Read these 11 Destination Weddings US Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Destination Weddings tips and hundreds of other topics.
If you'd like to get married in an exotic locale while staying within the umbrella of the United States, Guam can be an excellent choice. Guam is an Unincorporated Territory of the United States, meaning that traveling to this island, located in the Pacific Ocean just south of Japan, does not require passports. Getting married on Guam can be a different and beautiful experience, with locations ranging from weddings on a beach to elaborate ceremonies in hotels and resorts. Both the Hyatt and Marriott hotels on Guam offer full service wedding packages, and will customize ceremonies and receptions to suit your needs. You could also incorporate some of the Chamorro (native Guam residents) customs into your wedding reception, which can include using native materials in your decorations and having your parents and godparents sit at your table with you for your reception. Legally, getting married on Guam requires the following: both members of the couple must be present to apply for your marriage license, you must present your ID and birth certificate, and pay an $11 fee if you wish to waive the five day waiting period. You must also answer questions about your mother, father, race and education. No blood test is required.
Although your first idea of an East Coast wedding might be one that takes place in New York, there are many other locations in this part of the country for your perfect destination wedding. New England is home to the picturesque coastal states of Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, and all of these states make great wedding destinations. Cape Cod is a vacation hot spot for many families and honeymooners - so why not choose to get married where the whole family can have a great trip? Massachusetts marriage license requirements include a three day waiting period between obtaining the license and your ceremony, but no blood tests or other requirements (you must be 18) apply.
Florida can be a great choice for those seeking a beach wedding but don't want to leave the United States. Florida's two beach areas, on the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, make for perfect beach settings that are easy to get to. The Florida Keys are a romantic and relatively secluded family vacation spot that's perfect for a US tropical wedding. Getting married in Key West among the mansions, gardens and beaches can be easily arranged by the numerous wedding planners in the area who are willing to come up with the perfect wedding package for you.
Wedding requirements in Florida are as follows: if you are a Florida resident, a three day waiting period applies (between obtaining your license and your ceremony), but for those couples who are from out of state, there is no waiting period. No blood tests are required, but you must be age 18 or older to get married in Florida.
One of the most popular types of destination weddings in the United States is a Disney wedding. Whether you choose to get married at Walt Disney World in Florida, or Disneyland in California, you can definitely have a memorable Disney themed wedding. If you choose to have your “Fairy Tale Wedding” at Disneyland, a “fairy godplanner” will be there to assist you with all your wedding needs. Ceremonies can take place at any of the Disneyland resorts or hotels, or you can even get married in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle! Disneyland weddings and receptions start at around $8,000 for the entire package, and it's recommend that you start your wedding planning well in advance of your anticipated ceremony. If you'd rather get married in Walt Disney World, there are also many different choices of ceremony sites and receptions. Disney World offers a range of different accommodations as well, making it a great choice for those who know their guests may be on a budget. If you'd like to get married in a foreign land (inside EPCOT) or in front of Cinderella's Castle, Walt Disney World's planners can make it happen for you!
California is a great wedding destination for many reasons. If you have your heart set on a beach wedding, the beautiful area around San Juan Capistrano (south of Los Angeles) can provide the perfect wedding atmosphere. The many beach clubs and resorts on the water in this vacation area set a tropical mood for your beach wedding, and the proximity to Mexico means that a south-of-the-border influence can easily be added to your wedding. With plenty of sun and warm temperatures, southern California is a great wedding destination. But, California is more than just beaches. If you'd like a different sort of wedding, San Francisco in the northern part of California offers an off-beat choice for wedding settings. The many hills (such as Telegraph Hill), trolleys and Fisherman's Wharf all provide great ceremony spots, and local wedding planners are happy to tailor a wedding package to your needs. Legally, getting married in California requires several items: you must have copies of your birth certificate (some counties) and picture ID, as well as the names of your birth father and mother (including maiden name) and places of birth. There is no waiting period in California, and no blood tests are required.
