want to go?
Doing a "destination wedding" is a big deal. You're going to be asking a lot of your friends and family so make it worth it.

The first step is to figure out some place that you'd like to travel to anyway. Start flipping through travel guides and reading travel magazines for cool destinations and decide which one you want to go to. We chose Italy because my wife has lived there before and speaks Italian. All of my previous travels have been in Asia so Europe has now become exotic for me.

This step can take a while. Give it a couple months.

Italy is a great country to get married

defiant17 years ago
My wife and I were married in Jamaica. No passport or any other documentation needed. It was incredible. Do all inclusive.
altomic7 years ago
My wife and I got married in Japan. We are both Australian. We had to get an official clearance to marry letter from our government. We then walked to city hall and got married. We were the first foreigner to get married there. People were happy. *Please note then when I talk about Japan I type in really simple basic sentences
fungus amungus (author)  altomic7 years ago
Nice. My brother got married in Japan in Nogizaka. His wife is Japanese and we have distant relatives in Japan so it wasn't too much of a shock.
Cool...but what kind of legal complications are there to have everything be valid? Does location matter at all when you get a marriage license? (particularly, who officiate?)

I did like that you put "Extended relatives can't come" as both a pro and a con =]
Well, provided there is an agreement between the two countries the marriage should be valid on return to your homeland. Most countries have such international agreements. There could be a slight paperwork but prolly not much. However, this does not apply if it is a samesex-marriage. Usually it depends on the local legislation wether it be registered as marriage or partnership or even at all.
But how do you a marriage license in Italy..and then find someone to officiate? I guess the party planner could help with this, but still...
I suppose you'd either register at home and do the ceremony abroad or .. find the official to register with, perhaps a local mayor or the priest would know where to turn.
marc927 years ago
Cool, and congrats! I am in Italy right now and am accessing the site from a relative's computer. It's great here. Where in Italy did you get married?
gmoon7 years ago
Too bad my niece didn't see this...and spared us the 1500 miles (in the dead of winter) for her wedding. Normally I don't mind traveling, but in the middle of the holiday craziness.... ;-P
First off: Congratulations! Second: Great Instructible. I had wondered how a destination wedding was pulled off, especially since I thought the happy couple (or their families) paid for the guests' travel, which is why I thought we hadn't been invited to one yet. Now that I know the real deal, I'll start saving. Did you have any couples where one half of the couple attended? signed, "He doesn't fly and thinks that airplanes flap their wings."
fungus amungus (author)  SlothOnSpeed7 years ago
Thanks! We're one year and counting now. As for travel costs that's up to the couple, but for every destination wedding that I've been invited to or heard about the guest takes care of travel and lodgings. In that sense it's very much like a regular wedding. For us, we were able to cut the villa cost for our guests to make it more reasonable for them, but we didn't cover their travel. The only people that stayed behind were a baby and a husband with a newborn.
isacco7 years ago
Original and useful Instructable and nicely presented too. I suggest to start planning your wedding date with some extra time in advance. This time could be necessary to obtain the official papers that you need to bring if you get married in a foreign country. For questions about law and regulation address to the diplomatic representative or the embassy of the wedding country. Many Congratulations!!
fungus amungus (author)  isacco7 years ago
Ah yes, very good question. I'll see if I can update with a step about that later. To be officially married in Italy you need an Italian minister. We wanted it to be more personal and so my dad was the minister by the power invested in him by the Universal Life Church. As for the legal stuff, we were married in California *cough*.
Labot20017 years ago
Awesome 'ible, and a REALLY cool idea! Congratulations, fungus!
fungus amungus (author)  Labot20017 years ago
Thanks! The idea popped up and we did what we could to make it work.
LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
Great job/ congrats!
fungus amungus (author)  LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
Thanks! This was last summer and we just celebrated our one-year anniversary a few weeks ago.
PKM7 years ago
Pros: American chilluns will be fascinated for hours by local curiosities such as front-loading washing machines. I'm serious. This actually happened. In a historic coastal town in Yorkshire with all sorts of interesting stuff, it was the front loading washing machines that got the most attention. This is a good 'Ible, there's some good advice and I love the mix of travel tips and wedding story :)
=SMART=7 years ago
Haha very interesting read, good pictures too !