Destination Sweden: The Ultimate Handbook for Foreign Weddings


Destination Sweden

Sweden has become an increasingly popular wedding destination for international couples looking to get married abroad. With its magical forests, picturesque villages, grand castles, and vibrant cities, it has much to offer those planning a destination wedding.

But there are some important things to understand first when planning a wedding in Sweden as a foreign couple. This comprehensive guide, along with resources like, covers everything you need to know, from legal paperwork to traditional Swedish wedding customs, ensuring a smooth process for couples interested in marrying Swedish brides.

Meeting Residency Requirements

To legally marry in Sweden, at least one partner will need to obtain a residency permit. This involves applying in your home country before traveling to Sweden. The process can take up to 9 months for approval.

You will need to supply:

  • Passports
  • Proof of relationship (shared address, insurance, assets)
  • Wedding date and location confirmation
  • Travel itinerary for Sweden trip

Using a wedding planner can help navigate this process smoothly. They can ensure all necessary documents are prepared properly.

Pro Tip: Since the paperwork can take so long, be sure to start the residency application at least 9-12 months in advance of your ideal wedding date.

Gathering Needed Documentation

In addition to the residency permit, you will also need to have the required documents from your home country to legally marry in Sweden:

For Single Applicants

  • Certificate of No Impediment to Marry
  • Birth certificate

For Divorced Applicants

  • Final divorce decree
  • Certified copy of previous marriage certificate

All foreign documents will need to be translated into Swedish or English and certified with an apostille seal before travel.

Finding the Perfect Swedish Venue

Sweden offers diverse options when it comes to selecting your wedding venue. Beautiful farms, grand castles, outdoor spaces, and urban venues are all possibilities.

Coastal Venues

Marry by the sea at a seaside resort or picturesque fishing village along Sweden’s extensive coastline. Summer is high season but lower rates are available in spring and fall.

Castle Venues

Hold your wedding at a stunning Swedish castle hotel, like Rosendal Castle in Stockholm or Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred. These run $15,000 – $30,000 with guest minimums. Book 1-2 years out.

Farm Venues

For a charming, rustic affair, Swedish farms host intimate weddings. Bonus: Farms include home-cooked cuisine with fresh local ingredients. Expect to pay $3,000 – $8,000.

Pro Tip: Off-peak months like January-April offer savings of 20-30% at most wedding venues in Sweden.

Handling Guest Logistics

If guests will be traveling from overseas, arrange 2-3 hotels at different price points for accommodation. Negotiate a room block for 10-20 rooms at a discounted rate for your wedding.

While Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö have airports, guests may need to connect through Copenhagen or Oslo. Recommend flying into Stockholm for the most convenient travel around Sweden.

For transportation, public transit readily connects main cities. However, arranging minibus rentals helps guests without Swedish cash get around easily.

Incorporating Traditions

Infuse meaningful Swedish traditions to make your wedding reflective of the destination:

Speeches are Musts

Short, witty speeches are essential at Swedish weddings. Have your officiant guide the order when you assign speeches to wedding party members and family.


Swedes love to sing together! Having the officiant or a family member lead your guests in a meaningful song adds a soulful element.


Wedding games get everyone mingling and laughing. Shoe piles, three-legged races, and tears through the veil are classics.

Above all, Swedes know how to create a warm, relaxed feeling perfect for celebrating lasting love. Lean into the casual vibe.

Creating a Realistic Wedding Budget

While Sweden offers fairytale venues, costs add up quickly. Use these average estimates for planning purposes:

  • Venue fee: $4,000-$15,000
  • Food & drinks: $100-$250 per head
  • Photographer: $3,000-$7,000
  • Wedding dress: $1,500 (budget more if importing)
  • Flowers: $1,500-$3,500
  • Wedding cake: $300-$500
  • Stationery: $500-2000
  • Hair & makeup: $100 per service
  • Transportation: $500-$1500
  • Accommodations: $150-$300 per room

Total average cost: $30,000-$60,000

Ways to save include having a Swedish friend get some items locally or lowering the headcount. Set your max budget, then allocate to each vendor from there.

Ready for Your Swedish Wedding?

Planning an international wedding in Sweden comes with its fair share of logistics. By starting the legal paperwork early, researching venue options thoroughly, and budgeting smartly, your destination wedding can become a reality.

If Sweden keeps calling your name as the perfect wedding spot, take these additional steps before cementing your plans:

  • Visit Sweden for venue scouting. If possible, take a trip to Sweden 12-18 months before your proposed wedding date to tour venues in person and meet with vendors. This allows you to estimate pricing more accurately as well.
  • Hire a local Swedish wedding planner. Splurge on a seasoned Sweden-based planner. They have established relationships with vendors that give you preferential rates unavailable otherwise. Leaning on their expertise saves tons of time and stress.
  • Get wedding insurance. Protect your investment by purchasing a comprehensive wedding insurance policy. Common coverage includes cancellation for unavoidable visa issues, travel delays preventing guests or vendors from attending, vendor bankruptcy, and more.
  • Start a strict wedding budget. Track every wedding expense from the start in a detailed spreadsheet. Add in a 10-15% buffer for incidentals and currency fluctuations. If costs exceed original estimates, reassess must-have priorities immediately. Waiting too long limits options.
  • Secure your wedding license asap. Finalizing your Swedish wedding license should happen a few days after arriving in the country, along with any last-minute vendor meetings. This ensures enough time for revisions to plans if problems securing the license occur.

Planning an international wedding is never easy, but staying organized, building contingencies, and embracing flexibility smooth the way to a magical day in Sweden. Reach out with other questions – from paperwork nuances to cost-cutting tips, I’m here to help plan your picture-perfect Swedish celebration!

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