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Chapter 45 - Marrying Abroad

General Information

After several months of letter writing and telephone calls your desire to meet the lady of your dreams will be at it peak. You will need travel plans, supporting documentation, and a list of items "not to forget." These items include duplicate copies of important documents such as your passport, travelers checks, airline tickets, etc. You will need a valid U.S.A. Passport for almost every country that you wish to visit. (See Chapter 33).

Your fiancee should meet you at the airport upon your arrival. She can help you with hotel accommodations, general sight seeing,and of course restaurants and the local nightlife. A very important piece of advice here is to meet her family. Good people are raised in nurturing family environments. Be somewhat suspicious if her family has no real interest in you, or they do not welcome you with open arms. Remember, you traveled to meet her and her family, but you are not obligated to marry her. Hopefully all goes well, the love between you is established, and the two of you contemplate marriage.

If you were relatively sure of your intentions before departing, you will need the appropriate paperwork to accomplish your goals for marriage in her country. If you plan to marry abroad, you must telephone or write to the embassy in which your fiancee is a resident (See Chapter 33). Often these countries also have satellite embassies in larger cities. Call "information" in the city nearest you to determine if a local foreign embassy exists. They can provide you with a detailed checklist of requirements needed to marry in their country. Visiting, calling or writing your local INS office may also benefit you. It's better to have too much documentation than not enough. Below are items you will generally need, but specific information from the country you will visit should be confirmed beforehand. Your fiancee can also help gather information to minimize any future setbacks.

*Note: List of specific documents needed is provided in "The Romance Zone."

In summary, preform the following to minimize any problems regarding marrying abroad before departing.

1. Telephone The U.S. Embassy Abroad And/Or Her Foreign Embassy (In The U.S.A.) For The Necessary Documents Needed. Telephone numbers to Foreign Embassies are located in Chapter 33 and in the government publication "Tips For Travelers To Central And South America" booklet or visit their internet site at http://travel.state.gov/.

2. Your fiancee can help you acquire an Attorney and gather additional (country- specific) information.

3. Consider purchasing TLC Worldwide's "Immigration Guide" containing official forms for only $99.00.

The Economics of a Courtship Abroad

Getting married is expensive. But then again, so is the price of a new pickup truck loaded with options. A recent article in "Bride" magazine placed the average cost of a domestic marriage at over $25,000 not including the engagement ring or honeymoon. Initially you might think that an international courtship would be even more expensive, but the fact is that forming a relationship abroad can be accomplished at a mere fraction of marrying here in the United States.

Latin American Ladies have not been conditioned by Hallmark, the jewelry industry, or her friends and family that the amount of expenditures incurred by the man on dating expenses (and the subsequent marriage) are directly tied to his level of love and devotion.

Everyone recognizes that overspending for special occasions (holidays and weddings) does not enhance any future happiness or guarantee a lifelong marriage. Almost all of our clients prefer small civil ceremonies which consist of the immediate family members and close friends, rather than the ambiance of a "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous" wedding.

Of course individual expenditures will vary. The following should give you some idea of the expenses associated with establishing a relationship and marrying your new latin bride.

Estimated Courtship Expenses

Purchasing Ladies Addresses
or a Personal Listing Ad
$150.00 $1000.00
Postage, Photos $50.00 $200.00
Telephone Calls $150.00 $600.00
Passport Photos $75.00 $75.00
Immigration Kit (Do it yourself) $100.00 -0-
Immigration Attorney -0- $1500.00
Airfare $400.00 $800.00
Hotel (5 nights) $200.00 $625.00
Dating $200.00 $700.00
Wedding $200.00 $1000.00
INS Fees (approximated) $400.00 $400.00
Lady's One Way Airfare $300.00 $600.00
Miscellaneous $500.00 ?
ESTIMATED TOTALS $2,725.00 $7,500.00*

* There really are no boundaries on the high limit. We feel this high limit falls within a "reasonable test" based on feedback and discussions with numerous married couples.

These figures are by no means a guide-line or a budget. Rather, they are rough estimates for you to begin your own calculations to determine the feasibility of a marriage abroad. Numerous factors could increase these totals which we feel are realistic based on numerous years of feedback from our clients. Most men are pleasantly surprised at the low cost of their marriage plans and expenditures in a foreign country.

Larger weddings, duplicate visits, lawyers fees, or meeting several ladies on different excursions could add to your cash outlay. But remember, you shouldn't be marrying abroad to save money, but rather to find a more compatible lifemate. You can't put a price-tag on this, or the positive life experiences you will reap daily from meeting the lady of your dreams.

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