In the past decade, destination weddings have grown in popularity with couples opting to celebrate their big day outside of their hometown. Here are some quick facts and useful tips to keep in mind in order to plan the destination wedding of you dreams; whether, it’s an out-of-state hot spot or an international adventure.
Out-of-State Destination Weddings
If you’re planning an out-of-state wedding, you will need to research the specific marital laws and requirements governing the state you wish to get married in. Once your venue and/or destination is selected, you should start by getting all the information you need to acquire a wedding license in that state. But most importantly, you should always know the legalities before you book your venue or hotel.
Remember that marital laws not only vary from state to state, but they also differ from county to county. For that reason, you should always contact the county or city clerk’s office — where your wedding will take place — to inquire about fees, legal documents needed, minimum age, waiting time periods, blood test requirements and their office hours.
Some counties offer online marriage license pre-application forms. You simply fill out the form with all your information in advance, and pick up your license at a latter date. Generally, both the bride and groom must appear in person to sign the license.
Out-of-Country Destination Weddings
If you plan to have your dream wedding outside of the United States, you need to start researching the marital laws and requirements of that specific country very early in your wedding planning process. As mentioned above, it’s important to know all the legalities before you book the hotel or make any plane ticket reservations.
Since marital laws and requirements can be vastly different from country to country, you should contact the embassy of your destination wedding’s country directly; and get all the information you need to get married in that specific country. You can also contact a country’s tourism office for some information on weddings and the legal steps to take. In addition, if you’re using the service of a travel agent, they can also provide you with some helpful information on the subject.
On a final note, be sure to inform all your guests (at least three to six months in advance) about planning a destination wedding. You want to be sure that everyone has enough time to apply for a passport and/or a visa — if needed.