Straight from the Spouse's Mouth

A bride offers five tips to wed by

Destination weddings-nuptials that hit the road instead of being bound to home turf-are an increasingly popular option for travel-hungry brides and grooms. They now account for 10 percent of U.S. weddings, having doubled in the past decade to 230,000 ceremonies annually. Detailed planning is key to pulling off a faraway ceremony, so keep these tips, culled from personal experience, in mind:
FIND YOUR INNER TRAVEL AGENT You have to play the part to ensure that everybody arrives happy. We began by sending a thorough e-mail that included directions, airport recommendations, other travel info, things to do, and a map.
KNOW THE MARRIAGE LAWS Research the details well in advance. Marriage laws vary by state (and country) and are all listed at www.usmarriagelaws.com, with international links. We got our marriage license after answering a few questions at the county clerk's office-including "Are you related?"-and forking over ten bucks. You may need to arrive at your destination early to take care of the paperwork.
MAKE A PRE-WEDDING VISIT Really. A preview is absolutely necessary, even if your best friend raves about the place. Web sites and phone calls tell only part of the story. During our visit to Dunton, we were able to walk through the event to see how everything would go, and then make adjustments.
ASK DETAILED QUESTIONS ABOUT CHARGES Even the best places may have unexpected fees, like wine-corkage charges. Request an estimate and even a sample bill from a recent wedding. You might ask, "Are there going to be any surprises on my bill when this is through?"
ONCE IT STARTS, JUST HAVE FUN When you arrive, nothing else should matter-you are officially done working. Whatever happens, happens; just roll along and have a blast!

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