How to save money on your wedding abroad

Every bride on a budget has to make a few sacrifices, whether it be cutting the guest list or choosing favours over flowers. But if you are one of the thousands of Brits planning to get married abroad, there is a way of making your money go further without these cuts. Suzi Dixon explains how you can make forex work in your favour...

A study earlier this year found that more than a third of couples have booked a wedding abroad in the next 12 months, that’s as many as 80,000 Brits, to beat spiralling prices and unpredictable weather back home*.

But I wonder how many of these brides are currency savvy and know how to make every penny count – before AND after it is converted to those all-important euros or other foreign currency.

Beat the bankers
No doubt you have suppliers that need to be paid overseas and perhaps one big bill in particular with a hotel or wedding planner. It’s essential that you get the best rate when making this transfer and comparison sites such as can help. The site will use one form to make contact with foreign exchange specialists who will typically get you a better deal than the high street banks. There is no fee to open an account with these specialists and an account can be opened very simply within 24 hours.

See a specialist
Did you know a foreign exchange specialist can save you as much as 3-5% on a big transfer? On a £100,000 international money transfer this can equate to a £3000 saving – that’s enough for your honeymoon or perhaps a new car!

Get exchange rate savvy
You know the price of your bridesmaids’ outfits down to the last penny but how much do you know about foreign exchange? One essential element to consider is fees – if you make lots of little transfers each time you need to pay a supplier, those fees will add up. Big transfers of more than £5,000 usually don’t incur a charge, so it is better to arrange one or two big transfers.

Consider a forward contract
Many couples plan an overseas wedding a couple of years in advance and this is another opportunity to make the exchange rate work for you. Discuss the use of a forward contract with your forex specialist, which allows you to fix the exchange rate for up to 12 months in advance. Looking in an exchange rate ahead of your wedding can minimize the risk of currency fluctuations.

Before you go
The entire wedding party can benefit from a little research before buying spending money for the trip. You can compare travel money options at, a sister site to You may be surprised how much you can save – a recent mystery shop found customers could get an extra £50 per £500 of travel money by buying currency over the internet, rather than at the airport. What’s more, many online forex firms will deliver currency to your home, so it’s no less convenient than shopping at the airport.

So while your mother is banging on about the seating plan, and your niece is having a tantrum over her bridesmaids dress, be sure to take some time to think about foreign exchange to make that wedding budget go further.

* Travelex May 2012

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