If you are an Australian considering eloping overseas, or any kind of destination wedding, you should consider carefully the legalities of your plans and how best to ensure you actually end up married, for the purposes of Australian law.
Did you know that to get married in the UK, much of Europe and some of Asia there are so many costly and time consuming hoops to jump through that you might end up coming home from your wedding not actually married?
The rules in every country are very different. It pays to do your research.
The good thing is, even if you eloping you can always have a tiny little legal wedding here in Australia before you go. This will take a lot of the drama out of planning your international ceremony.
Some things to keep in mind when eloping overseas:
– In some countries you need to be there several weeks or even months before the wedding to do the paperwork,
– There can be rules requiring you to have a place of residence in the country in which you wish to be married,
– Some non-English speaking countries require official translations of all your documents, which can be costly,
– Some countries perform wedding ceremonies in accordance with religious or cultural practices but without any legal component, meaning there is no official legal ceremony that can be recognised in Australia as a ‘marriage ceremony’. You may not be considered married under Australian law.
Don’t let this put you off a beautiful destination wedding or a romantic elopement. You can still do that, but just make sure that if you want to be legally married you do a quick, easy legals-only ceremony with us before you go. Then when you say “I Do” at your wedding overseas you can relax in the knowledge that there wont be any complications when you come home.