You said “YES” to a destination wedding, Now What? Finding the perfect destination is the first step, but what does that actually mean? Some place warm and tropical and outside the United States are the first thoughts that come to mind when the words destination wedding are spoken. Let’s not forget that destination is defined as the place to which someone or something is going or being sent. No where in that definition does it indicate that destination = warm, tropical, or beachy location. There are so many other fabulous places within the United States to have a destination wedding. Let’s explore some of these places to say “I Do”.
Arizona affords a backdrop consisting of ski slopes, forests, red rocks, mountains, and dunes. Flagstaff houses the states highest mountain, Humphrey’s Peak which affords a bride and groom an amazing photo op. Do you love the Grand Canyon? Obtain a special permit and host your guests at one of the most amazing parks in the country. Do you fancy a spa resort? Arizona is home to some of the most luxurious spas in the U.S. including the famed Marival Resort in Tuscon.
Once you arrive in Arizona, it is as easy as a piece of cake (wedding cake that is) to make your nuptials legal. You will need certified copies of both of your birth certificates if you are under 30, your photo ID’s for both of you and cash to purchase your license at the county clerk of courts office. No waiting period and no blood tests so once you have your license in hand bring on the ceremony .
Staying on the west coast, your perfect destination might be California! Home of the vineyards of Napa Valley, beaches of Malibu, ski lifts of Lake Tahoe, movie buffs can use the back lots of Studio City to create their memorable nuptials. If wedding in a castle is your dream, Hearst’s and Sleeping Beauty’s castle call California home. With miles of beautiful coastline a beautiful beach wedding is possible in the states.
California dreaming isn’t all that difficult. Marriage licenses can be purchased in person by both parties with valid picture IDs and occasionally a birth certificate at any county clerk’s office. Valid for 90 days, must be returned within 10 days of the ceremony. Same-sex marriage is legal, blood tests are not required, and a laundry list of people can officiate and this includes judges, some elected officials, religious clergy of any denomination, and any of your famous hollywood friends who are ordained.
When one thinks of weddings in the U.S., Las Vegas has to be in the forefront for a destination wedding and they don’t always have to include Elvis. There are some epic places to say “I Do” in the big LV. The ever swanky south end of Las Vegas Blvd and the resurrection of the infamous Fremont Street will be sure to beat the odds for a wedding weekend packed with entertainment. From high end shopping at CityCenter and luxurious hotels to Planet Hollywood and their infamous concert headliners, a rehearsal pool party will provide some epic memories complete with headlining DJ’s. Las Vegas brings more than the lights and glitz on the strip; let’s not forget the natural landscapes such as the Hoover Dam and the Springs Preserve for the ultimate in wedding backdrops.
Making it official in Vegas is not too difficult. Considering they are complete with drive-thru chapels on pretty much every corner, one probably would have been a betting man that the task would not be too difficult. This is the land of No’s; no blood tests, no waiting period, no specific form of ID required (just some type of ID) show up at a county clerk’s office and you’ve got yourself a license to wed.
If warm and sunny is your nuptials desire then Florida might be the place for you. Entertain your guests on the beautiful beaches of Clearwater and watch dolphins swim by during your ceremony. The pristine waters of Miami couldn’t be more beautiful with luxurious hotels such as Fontainebleu. Party the night away with your guests on Duval Street in the Keys and one can’t forget magical Walt Disney World which provides numerous backdrops for a wedding ceremony.
Tying the knot in the Sunshine State is easy. Arrive within three days of your ceremony. Have you taken the four-hour Florida premarital course (available online!)? Then the $93.50 fee for the license is reduced by one-third, and there isn’t a waiting period. The license is valid for 60 days and can be purchased in any county. Don’t like needles? Your in luck, a blood test isn’t required in the land of Mickey Mouse!
Don’t feel forced to have a destination wedding on the beach in the caribbean because a destination wedding can be anywhere that you and your bride/groom feel is the “perfect destination” for the two of you.