Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Legal Considerations

The first question we had in planning our destination wedding was whether the marriage would be legally recognized in the United States.

The U.S. State Department website is a good resource for U.S. citizens interested in getting married in a foreign country. Basically, the short answer is yes, it is legally binding in the United States.

In order for your marriage to be legal, you must follow the local laws and procedures of the country where you will be married. Most countries have residency requirements (the length of time before the wedding you need to be in the country). In the Bahamas, the residency requirement was one day. However, Tahiti has a residency requirement of 30 days, essentially eliminating it as a potential location for destination weddings.

In nearly all cases, you will need to produce legal documentation (usually your passports), but could also include birth certificates, death certificates (widow/widower) and/or divorce decrees. We got married in the Bahamas, which also required that we had to go through a brief interview with a local official (about 10 minutes). We did not need to do a blood test, which can be a major issue for some people getting married in some countries (including Mexico).

Couples can encounter difficulty when returning to the United States if their marriage license is not in English. To be valid in the U.S., you must have an English translation of your marriage certificate. If you get married in a former British colony (Bermuda, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, etc.), that won’t be a problem. However, if you get married in a country where the official language is other than English, be sure to investigate what it will take to get an official translation.

Also, before leaving the wedding site, you should consider getting multiple official notarized copies of your marriage certificate. When you get home, you’ll need extra copies of your license to change your name.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shameless Plug: Nominate Us for the Best Destination Wedding Blog

This is a shameless plug to our readers. Have you enjoyed reading our Ultimate Destination Weddings blog over the last four years? Have you found it beneficial in planning your destination wedding?

If so, why don’t you nominate us in for the WeddingChannel.com Best Destination Wedding Blog? We’d be very grateful!


Nominate me for the WeddingChannel.com Bridal Blog Awards!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Making Green Wedding Plans

Couples want to make a statement about who they are and what they stand for, especially when they're planning a wedding. Whether it's about printing the invitations on recycled paper or opting for an exotic location that stresses nature for an alternative wedding, there are a ton of ways to plan a green wedding. One of the smallest ways, yet one that can make a statement for years to come (even when the wedding is over), is the bridal jewelry chosen for the occasion.

Themed Weddings Offer Best Opportunities

Having a beach wedding? Why not dress the bridesmaids and bride in shell and bead jewelry? Mother-of-pearl shells are translucent, ethereal, and natural. Pearls also make a great accent for beach weddings. Other themed weddings might include a garden setting. In that case, the jewelry can opt for natural motifs, like leaves and floral patterns. Real flowers are always a great way to dress up a wedding, and a bride, and they are renewable resources. If you are going to pick real jewelry for the bridal party as favors, opt for an organization that gives some of its proceeds to charities that help to save the environment. When you are ready to give the jewelry away as a “thank you,” your bridesmaids will be thrilled to know that a part of the cost went to help out a worthwhile cause.

When Choosing The Rings

Green couples prefer conflict-free diamonds and recycled metals for the jewelry they pick. The first is a matter of social responsibility and ethics and the second choice helps to save the world's precious resources. Another great way to reduce the impact of the occasion on the world's resources is to use a heirloom ring that's been passed down within the family. If you have a creative bent, you can even have old jewelry that you both have lying around recycled into new rings or bands.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cruise Ship Wedding Resources

As a resource for those who are interested in cruise ship weddings, here are the wedding websites for a number of cruise companies:

There are also all-in-one companies that coordinate your cruise ship wedding experience. Most notably is The Wedding Experience – which boasts that it is the exclusive wedding service provider for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises and Holland America (in Europe), as well as select ports for Carnival Cruise Line. The Wedding Experience also boasts that it does over 10,000 weddings a year, so we have to wonder how much individual attention you’ll really receive (again, the “wedding-in-a-box” approach seems to apply here).

As we previously covered in Cruise Ship Weddings, cruise ship weddings can be convenient if you’re looking for a wedding-in-a-box (perhaps for a second wedding after one or both you have kids, etc.). However, if you are looking for a customized experience or a higher-end experience, cruise ship weddings may not be for you. We could be wrong and we'd love to see it if it exists, but that's our take.