Getting Married in Vietnam - The FAQs
For the wanderlusts - it is no surprise a destination wedding in an exotic location is alluring. A holiday wedding party - tropical breezes - sunshine - cocktails with swirly umbrellas and decadent food - love - laughter - catching up with friends from all corners of the globe - sounds almost indescribable.
Couples are looking for new ways to make their wedding a real reflection of "their style". Couples are ditching the old wedding trappings and injecting the "real them - their true personalities" into their weddings. In 2020 weddings are all about making it "real" - with guests thinking: "Gosh - that was "so Bob and Bill".
A wedding in Vietnam - or any foreign country isn't for everyone. But if it sounds like "you" - I've put together a list of FAQ's to help you?
When is the best time to get married in Vietnam?
Oh, we are spoiled for choice in Vietnam! It's a year-round wedding destination! There is always a location for you regardless of your wedding date. If a beach wedding is your idea of perfection - then Hoi An, Danang, and central Vietnam are most idyllic during the months of March through September.
In Hoi An and Danang - March, April, and May aren't too tropical - offering stunning locations for "sand in the toes" beach ceremonies. If the beach isn't high on your wish list - the list of garden wedding venues is huge! They are my favourite months - though it's ideal right through to the end of September. Think - "tropical breezes and balmy evenings"
October through February is the rainy season - so while we can never guarantee the weather - deciding to wed in those months does increase your chances of rain.
Phu Quoc and Nha Trang generally have fabulous weather year-round - the rainy season being July through September. If a holiday season wedding over December and January is for you - these destinations offer beautiful beaches and stunning venues - and little chance of rain. So they are alternative options to Hoi An and Danang - if your dates fall over the holiday time.
As a general tip - it's generally hottest in the months of July - August in Vietnam - so you could always consider a morning wedding with a brunch style party - mix it up. Be a devil!
Can I get my wedding attire and wedding gown, made in Vietnam?
Hoi An is a tailoring paradise. There are hundreds of tailor shops offering all manner of tailoring. I've had many couples and their guests get "outfitted" for the big day once they arrive. Some couples are a little apprehensive if there is a gown involved and prefer to bring it with them. It's your wedding.
Of the hundreds of tailors - only a handful offer couture style tailoring. So I highly recommend doing some research in advance (contact me!) and I can point you in the right direction. For evening wear, suits and all manner fancy pants, you are definitely in the right place for all your wedding day needs.
If you are a little nervous about getting off the plane into the unknown and having the attire for your "very best day" made on arrival - you can always contact the reputable tailors in advance with photos and measurements - to get a feel for your level of comfort.
Lot's of guests get cute matching outfits made for pre-wedding parties - or the actual wedding itself. It's fantastic to see. This is a party after all. Why not dive right in?
Drop me a note and I can help you with any questions you have.
Will my wedding in Vietnam be recognised in my home country?
Prepare for some boring bits......you know I'm not a fan of boring bits...
Your home country will likely recognise your overseas marriage as long as it is considered a legal marriage in Vietnam. Vietnam (like most countries) has very strict laws about what is a lawful marriage. Unfortunately, the short answer to this one is: highly unlikely.
Why? For a marriage to be legal in Vietnam (and therefore recognised in your home country) both parties must be Vietnamese citizens either through birth or residency. For a marriage to be legal in Vietnam, essentially it must be a marriage of two Vietnamese in compliance with the law or a Vietnamese and a foreigner in compliance with the law.
It is possible for two foreigners to marry in Vietnam and I was their celebrant though (depending on whom you talk to), either one (I'd suggest both) must have some residency status: that is - temporary residency. This is not simple. The couple in question were living and working in Vietnam and it took over 12 months for the process to be approved. It's not all doom and gloom, however. It's relatively pain-free to arrange a civil wedding at a registry office or courthouse in your home country to make things legal either before coming to Vietnam or after. Many use this as a way to have another party and celebrate with the folks who didn't make it to Vietnam.
This is all really dry, boring stuff - but if you're interested head over here to read about the legalities of a wedding Vietnam.
So your Vietnam wedding will be symbolic - it is the celebration - and the ceremony most couples consider their "real" marriage.
How do we legalise our marriage?
If you want to be legally wed - you will need to do this in a country where it is legal for you to be married. Most couples chose the county they live in.
It's up to you how and when you go complete the paperwork required in your home country. Some folks complete the formalities before they arrive in Vietnam. Others wait until they get home. It's a great excuse to have another wedding party for people who were unable to make it to your wedding in Vietnam! I've had couples who have celebrated three wedding parties in three countries because they wanted to share the love with all their friends and families. No rules, remember!
Each country has it's own requirements for marriage legalities. It's best to check with the people in the know - at home. I can certainly point you in the right direction. It's fairly painless.
Is having a destination wedding selfish?
For me, this one is a no brainer. There’s no law dictating who must be at your wedding. A glorious benefit of getting married in Vietnam is you can control the guest list. If it's the two of you - that's perfect. If it's 40 - it's perfect too. As long as it is what you want.
As soon as you announce you're tying the knot - the pressure will start. All well-meaning, of course. But it can be a real downer on what you've always dreamed of doing.
I've officiated for several couples who actually "ran away" from the pressure so they could get married the way they wanted. Kudos to those humans, I say.
Bowing to the pressure to make sure Aunty Betty - whom you haven’t seen since you were a child - is invited - and in the front row - can be a recipe for disaster. Quite soon your wedding becomes all about everyone else and you’re miserable. So much of what we do in our lives is dictated by societal etiquette there are few things we can do that doesn’t come with a silent list of compliance. Your wedding is not one of those occasions.
And you can always have a party with Aunty Betty and the rest of your friends and family when you get back. Double win!
How much will a wedding in Vietnam cost?
This is a tough one. Like any wedding - it's easy to blow the budget - even if you decide to get married in Vietnam. You do receive more for your hard-earned cash having a wedding here - it's simply a matter of how much of that cash you want to spend.
It's almost impossible to put a definitive "price" on a wedding in Vietnam. Your wedding day is one of the most significant days of your life. Every couple has their ideas and expectations about what their dream wedding "looks like". That is reflected in how much you will pay for your dream.
Couples have celebrated their nuptials on the beach with two or three friends for as little as USD$2,000 (with a simple arch, a photographer, hair and makeup artist and a meal) - while others have spent over USD$100,000 on their once in a lifetime wedding extravaganza. I've put together a guide on how much you can expect to pay for a wedding in Vietnam to give you a place to start!