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Topic: Expat wedding planning - any help or advice?  (Read 381 times)

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Expat wedding planning - any help or advice?
« on: September 15, 2019, 09:32:37 AM »
Hi guys, it's been a while since I've needed to use this forum! I recently got engaged so now have the really exciting (and overwhelming) job of wedding planning.

We live in Scotland, but agreed that we would have the wedding in New York because I generally have the bigger family and have more guests who would need to travel and also more guests who are likely unable to travel abroad. At first I wasn't sure if a wedding in NY would cost significantly more than one here in Scotland but from what I can tell weddings here can end up just as expensive.

Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone could offer any tips or advice on the wedding planning process from abroad. We're in the really early stages so going to visit some venues when we're in NY visiting for Christmas and that's when we'll get an actual date set. We know we're aiming for Autumn 2021.

One of the things I'm not quite sure what to do is registry/gifts? Should we register somewhere here in the UK and ask people to order online? Obviously if people wanted to bring gifts along to the wedding we'd then have to fly everything back which sounds like a hassle that I don't want to have to deal with. But likewise if people order stuff online does it just get delivered to our home address because obviously there's 2-3 weeks when we'll not be here at the time of the wedding!!

Also would it be best for me to get my dress in NY or in the UK? I was thinking I could buy it in NY and just have my fittings/alterations during whatever visits I make between now and the wedding because I'm not sure I want the added stress of having to travel with my wedding dress, risk it getting lost in airport baggage etc.

Like I said, we're in the very early stages but definitely keen for any tips or advice from other expats who have already been through this!! Thanks :)


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Re: Expat wedding planning - any help or advice?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2019, 12:49:13 PM »
Congratulations! I didn’t have a coordinator and wish I had. It is so much less stress with one. I bought my dress in the US but I was still living there so it may be easier to get one here so you can pop in when you need to.

We got married in the states and everyone just gave us cash and we converted it once we were home (Scotland). I’m not sure about ordering online unless they used amazon as more places won’t let you order from a UK site with a US billing address but it could be possible.

I brought my dress in my carry on luggage after the wedding.  ;D
Married: 26 Feb 2018
UK Spouse Visa (Priority)
Applied online: 21 March 2018
Biometrics appt & documents mailed: 22 March 2018
Documents delivered & received email: 26 March 2018
Decision email: 1 May 2018
Passport received: 3 May 2018
Decision: APPROVED!!!!!
25 BD


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Re: Expat wedding planning - any help or advice?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2019, 02:23:45 PM »
Have your guests buy gifts from UK websites (Amazon.co.uk, John Lewis etc) because if you bring them back with you or if they post them from the US, you will end up having to pay customs duty on the lot!
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: Expat wedding planning - any help or advice?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2019, 10:12:57 PM »
We got married in the US knowing i'd be moving over here to the UK and for the wedding gifts we basically just asked for money. We effectively said no gift is necessary, just your presence, but if you feel obligated (which you shouldn't), we would prefer money. We phrased it in a nicer way and had given the accompanying note that we were preferring money because we'd be moving and limited on what we could physically take over to the UK. We didn't want anybody to waste money on items that we wouldn't be looking to try to take with us. We ended up using almost all the money for flights and the initial visa (which was handy). We got a few smaller things as well which was fine as we could take the smaller things with us, so maybe you could phrase it in a nicer way that says smaller, easier to transport items would be more preferable or money given the circumstances?

Congrats on your wedding :)
My, how time flies....

* Married in the US and applied for first spousal visa August 2013
* Moved to the UK on said visa October 2013
* FLR(M) applied for  May 2016. Biometrics requested June 2016. Approval given July 2016.
* ILR applied for January 2019 (using priority processing). Approved February 2019.
* Citizenship applied for May  2019

**CITIZENSHIP APPROVED July 4, 2019! Formal ceremony on August 28, 2019!**

HEY MOM, I'M A BRIT NOW :D


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Re: Expat wedding planning - any help or advice?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2019, 08:50:57 AM »
My goddaughter did both, a simple wedding in the US for the legal requirements of a spousal visa.  That was a guest list of 1.

A few months later they had what she terms her real wedding in Edinburgh - a handfasting.

She made all the American male guests dress in kilts and we had a ceilidh afterwards.  The Americans looked a wee bit worried when the first dance was announced as "the Gay Gordons".

She used Amazon for her wedding list as you could buy from anywhere and it could be delivered in the US.


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Re: Expat wedding planning - any help or advice?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2019, 11:39:08 AM »
She made all the American male guests dress in kilts
I really don't know much about kilt wearing customs, but I'd be pretty resistant to wearing that.  I'd imagine that the real Scottish kilt wearers wouldn't be very happy about it either.  Am I imaging things or was it no problem? 


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Re: Expat wedding planning - any help or advice?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2019, 11:43:12 AM »
Many Scottish people that I know asked if I would be wearing a kilt for our wedding. They seemed quite disappointed that I insisted on a tuxedo.


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Re: Expat wedding planning - any help or advice?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2019, 11:25:57 AM »
My Dad wore a kilt to my wedding and so did one of my American male friends.  Of course, many of my Scottish friends wore their kilts.  Some didn't though.  All good fun  :D
I've never gotten food on my underpants!
Work permit (2007) to British Citizen (2014)
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Re: Expat wedding planning - any help or advice?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2019, 05:10:40 PM »
Okay then, looks like it's no big deal.  As you were.


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