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Overseas weddings 'becoming more popular'

Cheaper long-haul flights are encouraging more people to opt for overseas weddings, an industry expert has said.

Mark Bell, a spokesperson for White Sand Weddings, explained that the popularity of exotic weddings has increased significantly since the 1990s and that the proliferation of cheaper flights and more luxury hotels was responsible for the growth.

In particular, weddings in Mauritius, the Caribbean, New York and Orlando had become very popular, Mr Bell said.

He added: "Weather is clearly one reason why so many couples choose to tie the knot abroad - and after such conditions over the past few months, we have noticed an increase in enquiries for 2008/9 weddings."

Furthermore, Mr Bell explained that there was often a financial incentive to opting for a foreign holiday - as many large hotels now offer free weddings.

"These will typically save the bride and groom between £300 and £800," Mr Bell said.

"Additionally, a number of hotels will offer a discount to wedding couples, such as the bride may receive up to 50 per cent off, or the bride may even travel free with a certain number of adult guests."

Several celebrities, including Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, have recently opted for an exclusive and beautiful island location when looking to tie the knot.

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