Person Holding Bank Card

Tips For Paying Wedding Vendors Abroad

Disclaimer – This website contains affiliate links. We may earn a very small commission if you make a purchase using links on this site, at no extra cost to you. That’s how we can afford to keep this awesome site running!

When you’re planning a destination wedding, most of the time you are working with vendors who not only live in a different country to you but also often charge their fees in a different currency. When transferring money to different currencies, it can be confusing about what is the best way, and the cheapest way to do it.

In this post, we want to answer one of the common questions that we see being asked in destination wedding planning groups, and give you our recommendations based on years of working in the destination wedding industry.

Help – My Vendor Is Saying They Didn’t Receive the Full Amount

We see this time and time again in Facebook groups and forums. Couples transfer directly from their bank to their overseas vendor and somewhere in the process, the bank takes fees off, meaning that the vendor on the other end doesn’t receive the amount they were expecting. It’s not a scam. It happens very regularly and it’s annoying for everyone involved.

This usually then leads to discussions around who should cover these fees. And while there are always conflicting opinions on this, here’s how we see it:

If you’re an American eating at a restaurant in Italy, you pay the price on the bill in the local currency. If you pay with your bank card (credit or debit), when you later get your bank statement, you’ll see the amount you paid in your currency plus the added fees the bank charged for making the currency exchange on your behalf.

The main difference when you’re sending a bank transfer is that some banks will ask you who should pay the exchange fees, but some banks won’t. That means that the fees often get passed on to the receiving bank. We wish the process was more transparent, but sadly it seems there are not international standards between banks, so sometimes you just won’t know if there have been fees taken until you’ve already paid.

Most wedding vendors are small businesses, and while some may be able absorb these transfer fees into what they charge, for many it can be difficult to do without increasing their rates. This leads to those uncomfortable situations where a supplier doesn’t receive the amount they have billed you for (even if you sent the correct amount) and either you are requested to pay the difference or they are left short. Either way, someone loses out.

But there is a better way to avoid all of this hassle. And that’s by using Wise to pay your vendors.

Sign Up For Wise

Wise – Best Solution For Paying Wedding Vendors in Europe

We’ve been fans of Wise for many years (since the days when it was known as TransferWise). It’s our preferred way of paying for services from vendors who live in other countries. In fact, because the European Elopement Guide team is international, we even use it to pay each other, as well as for services when we travel too. It’s because we use it regularly ourselves that we feel confident it’s the best solution for making international payments to vendors abroad.

When you use Wise, you pay in YOUR CURRENCY and they pay your vendor in THEIR CURRENCY, so there are no surprise fees. It’s all upfront and transparent.

How does Wise work?

Paying your destination weddings vendors with Wise is super easy. We’ve broken down the whole process for you below:

1. Sign up for a free Wise account

Creating a free account on Wise is easy. You may be asked to confirm your identity during the process (to help prevent fraud).

2. Add A Recipient

To send money, you’ll need to add the payment information of the person you are sending the payment to. You can usually find this on the invoice from the vendor.

3. Enter The Amount The Vendor Should Receive

In the box at the bottom, enter the amount and the currency as stated on your invoice/bill. This is exact amount that person will receive. The amount you pay is then automatically calculated in the top box in your own currency.

Screenshot of using Wise to pay wedding vendors abroad
Sending money in a different currency on Wise

4. Choose Your Payment Method

Wise lets you pay using a variety of different methods, depending on where you are in the world. These include a direct transfer from your bank, payment using an online payment gateway, or payment by credit or debit card. The fees for each method vary, but you will be able to see what these are under the listed payment options.

FAQS For Paying Overseas Vendors

Who Pays The Bank Fees – Me or the Vendor?

Most vendors will specify in their contract or on the invoice what their policy is, but generally, it’s common practice that the client/buyer covers any international transfer fees. Otherwise, a business is losing money if they are working with clients from overseas instead of local clients.

What About PayPal?

Some vendors may accept payments via PayPal, but others might not or may specify that payments sent via PayPal must be sent as “Friends & Family” to avoid the high fees that PayPal charges to receive money as a business. Check with your vendors to see if this is an option for you.

Can I Pay With A Credit Card?

We get it. Credit cards not only allow you to spread out the cost (although we always recommend paying them off immediately), but they can also be a great way to earn some extra perks whilst paying for your wedding and honeymoon. Similar to PayPal, most credit card payment processors charge hefty fees, which can be prohibitive for some small businesses. Thankfully Wise does give you the option to pay with a credit card, so if your vendor doesn’t accept direct credit card payments, we recommend paying through Wise with your credit card instead.

Is Wise The Cheapest Option?

Every financial institution charges fees differently. Some are open and transparent while others can be confusing. Some banks might not charge an exchange fee, but will give you a less favorable exchange rate, where others may have a better exchange rate but add a commission or fee on top. With Wise, you know where you stand. Wise uses mid-market exchange rates and is upfront about the fees. Very often it can be the cheapest option, but it depends on factors, such as which payment method you select.

Similar Posts