How to Plan a Wedding in Another State

by Robin Raven

Planning a wedding in another state isn't as challenging as you may think. While the requirements for a marriage do vary by state, it is easy to get answers to your questions from city officials and state websites. With gay marriages now being legal in California, many are choosing to have their wedding there. Some choose fun locations like Disney World, although the location is based across the country. Planning a wedding from across the country, state to state, isn't a problem. It simply takes some time and willingness to do the leg work.

Step 1

Start planning your wedding as early as possible. Depending on the state, you'll need a certain amount of time to put all the paperwork through. It's ideal to start planning a wedding six months to a year in advance. If you know you want to spend eternity with someone, waiting a few more months can only strengthen your bond and commitment.

Step 2

Set aside a notebook, journal or folder specifically for wedding planning. This will keep you organized, and you will be able to see a steady stream of progress made. Do a bit each day. Start a "to do" list on a new page for each day. Mark all things done as you go. This will make planning the wedding in another state go smoothly and quickly. If you fail to do something on any given day, simply move it to the next. Make sure there isn't one thing that keeps getting moved. If there is, do it right away.

Step 3

Send "Save the Date" cards out to all of the people that you want to ultimately invite to your wedding. Since this location will likely be out of state for most of them, sending out an early heads up is a nice idea. This will allow those nearest and dearest to you advance time to plot and plan for the chance to be at your wedding, even if extensive travel is required. On the "Save the Date" notice, you should explain where your wedding will be held.

Step 4

Decide what you can afford to spend on a wedding in another state. This may cut down on costs if it eliminates a big wedding. Since travel will be out of the question for all of those who aren't your closest friends and family or for those who can't afford it, you will not be likely to have a big wedding when you do it out of state. If you want to pay for the airfare for a few who might not otherwise attend, that is at your discretion. While paying for hotel rooms is often a part of long distance wedding etiquette, you're not at all expected to pay for the airfare of others.

Step 5

Gather all the legal paperwork for you and your future spouse. Get birth certificates, blood tests and social security cards. Other paperwork, like green cards or legal work papers, are essential. You'll need to check with each state to see the official requirements.

Step 6

Get everything through the mail in writing when it comes to planning things out of state. Get a contract sent to you via snail mail when you have paid or committed to a certain location. Get your photographer's commitment in writing if you have chosen one at your destination state. Even have the church process a commitment statement if you are choosing a destination priest or preacher to perform the ceremony. This will give you peace of mind and security when you arrive at your wedding locale.

Step 7

Do as much planning online as possible. This will save on long-distance fees and cell phone minutes. When you are dealing with out of state, you will be doing by phone what you would otherwise do in person.

Step 8

Consult a wedding planner if you get stuck or confused along the way. These professionals have seen it all before, and they will have tried and true solutions for seemingly complicated problems. Make sure you choose one that's experienced and affordable. Since wedding planning businesses are fairly easy to start, check references before committing to your planner.

Tips

  • Your marriage will be legal in all states, regardless of which state you marry in. If you marry in a neighboring state or Hawaii, you will still be considered legally married when you return to your home state.

Warnings

  • Don't get married at a place where you've never been. Although the location may look gorgeous and glamorous from afar, the wedding will ultimately be more successful if you choose a state and location that means something to you and your future spouse.

About the Author

Robin Raven was first published in 1998. She has contributed to newspapers, magazines and online publications, including "The Malibu Times," "Act'ionLine" for Friends of Animals, USA Today Travel Tips and the official Melissa Gilbert website. Raven specializes in travel, health, beauty, culture, vegan nutrition, joyful living, arts and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing.