Here’s how you can make your special day as affordable as possible with an international money transfer.
From Bali or Thailand to the Caribbean, Italy or even the City of Love, Paris, the list of dream destination wedding locations is seemingly endless. But if you’re planning to tie the knot overseas, the fact is that getting married abroad can be a logistical nightmare. Planning an ordinary wedding can be expensive and stressful enough on its own, but any potential problems are magnified when the ceremony will be taking place on the other side of the world.
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One of the main obstacles you will have to overcome is finding the most affordable and convenient way to pay for your wedding, which is where international money transfers come in.
What are the costs associated with an overseas wedding?
Very few aspects of a wedding are usually cheap. And when you’re organizing a wedding in an unfamiliar destination, the cost of the ceremony and reception can quickly add up.
First of all you need to book venues for the ceremony and reception, which could be several thousands of dollars. Then there’s the marriage officiant, entertainment for the reception, potentially seating and a PA system if you’re having an outdoor ceremony, table decorations, food and drink, the all-important wedding cake… the list goes on.
Add this to the cost of flights and accommodation at your destination, and even the most budget-conscious of couples can quickly run up a hefty bill. With this in mind you’ll be looking for any ways you can find to save money on your wedding – and you can enjoy significant savings if you pay for your big day using international money transfers.
What are my options to pay for my overseas wedding?
There are several options available when you need to pay for an overseas wedding, including:
- Online money transfer companies. These companies specialize in sending fast and affordable international transfers, offering great exchange rates, and secure online transactions.
- Bank to bank transfers. You can use online banking, phone banking, or visit a branch to send money from your bank account to a bank account overseas. However, banks charge high transfer fees and offer lower exchange rates than you can get from other transfer providers.
- Credit card payments. Another option is to pay for overseas transfers using your credit card, which can be a handy option in emergencies. But the currency conversion fee, low exchange rate, and high interest rate that apply to your transfer mean this is often not the most cost-effective option.
- Cash transfer companies. Companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram offer fast and convenient cash transfers to hundreds of thousands of agent locations around the world. However, high transfer fees can apply.
Why could I use a specialist online transfer company to pay for my overseas wedding?
Although there are several options available when you need to send money overseas online money transfer companies represent the best choice in most cases. Some of the benefits of using specialist money transfer companies include:
- Better exchange rates. Because they trade large volumes of foreign currency and have fewer overheads than the banks specialist online transfer companies can offer much better exchange rates on overseas transfers.
- Lower fees. Specialist transfer companies also charge lower transfer fees when compared to the banks, while some even waive their fees altogether on large transfer amounts.
- Convenient transfers. You can send an international transfer from anywhere and at any time. All you need to do is transfer the money from your bank account to your account with an online transfer provider, then specify where you would like the funds to be sent.
- Secure transactions. Sending your money overseas using an online transfer company is completely safe and secure with the latest in encryption technology used to protect your money and personal details.
- Flexible transfer options. Online money transfer companies also offer special transfer options to provide convenience, and a better deal. For example you could place a forward contract to lock in the current exchange rate for a future date, or you could schedule a recurring payment to transfer a regular sum of money.
Wendy and her fiancé Stephanie are planning a destination wedding in Paris in six months’ time. They’ve found the perfect venue for their wedding reception, and need to transfer €3,000 to Paris to book it for their big day. Wendy considers sending the money overseas from her bank account, but after learning of the low exchange rate offered by her bank she decides to compare the services of a specialist money transfer company to see if she can find a better deal.
|Bank||Money transfer company|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 0.8995 EUR||1 USD = 0.9484 EUR|
|Processing time||2 business days||1 business day|
|Cost to transfer €3,000 (in USD)||$3,380.10||$3,162.27|
As you can see, not only can Wendy and Stephanie save $45 in transfer fees by sending via a money transfer company, but they can also save a further $218 thanks to the transfer company’s superior exchange rate.
How do I compare money transfer providers?
You’ll need to compare the following factors when weighing up the pros and cons of specialist money transfer providers:
- Exchange rates. As the case study above shows, a variation of just a few cents in the exchange rate can have a huge effect on the cost of your transaction. Look for a company that regularly offers the best exchange rates, but keep an eye out for any high fees that may be attached.
- Transfer fees. Fees can range from zero up to $50 or even more, so it pays to shop around to find a provider that charges minimal fees.
- Transfer processing times. If you need the funds to arrive to your beneficiary within a specific timeframe, compare processing times to see which providers offer the quickest transfers.
- Transfer options. Some companies offer flexible transfer options to help you get a better exchange rate, such as forward contracts and limit orders. The option to schedule a repeating transfer may also be appealing for some users.
- Transfer methods and pickup options. Check to see how you can send a transfer – online, over the phone, in a branch – and how your recipient will be able to access the money you send.
- Supported currencies and destinations. Not all transfer providers will be able to send to your particular country, so it’s important to check the provider’s list of supported countries and currencies.
- Customer support. Make sure the provider offers prompt and helpful customer support should you ever have a problem with a transfer.
By doing a little research and comparing your options, you’ll be able to enjoy significant savings when you transfer money overseas for your international wedding.