{Advice} Destination Wedding? Know the Legal Stuff Before You Leave

Are you and your honey planing a destination wedding somewhere out of town, state or country? Well, before you jet off to your destination wedding, we were sent these great tips to share with you, to help make you be not just savvy brides and grooms, but savvy travelers, as well. Enjoy the article!
Is there anything more romantic than a destination wedding? Whether it's on a Caribbean beach, in front of a Las Vegas Elvis impersonator or at the pitcher's mound in Yankee Stadium, a destination wedding is one that goes down in the family history books if you've got the skills and patience to make it happen. Destination weddings require great planning skills—after all, you're doing all this long-distance. But while you're negotiating over the cake, flowers, band, and all things wedding related, be sure you and your guests are up-to-date on the particulars of your destination.

Avoid Travel Surprises

Getting there used to be fun...but not so much anymore. Be prepared to handle emergencies that can make the start of a joyous occasion irritating at best, awful at worst. TSA can make you miss your flight (trust us on this one). Ground transportation can be nonexistent if delays get you to your destination at 2 a.m. Then there's always the hotel that dropped your reservation when you didn't show up at a "reasonable time." Here are some tips to help you manage these out-of-your-hands incidents:
  • Bridalmusings.com recommends hiring a local wedding planner who has contacts with the venue and services you will be using.
  • Ask the planner or another highly competent person to handle onsite details.
  • Arrange a van service to get people to the airport three hours before the flight.
  • Ask guests to promise to limit alcoholic drinks on the plane to two.

Prepare Guests for Overseas Travel

If your destination is another country, make sure your guests understand that they will need current passports, even if your wedding is in Canada or Mexico. Driver's licenses and birth certificates might get them in, but they aren't enough to get them back into the U.S.

Create a checklist for your guests that includes:
  • Reminders about checking their passport expiration dates
  • Where to renew them
  • How to get visas if needed (do the research for them)
  • Required immunizations
You and your guests might want to consider safeguarding your finances and identity before leaving the country. Traveling is distracting and that makes you vulnerable to theft. Think about using a watchdog service like LifeLock, which provides financial and identification safeguarding and threat detection services that can be invaluable during overseas traveling.

Special Information for the Happy Couple

Double and trip-check marriage license requirements at your destination. Right now, just four states require blood tests, but laws change often, says USMarriageLaws.com, a site that lists minimum ages, fees and other marriage-related information. Gay couples can now wed in more than a dozen states and the list is growing. Same-sex couples are also welcomed to marry in 13 other nations, according to ImmigrationEquality.com. Some countries have a minimum residency requirement on top of their fees so you and your honey may need to get there early. Check with the nation's embassy to get details. This is one area where you don't want to rely too heavily on the Internet!

Great tips, wouldn't you agree? I mean really, coming from me, who's been in the travel industry, you really cannot ever be too prepared when it comes to traveling, especially for big events like weddings. Better safe than sorry. We hope this advice was helpful to all!

Photo Credit: FineArt Studio Photography, seen here