The United States and the United Kingdom share some significant cultural similarities, but there are also significant differences between the two countries that both prospective Americans and Britons should consider before tying the knot.
No matter where your American or British spouse comes from, however, there are some important guidelines to follow if you’re getting married in order to immigrate to the other country. Take advantage of these five tips for an American marrying a British citizen.
How are Americans different from the British?
1) Should I Propose?
The decision to propose is a personal one, and there's no right or wrong answer. If you're both on the same page about wanting to get married, and you're ready to take that next step, then go for it! It might be easier to propose in person in your own country with all of your friends and family around, but it can be just as special from across the pond.
It can also be easier to navigate customs paperwork if you wait until after you've proposed in person. Some people choose to plan the proposal without telling their significant other; this could be romantic and lead to a great surprise, but make sure they know what they're getting into before they say yes.
Once you have their agreement, make sure you tell them how much time they'll need to plan something back home. And always remember: love conquers all.
2) Location, Location, Location
When it comes to tying the knot with a British citizen, there are a few things you need to take into account, namely, location. Here are five tips to help you make sure your big day goes off without a hitch:
1. Choose a venue that is convenient for both you and your partner. If one of you is based in the UK and the other in the US, pick somewhere central, like London or Manchester. You'll want to be able to fly back and forth easily before the wedding itself.
2. You'll need a copy of your fiancé's passport before booking flights, hotels, etc.
3. Consider having at least some part of the ceremony abroad so that you can use a different set of vows; this will also let you get away from all those uninvited relatives!
3) Deciding on Date and Time
The first step is to decide on a date and time that work for both of you. Keep in mind that the wedding will likely take place in the UK, so you'll need to factor in travel time.
You should also consider the seasons and whether you want a summer or winter wedding. In most parts of the world, it's common to have weddings during the warmer months (May–September) as opposed to the colder months (October–April).
Don't Forget The Formalities: Once you've decided on a date and time, check with your fiancé's local registrar about what paperwork needs to be completed before filing for marriage.
Requirements vary from country to country. If your fiancée is from another EU country, he or she may only need their national identity card instead of their passport.
4) Getting Engaged
The first step is getting engaged! If you’re not already living in the UK, you’ll need to move there and establish residency. Once you’re settled, you can start the process of applying for a fiancé visaThis can be done online through the UK Visas and Immigration website.
Make sure to have all your documents handy and answer any questions they ask fully and honestly. You should also have a few photos taken with your fiancé(e) to submit as part of the application formYour application will then be assessed by the Home Office before it goes into processing.
Some people are lucky enough to receive their visas within six weeks, but others may take up to 12 months. During this time, you must continue living in the UK and meet certain requirements (such as passing criminal background checks). Keep an eye on your mailbox for updates from the Home Office about how things are progressing.
5) Handling Family Members
1. Talk to your partner about how you will handle meeting each other's family members. Will you do it before the wedding or after?
2. If you're meeting before the wedding, plan to visit during a time when both families can be present.
3. Once you've met, take some time to get to know each other. You may have different customs and traditions, but that doesn't mean you can't find common ground. Ask yourself what is important to you as an individual, and see if there are any ways in which your partner does the same thing. The differences should not feel like something worth fighting over.
4. Once you're married, keep in mind that as one person moves through their life cycle, they might not experience every stage at the same point in their lives as their spouse. As they grow older, they'll understand more than they did before why certain things were done differently by their parents or grandparents.