Where can you legally get married abroad?
One of the best things about eloping is that you can choose from the infinite gorgeous landscapes, epic locations, and incredible scenery all over the world! But, while it’s a little less exciting, there’s also some paperwork involved – no matter where you go, to get legally married you’ll need to fill out some forms and submit a few documents. This is easier in some places than others, and in some countries, you can’t get legally married if you aren’t a resident! This guide will help you narrow down the options for places to elope, with some examples of places where you can get legally married abroad.
How Do You Legally Get Married Abroad?
Before we get started, a lot of couples wonder how to get married abroad, and how to make sure that they’re officially married after their elopement. The rules and regulations depend on the country – each one has its own marriage laws, so you’ll need to do some research after choosing an elopement location!
You can find a lot of information on the Embassy website, and a big part of my job as an elopement photographer is helping you plan your day – which includes making sure you’re in the loop about all the requirements and rules.
You’ll usually need a celebrant (usually called an officiant in the US), but to make things easier for you, I’m an ordained minister and can legally sign marriage licenses! Some county clerks in the United States also allow you to add a different location where you can get married, so that I can legally marry you while you’re abroad.
If I Get Married Abroad, Will It Be Recognized in the US?
Another really common question that couples tying the knot abroad have is whether their marriage will be legally recognized at home. The answer is yes! As long as you followed all the marriage requirements of the place where you tied the knot, and you submitted all your paperwork, your marriage will be legal, and will be recognized at home.
Places Where You Can Legally Get Married Abroad
Now, let’s get into it! Here are some places where you can get legally married abroad, perfect for couples who want to elope in a gorgeous destination.
Gibraltar is located on the south coast of Spain, but it’s a British territory. It’s known for the Rock of Gibraltar, a towering limestone ridge that overlooks the ocean! You can get legally married when you elope here, and a lot of couples tie the knot in Gibraltar and then go to Spain for some adventures or even for another symbolic ceremony. You can’t get married in Spain unless one of you is a resident, so Gibraltar’s close proximity makes it a great place to tie the knot!
Iceland is undoubtedly one of the most incredible scenic destinations for an elopement abroad, with breathtaking scenery, mountain peaks, black sand beaches, sparkling glaciers, lush green fields, and countless hot springs. You can get legally married here, and have an absolutely epic ceremony!
To learn how to get legally married abroad in Iceland, check out this guide!
Bali is one of the best destinations for a tropical elopement, with turquoise blue water, white sand beaches, lush rainforests, and epic mountain peaks. It’s full of relaxing resorts and adrenaline-inducing adventures, and everything in between – and if you want to get away from the classic tourist attractions, the rest of Indonesia is pretty amazing too!
This guide will tell you everything you need to know to legally get married abroad in Bali.
4) New Zealand
New Zealand is a paradise for hikers and adventurers – the landscape is rugged and wild, with mountains, serene lakes, icy glaciers, and tons of undeveloped scenery. If you want to backpack, hike, zip line, or even take a helicopter over the epic views, and get legally married during your elopement, this is one of the best places to do it!
Getting legally married in New Zealand is relatively easy – and this guide will tell you how to do it.
Denmark is known for being one of the easiest countries for US citizens to legally get married abroad! The process is simpler than a lot of other countries, so if you want to tie the knot in Europe, definitely consider the forests, beaches, and adorable villages.
To learn more about tying the knot in Denmark, check out this guide!
From the pastel villages of Santorini to the remote inland mountains, Greece is a really popular country for eloping couples who want a luxurious getaway combined with epic adventures. You can get legally married in Greece, but the process is a little more time consuming!
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about paperwork and getting officially married in Greece.
Cyprus is also known for being pretty easy to get legally married in for couples coming from the US. Though there is a 15 day waiting period after getting the marriage license, you can reduce it to only 3 days with a fee! This Mediterranean island is the perfect elopement location for beaches, waterfalls, and epic views.
Check out this guide to learn how to legally get married abroad in Cyprus!
The forests, mountains, lakes, and islands of Sweden make for an epic elopement destination, whether you want to enjoy snow free trails in the summer or have a winter wonderland elopement in the winter! Getting married here isn’t too difficult, so it’s a great choice for couples coming from the US.
Learn more about getting legally married in Sweden in this guide!
9) The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland – which means there are so many gorgeous options for places to exchange vows and have your ceremony. You need a marriage visa to get married, but the process is pretty straightforward, and a lot of US residents come to tie the knot in the UK.
Read this guide to learn more about the UK and local marriage laws!
Finding the Best Country to Get Married Abroad
As an elopement photographer who works all over the world, my job is to be your guide – helping you navigate this whole elopement thing! First, I’ll help you choose the perfect spot, based on what kind of scenery you like, what you want to do, who’s coming with you, and more. I’ll recommend the best countries and elopement locations for you, and once you’ve decided on the perfect spot, I’ll help you figure out local marriage laws and make sure your marriage is officially official!
Are you eager to start planning your elopement? Wherever you’d like to explore, I’m here to help you envision, plan and immortalize this beautiful adventure! Contact me now for a free consultation!