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In recent years more and more couples are opting to combine their weddings with honeymoon vacations. Many governments have met this trend by making their wedding requirements less restrictive. Hotels and resorts now employ wedding planners and several independent wedding planning services have been formed. In addition, many tour companies now offer wedding packages.
Why have a destination wedding/honeymoon?
The cost of weddings in the United States is climbing to over $25,000. If you live in a larger city expect to pay substantially more. If you combine your wedding and honeymoon, you can have the whole package (air, hotel, wedding, etc.) for as little as a few thousand dollars.
While a wedding away from home is not hassle-free, a wedding planner can help ease much of the work. You can have guests at your wedding, but you won’t have the large guest list you would feel compelled to invite if you were having a wedding at home. This eliminates much of the stress involved in arranging menu plans, musicians, cost, and pleasing all of your family members.
The most important reason to have a wedding/honeymooon – the wedding of your dreams. Imagine saying your vows on a white sand beach overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean or on a powdery slope in the mountains of Colorado. From the exotic to the traditional, there are hundreds of wedding options available to make your wedding day special.
Tips for a wedding away from home
- You need to know the requirements of your destination. What are their marriage license requirements? Do you need a visa?
- Keep in mind, If you cannot legally marry in the country of your choice, you can always have a civil ceremony in the United States before you go and still have the wedding of your dreams.
PLAN WELL IN ADVANCE
- Some countries have lengthy residency requirement, while others have none. Some require you to send documentation long before your wedding date.
- You may have to make appointments in advance to get your license, for the ceremony, caterer, photographer, etc.
- In order to get the best rates on air and hotels, it is always best to book early.
AVOID PEAK SEASON
- If you can, avoid peak seasons. Your destination will be more crowded and more expensive during their tourist “high season.”
MAKE SURE YOUR DOCUMENTS ARE IN ORDER
- Many countries will require your original birth certificate, divorce certificates, death certificates, etc. If you are not holding what you need, it can take up to 6 weeks to get a copy.
- Some countries require your passport to be valid 6 months beyond your return date. Check the expiration date on your passport. If you don’t have one, submit an application. Passports can take more than 6 weeks for processing.
- Some countries require visas. The length of time it takes to process a visa varies by country. Most will allow you to pay a fee (usually quite high) to expedite the process. All require a copy of your itinerary with the visa application.
- If you are a bride and you intend to change your name, your travel documents must be in your maiden name. They must match the name on your identification (i.e. passport or driver’s license).
DON’T CHECK YOUR WEDDING DRESS
- If you can avoid it, don’t check your wedding dress and other essential wedding items. Airlines have been known to lose luggage. Ask the flight attendant if you can hang up the dress. If there is no place to hang up the dress, lay it flat in the overhead compartment. Either way, you will probably have to steam the dress later.
Contact us to request information on your dream destination wedding today.