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Boom in beach brides as Brits opt for overseas weddings

Press release   •   Mar 11, 2016 00:01 GMT

  • 70 per cent increase in average value of payments sent abroad for wedding-related expenses
  • 73 per cent of travel agents report increase in demand for weddings located on a beach, with Cyprus, the Caribbean and Greece amongst the top destinations
  • Couples concerned about foreign exchange costs can plan ahead and fix rates up to a year in advance

Apparently life’s a beach when you get married, with three quarters (73 per cent) of travel agents seeing increased demand for beach wedding locations, according to new research from Post Office International Payments1.

The research, which involved telephone interviews with 115 travel agents, has shown that Cyprus was the number one overseas wedding destination over the course of the 12 months and travel agents predict this will continue over the next year.

There is confidence among travel agents that international weddings market is set to grow over the coming year, with 58 per cent expecting budgets for overseas weddings to increase by an average of 12 per cent, compared to just five per cent who think budgets will get smaller.

The top five destinations for overseas weddings all offer a high chance of sunshine, with the Caribbean Islands the second most popular destination followed by Greece, Italy and Mexico.

Top overseas wedding destinations

Rank Top overseas wedding destinations in the last 12 months Predicted top wedding destinations over the next 12 months
  • 1.
Cyprus Cyprus
  • 2.
Caribbean Islands Caribbean Islands
  • 3.
Greece / Greek Islands Italy
  • 4.
Italy Greece / Greek Islands
  • 5.
Mexico Mexico

Source: Post Office International Payments

The research was conducted as part of the Post Office International Payments’ World Next Door project, which looks at the growing internationalisation of people’s lives as they increasingly spend significant amounts of time overseas for purposes as varied as work, education, marriage or retirement.

Between June and September, traditionally the busiest months for weddings, Post Office International Payments sees a 40 per cent increase in the average value of payments sent abroad for wedding-related expenses compared to the rest of the year2.

Rob Scott, Head of International Payments at Post Office Money, said: “The prospect of guaranteed sunshine sees many couples looking abroad for their wedding destination. With the risk of rain ruining wedding photos in the UK, it is easy to see the attraction of getting married on a beach in the sun. It is no longer a case of eloping abroad, with cheap flights and hotels people increasingly hold the full scale celebrations for large numbers of guests overseas.”

“Organising an international wedding inevitably involves a lot of high value payments to overseas suppliers. But the cost of these payments can really mount up if you automatically use a high street bank, which often charges around £25 per transaction. Specialist international payments providers are an easy way to reduce these costs, offering peace of mind as couples can lock in an exchange rate for up to a year saving themselves money if the pound weakens in that time.”

Although beach locations were the type of destination showing the biggest growth in popularity, one in three travel agents (34 per cent) also reported growth in demand for countryside locations, and 28 per cent for city locations. Others reported increased demand for getting married near historical monuments, in mountain or jungle locations, or on cruise ships.

Don’t tell the bride: other overseas wedding trends

Don’t tell the bride, but grooms are getting more involved in organising overseas weddings as they increase in popularity.

Nearly half of all respondents (46 per cent) reported an increase in grooms getting more involved with the wedding organisation process compared to three years ago.

More than one in 10 (12 per cent) reported an increase in interest in holding the stag or hen do on same trip as the wedding itself.

Post Office International Payments offers a range of services to help people make their money go further when transferring internationally between countries. Its team of experts can help manage the risks of moving money between countries, for example by setting up regular payments, or locking in exchange rates for up to a year. People can cost effectively transfer any amount fee free from £50 upwards to most countries of the world.


For more information, please contact:

Carmel McCarthy

Post Office Money Press Office

Tel: 020 7 012 3456

Mob: 07717 294529

Twitter @postofficenews

Notes to Editors:

1 Post Office International Payments conducted research amongst 115 UK travel agents in July 2015 which had had customers booking trips for overseas wedding over the past two years. 11 per cent of respondents specialised in overseas wedding trips.

2 Analysis of Post Office International Payments data

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