Getting married in Las Vegas can be one of the cheapest and easiest destination weddings out there. It's easy to apply for your marriage license (no waiting period or blood test, and the marriage license office is open late every day). Ceremonies here can range from the simple $45 drive-through wedding to complex and lavish ceremonies at the major hotels and casinos such as the Venetian and Bellagio. Your guest list can consist of just the two of you or hundreds of people, Las Vegas is able to accommodate all needs. With many places to stay, chapels to get married at and even unusual weddings like helicopter rides over Red Rock Canyon, one of the hardest things about getting married here is choosing exactly how to celebrate your special day! You can get married by Elvis, have a haunted Dracula wedding, get married on the USS Enterprise from Star Trek or even have a traditional Catholic ceremony, all within the confines of the Las Vegas Strip. The many wedding planners at the hotels and casinos, as well as independent consultants, are all available to help make your Vegas wedding dreams come true.
The Midwest United States are not what people think of when they picture a romantic destination wedding getaway. Couples should really consider this area, however, because there are some great destinations in the Midwest. The Wisconsin Dells, a small town in Wisconsin, is home to beautiful Wisconsin River views, as well as being the “world's biggest waterpark destination”. While this location might not seem, at first glance, to be the most romantic choice, it's a great option for weddings with many children as guests. This doesn't mean you have to get married at a theme park or playground, but the amount of amusement for young adults and children can make a destination wedding easier. One extremely romantic spot in Wisconsin Dells to get married at is The White Rose Inn. Here, you can choose to have an intimate wedding overlooking the beautiful river area, or a larger ceremony in the RiverView Wedding Chapel. The wedding coordinators at the Inn make sure to help you find the best package for your needs, and there are accommodations on site. Wisconsin's legal requirements for a wedding are as follows: you must present photo ID, and show certified copies of your birth certificates if you are under 30. Couples need to apply for their marriage license in the county where their ceremony will be held (if from out-of-state), and the mandatory six day waiting period can be waived for non-Wisconsin residents. No blood tests are required, and both parties must be 18 or older.
When you think of a destination wedding, you might picture stunning beaches and exotic lands; or maybe even mountains with snowy peaks. Destination weddings bring to mind ancient castles, sun-kissed islands and fragrant gardens; but along with these pictures comes the hefty price tag of traveling to a far off land. Luckily, you don't have to leave the United States for your perfect wedding destinations. From the coasts of Florida and California, to the snowy mountains of Alaska, the US has many different locations to make your destination wedding unique and affordable. So pack your bags (no passport required) and head to any area of the country for your perfect destination wedding. There are some unexpected wonders in every part of the US waiting for you.
New York City has many different spots where you can get married – from Central Park to the many historic churches and venues that cover the area. Many wedding packages are available from local wedding planners, and these often include the ceremony, officiant and small receptions. If you'd prefer a more rural feel, the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz (upstate) New York is a beautiful choice for an upscale wedding. This resort, which has been featured in movies such as "The Road to Wellville," is an old-time retreat house with a castle like feel. Views of the Catskill Mountains and Lake Mohonk give this resort a fairy-tale atmosphere, and for fall weddings, the views of the changing leaves set a backdrop like no other. The marriage license requirements here are relaxed, no blood tests are required, and there is only a 24 hour waiting period that must elapse between obtaining the license and your ceremony. Both parties getting married must be 18 or older (unless there is parental permission).
The United States may not be the first place you think of when you want to plan a destination wedding, but there are many different settings and areas to choose from for a great destination wedding ceremony. If you enjoy history, a spot like Philadelphia just might be for you. If you'd prefer a beach setting, the beautiful shoreline of Florida offers couples a great place to get married in a tropical atmosphere without having to leave the US.
Alaska offers the destination wedding seeker a unique experience for their wedding day. Unlike the usual tropical wedding locales, Alaska's beautiful glaciers and wildlife provide a different type of backdrop for a different type of wedding. Whether you'd like to get married aboard an Alaskan cruise, in an old mining town or in a remote glacier setting reachable only by helicopter, Alaska's wedding planners can help you to choose the perfect setting for your ceremony. The weather is best in Alaska between May and September, so wedding consultants recommend you plan for your wedding during these months. The temperature at this time of year ranges from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes for a comfortable wedding indoors or out. Your entire wedding party will enjoy the excuse to see the beauty of Alaska, and you'll have a wedding story to tell your grandchildren! Alaska does have some legal requirements for getting married in the state, and they are as follows: you will need to apply for a marriage license either in person or by mail with a notarized form. Once the Bureau of Vital Statistics receives your application, a three day waiting period commences, and then your license will be issued and you can have your ceremony. No blood tests are required, and you must bring government issued photo ID to pick up your license.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|