Planning a destination wedding? Check the local divorce rate first
Leaving to get married in an exotic location may seem appealing, but some destination weddings come with a heavy baggage. Photo / 123RF
Weddings are expensive, so it’s no surprise that many couples are looking abroad for cheaper alternatives.
In places like Fiji, Bali and Phuket, you can have an extravagant ceremony on a picturesque beach for much less. The Cook Islands and Vanuatu are also favorite destinations, as well as European destinations like Paris, Italy and the Greek island of Santorini.
Let’s face it: you’d better shell out a few thousand dollars for plane tickets and take off with close family and friends than listen to your three-kidnapped great-great-aunt complaining about fish.
However, while the ceremony can be spectacular and the photos may hint at Hollywood-style marital bliss, destination nuptials come with a heavy baggage.
The divorce rates are shocking.
For example, to fly to a romantic wedding in the canal city of Bruges is to try your luck with the divorce rate of 71% in Belgium, the highest in the world. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re looking for a “solid statistical base,” you might head to Mongolia, where 99% of marriages go the distance, Oyster reports.
However, if Ulaanbaatar isn’t at the top of your list, there are plenty of other options.
Hawaii is an incredibly popular destination, and while a third of couples get married on Oahu, many sneak off to other islands, appearing on social media with the tagline “We have Maui’d!”. In terms of divorce rates, it’s a surprisingly good choice: just nine percent, the fifth lowest in the United States.
Plus, if things go wrong, the divorce filing fees are relatively inexpensive – something Nicolas Cage would know after divorcing Lisa Marie Presley just 108 days after their wedding in Hawaii, Oyster reports.
If your taste is a little more In the air than Gone in sixty seconds, you could trade Nicolas Cage’s wedding on the beach with George Clooney’s civil ceremony in Venice. Italy is a favorite among A-listers and tourists alike, who prefer the stunning Amalfi Coast, the rustic beauty of Tuscany, and the old world charm of Rome.
In a country heavily influenced by the Catholic Church, the divorce rate is only 0.8 person per thousand, and until last year, it took up to three years to finalize a divorce.
Finally, what would a destination wedding list be without fabulous Las Vegas, the global epicenter of spontaneous marriage? This is where people like Elvis and Priscilla, Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Hurley, Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton, and Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow said “yes”.
However, nearly 14% of adults in Vegas have divorced – take a second to think of Britney Spears and Jason Alexander, whose 55-hour marriage is one of the shortest on record.
If that is enough to put you off, maybe you could go for an “engagement ceremony” like Australian radio presenters Ash London and Angus O’Loughlin, who “got married” in a hilarious and awkward ceremony at the day before Ash’s 30th birthday in May.
If you prefer a divorce rate that doesn’t follow you like unwanted guests (like Bill, your new husband’s hairy uncle, who is determined to kiss the bride), New Zealand suddenly seems like a really good option: in 2015, there was 9.3 divorces per 1,000 estimated existing marriages and civil unions – a rate of only 0.93 percent.
If you’re worried about your budget, throw out the trendy vans, ditch the champagne fountain, and save on a choreographer by having your grandparents teach you how to waltz. Head to the local church and host the reception in the bowling club halls.
After all, a wedding only needs the couple, the witnesses and the celebrant.
– Additional reports: nzherald.co.nz