e. leila@turtle-pr.com    t. +44 (0)7889 23 1000



Wedding site says it's time for ladies to get down on one knee this Valentine's Day

With Marriage Week UK fast approaching (7 - 14 February) and 2012 a leap year, leading destination weddings website - MarryAbroad.co.uk, is urging brides to pop the question this Valentine's Day.

In Britain, it is tradition that women may propose marriage, but only during leap years. This rite became called "The Ladies' Privilege" and tradition states that a 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland, required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal during a leap year was refused by the man. Compensation for the would-be bride could range from a £1, to fabric to make a silk gown, in order to soften the blow. Folk law dictates that women popping the question were expected to wear a scarlet petticoat on the day.

And as according to a 2011 Mintel study, one in five weddings now take place abroad. MarryAbroad.co.uk's top five countries by visits in 2011 were as follows - Spain, Greece, Italy, Canada and Thailand - in that order.

Therefore, according to the popularity of these wedding destinations, MarryAbroad.co.uk presents its Top Five ways for ladies to propose, building on proposal traditions of that particular country...

1. The Spanish Señorita

A destination wedding in Spain is a popular choice for UK couples, due to its varied countryside - ranging from Mediterranean beaches to the rugged landscape of the south and the breathtaking mountain ranges of the Pyrenees and Picos de Europa.

"Spanish tradition dictates that the groom gives the bride's father a watch when the proposal is accepted. UK brides wanting to choose Spain for their wedding destination could build on this Spanish tradition, by giving a carefully chosen piece of jewellery to the groom's Mother. This will certainly make for a lasting relationship with your Mother-in-law, and should lead to the right answer!," says Stephanie Bishop, Joint-Founder of MarryAbroad.co.uk.

For wedding planners and venues in Spain, please visit:

2. Capturing Captain Corelli...

Greece and the Greek islands are well known for their excellent weather, picturesque towns and villages and quiet beaches. The whitewashed chapels and gently lapping waves of islands such as Kalokairi, the backdrop for the movie Mamma Mia!, suit couples looking for breathtaking scenery on their big day.

"Proposal tradition in Greece states that the groom must propose with a diamond ring, and have a romantic dinner with his betrothed. We say UK brides brave enough to pop the question - who also hope to get married in Greece this year, should book an intimate, family-run Greek restaurant for dinner. Present him with a box containing a diamond to set in your engagement ring, you design together - should he say yes! Those on more of a budget could of course opt for a precious gem stone, which will be symbolic," says Bishop.

For wedding planners and venues in Greece, please visit:

3. Asking an Italian Stallion?

Famously known as the land of love, Italy boasts the romantic cities of Rome, Venice, Verona and Florence, plus the rolling landscapes of Tuscany and Umbria. "For couples looking for an elegant city wedding, rustic countryside setting or to marry on the banks of one of the world-famous Italian lakes, Italy can provide the ideal wedding destination," says Bishop.

"In Italy, the groom has to romantically serenade his bride, when proposing. So we suggest those ladies with strong singing voices might like to take him to a karaoke night, although it might be idea to practise the chosen song first!," says Bishop.

For wedding planners and venues in Italy, please visit:

4. Lord of the Ring

"Many couples choose to get married in Canada, as it is relatively simple and there is a great choice of wedding locations, set amongst spectacular scenery. The French-speaking cities of Quebec and Montreal lend a "je ne sais quoi" air to getting married abroad, and Vancouver provides an amazing backdrop - nestled between mountains and the sea, on the stunning West Coast.

"In Canada, women commonly only wear engagement rings, and occasionally present their partners with an engagement ring also to propose. UK brides wishing to get married in Canada could propose to their beloved with a ring, to mirror this tradition," says Bishop.

For wedding planners and venues in Canada, please visit:

5. Thai tradition

Dreaming of tying the knot in Thailand this year? Thailand has an abundance of sandy beaches, clear waters, magnificent coves, palm-fringed beaches and sparkling island-dotted seas, which makes it a perfect beach wedding destination.

"Proposal tradition in Thailand dictates the groom has to first ask the parents' permission and pay a dowry. A modern take on this tradition, might be to take his parents out for a Thai dinner prior to asking the big question!," says Bishop.

For wedding planners and venues in Thailand, please visit:

For more information on practicalities and legalities on getting married in any of the above countries, please visit MarryAbroad.co.uk.

- Ends -

For further information:

Leila Stocker
Turtle PR
Email: leila@turtle-pr.com
Tel: +44 (0)7889 231000

About MarryAbroad.co.uk
MarryAbroad.co.uk is a free information portal for couples, providing marriage legalities, information and advice on marrying around the world. The site, which launched in January 2006, also promotes destination wedding professionals to the UK wedding market by driving visitors to site partners, to increase their visibility in the global wedding market. MarryAbroad.co.uk saw 145% increase in site visitors 2011, with an annual 420,000 unique visitors to the site in 2011.


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