Getting married in Alicante
Getting married in Alicante is ‘fashionable’
Celebrate marriage under the Alicante sun, on or near the beach, in a traditional finca, an exotic garden, a location with a magnificent view of the sea, in the typical landscapes of the interior of Spain, or within a magnificent church. It’s the dream of many future marrying couples.
The ‘ faithful ‘ climate on the Costa Blanca
The Spanish Costa Blanca enjoys an extremely favourable and stable climate and with 300 days of sunshine a year, represents an ideal wedding destination. The possibility of rain is much more remote than in most other (European) destinations.
But no one can plan exactly what the weather will be like. Temperatures can be very high, and you can never completely exclude the possibility of a shower, although it is often very short.
It remains advisable to consider both options well in advance.
When it is very hot a few locations offer the possibility of shade, or you can arrange to have a wedding marquee installed to offer shade to the couple who are going to marry and the guests or umbrellas or fans will have to be provided to them
The situation is different when the forecasts predicts rain. Although in some cultures rain is considered a portent of happiness for the couple who are getting married, most of them will prefer a sunny day.
However, when choosing the site, it is also advisable to consider the possibilities of a ‘ plan B ‘; and here the person in charge of the arrangements or a professional organizer can also be helpful.
The possibilities differ by location and season and also depending on the number of guests.
It is, after all, easier to make last minute changes for a small and intimate wedding than for a large-scale wedding.
Examples for a ‘ plan B ‘ include: moving to a covered or inside part of the location if the situation permits, renting marquees, anticipating or delaying the ceremony for one or several hours, etc.
But what are the advantages and drawbacks, requirements and expenses?
One of the most important reasons to get married in Spain of course is… the sun! Unlike many other European countries, the Spanish Costa Blanca especially enjoys an exceptional agreeable Mediterranean climate and is only about a two hours flight away from most European cities.
But more generally one of the most important advantages is the disappearance of the social obligation to invite people whom the couple in question only sees at weddings and funerals. and-the often well-intentioned-meddling by family and friends also disappears and the marriage can involve them in decisions as much or as little as they want.
A wedding abroad is usually more intimate, where only people attend who really want to witness your marriage, allowing you to spend time with them, both before, during and after the day of the celebration itself. Therefore the expenses for the couple getting married are often less than if the wedding were to take place in their home country.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it is an incomparable experience, since arriving one or several days before the marriage makes everyone feel on holiday, free of the worries and the stress that accompany this kind of event in the country of provenance.
But of course there are also disadvantages
The most obvious disadvantage is, of course, the need to travel, guests have to take one or several days off work, and of course, there are the expenses of flight tickets, airport transfers and accommodation.
Another drawback are the administrative procedures and expenses related to marrying abroad, such as translating all documents into the language of the country of destination, apostilles, and after the wedding, translation in the reverse direction to the country of provenance. All these translations have to be carried out by a sworn translator.
Finally, linguistic and cultural differences and distance hinder the planning of the event, despite the Internet, e-mail and Whatsapp, but a professional wedding planner who lives and works in the chosen destination can be the solution.
Who pays for all this?
At a wedding in the country of origin it is unthinkable that the marrying couple bear the fuel costs of the guests to go to the wedding. To avoid risks guests also frequently take a taxi, or book a room in a nearby hotel, and these expenses are also assumed by each guest on their own account.
It is no different in the case of a marriage abroad, where the guests themselves pay their travel and accommodation expenses, and here there is a ‘ hidden ‘ advantage. If the couple still feel socially obliged to invite friends, colleagues and distant relatives, these people will have to take on these expenses themselves, meaning that often many of them ‘unfortunately ‘ will be unable to attend.
Of course, the guests will positively appreciate it if the married couple wants to partially contribute to this, but they cannot naturally assume it as a given.
Of course, the one and the other will result in the guests having a smaller budget for the gifts.
Often there are sentimental reasons to opt for a destination, such as it taking place where the bride or the groom spent many holidays during her or his youth.
If not, it is mostly the practical differences that influence the choice, and that exert a very considerable impact on the time of travel, the expenses of travelling and the cost of the wedding.
The ease of travel plays an important role, as do the availability of direct flights from the country of origin and their price, as well as the distance between the airport and the place of the celebration.
Also important is the availability, quality and price of the accommodation, as the couple pretty much oblige the guests to stay a few days at the destination.
Also, of course, there are the wedding expenses, in which destinations such as Italy, the south of France, and Ibiza are among the most expensive in Europe.
Exotic destinations, such as the Caribbean Islands, Hawaii, etc., can be very idyllic, but they also imply many hours of travel and high expenses for both the couple and the guests.
Spain, especially the Costa Blanca, offers the best of both, and it is easy, fast and completely accessible thanks to the international airports of Alicante, Valencia and Murcia, to which many low cost companies offer regular flights, and it is also easy, fast and completely accessible when traveling by car.
Also the legal requirements are different!
Each country or Member State of the European Union has the power to determine the requirements that couples must fulfil in order to be able to celebrate their union legally.
Consequently, the requirements are very different, and it is therefore absolutely advisable that the couple be informed well in advance about the requirements in the chosen destination.
So as not to deviate here I will confine myself to the requirements in Spain.