DSCN1656 300x225 Getting married abroad: top tips

The Pin Ups chaps enjoying Iain OC (centre) getting hitched

In August this year Pin Ups Chap Iain OC got married in Poland. While we would of course prefer you to get married in Scotland and – ahem – book the world-famous Pin Ups DJs for your wedding entertainment, we also thought it would be quite interesting for happy couples considering a wedding abroad to hear Iain OC’s thoughts on some of the big questions.

Why did you choose to get married abroad?

Lynsay and I wanted to do something a bit different. Quite a few of our friends had tied the knot in the last few years but none of them had gone abroad. This helped because it meant we weren’t asking people to do something they’d done before. We also knew Krakow and knew it would be excellent fun. We were pretty sure that if people came, they would have a fantastic weekend.

You had a fantastic turn out of more than 60 friends and family. Apart from your magnetic personalities and devastating good looks, do you think the way in which yourself and Lynsay described the occasion helped attract attendees?

I’m glad you mentioned the devastating good looks as I’m sure those helped! We’ve got an amazing group of friends who we’ve known for years and we both thought would be up for this sort of thing. I think people were attracted to come because they like us first and foremost, but the adventure was an added bonus.

That aside, we made sure we found a date that suited most people and then sent save the dates and flight/hotel details. Our big worry was that people would take ages to book and then be put off by inflated prices so we wanted to make sure people knew all about it early so they could get the best deal.

We also thought hard about the venue – Krakow is well served by Easyjet & Ryanair from pretty much anywhere in the UK. Hotels are very good value, as is the city in general. We wanted people to be able to come without breaking the bank.

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Puckering up in Poland!

How much control did you have over the ceremony?

Not much! That’s maybe not strictly true as we decided on the venue, but the service and vows were a mystery to us until we were actually in amongst it. We knew it would be through a translator but on the day everything went fine and was actually quite funny which took the nerves away.

We did add a few wee touches to it, we were delighted to get sheet music from Aidan Moffat for Tasogare which the pianist played as Lynsay came in with her dad. We also had some impressive flower displays which Lynsay admitted afterwards she hadn’t even noticed! (I noticed though – and they were lovely.)

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What about the legalities?
This was the only complicated part. We had to go over to Krakow in March to sort everything out. You can’t book the ceremony until 6 months before (we were married in August) and we had to show birth certificates and “certificates of no impediment” to prove we could legally marry. The “certificates of no impediment” proved a stumbling block as the Scottish ones are only valid for 3 months. We had to convince the nice people at the UK Embassy in Warsaw to issue one with a 6 month validity. Once we had that it was plain sailing. Civil ceremonies in the EU are legal in the UK – you can choose to register the certificate back home if you wish but you don’t have to.

After the ceremony we were given 3 Marriage Certificates in Polish/English and Lynsay has since successfully been issued with a new passport on the back of them which proves they must be legal. Must be!

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Did you have to get comfortable with using foreign suppliers for any important aspects (photographers, florists etc)? Was feedback easy to find?

We found a superb wedding planner called Anna Kozlova online who is based in Krakow.

Anna was excellent and organised all of our suppliers. She sent links to venues and suppliers and we would read all about them and chose them from there. If we didn’t like any of them, we’d tell her why and she’d identify others that might suit us better.

When we were over in March to sort out the legalities we met our photographer, florist and cake maker. All were fantastic, the photographer in particular (Mietek Malek) was great and understood immediately what we were after.

Lynsay designed all of our stationery herself and has since started a wedding stationery business (called Skinny Malink)! We both wanted something a bit unique and I think they hit the spot. If you need some yourself, please take a look at her online shop:

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Were there any unexpected charges or expenses?

We ended up having to pay for a few things we hadn’t expected but not an excessive amount. While Poland is certainly good value, it’s not dirt cheap – I think we probably spent the same as we would have done in the UK but maybe got a bit more for the money.

While there were a few unexpected charges there were also some really nice surprises. At the evening party the venue converted wine that hadn’t been used during the meal into a constant stream of Polish vodka shots which eventually ran out at about 2am (we probably overdid the wine order). Then at 3am we were even offered an extra hour if we wanted it!  To be fair we had been playing Pin Up Nights “dancefloor destroyers” since about 8.45pm so everybody had probably had enough.  According to my recollection of events I  was extrememly sensible and composed and suavely declined the extra hour – Lynsay tells it a slightly different way though..

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It's hard to find a snap that fairly represents The Piano Rouge!

We won’t put the big man on the spot by asking him to name his favourite part of the whole day but it’s fair to say a fabulous time was had by all. Here’s further details:

Planner: Anna Kozlova:
Ceremony: Villa Decius:
Reception/Party: Piano Rouge:
Photographer: Mietek Malek:
Stationery: Skinny Malink:
Music/DJs: Pin Up Nights:

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