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Getting Married in Virginia - Guide to Beach Weddings in Virginia

In the diverse Virginia coastal zone, the first thing you should know is that only one percent of the shoreline is publicly owned, so you need to make sure that your destination is accessible before making any plans. Having said that, there are still many options for a wedding on a public beach, and the main ones are listed in the Most Popular Beach Locations section.

Alternatively, you could book your wedding at one of the many seaside residences and access the oceanfront from there. Many resorts and cottages have wedding packages, for weddings small and large, from the glitz and glamour to the very cozy experience. We’ve listed a range of different packages in the Most Popular Hotels section below.

Offering a laid-back beach experience, Virginia is a popular vacation destination – so try to avoid the summer peak if you can!


Most Popular Virginia Beaches

Assateague Island National Seashore - This public area consists of beach, dunes, forest and marsh, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and shallow expanses of Chincoteague Bay. There are four expansive beaches, and lodging and services are available in nearby communities. As it is a state park, there are fees for cars.

Cape Charles Beach - Cape Charles is 10 miles north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and offers a free public beach in the historic district. The shallow waters of Chesapeake Bay make the beach very calm and it has a laid back feel.

City Beaches - There are beaches with free public access in Virginia Beach City, Norfolk and Hampton. However, keep in mind that these beaches tend to have a very urban feel (not ideal if you want a secluded beach setting), and they’re also flooded with vacationers in the summer months.

Colonial Beach - Colonial Beach is one of the few remaining small seaport towns. The town enjoys a unique location nestled between the Potomac River on the east and the waters of Monroe Bay on the west. Its sandy beaches and marinas on Monroe Bay have attracted water enthusiasts for more than a century, and it has a lovely 1950s feel.

Ocean View Beaches - Chesapeake Bay calmly laps 7.5 miles of Norfolk's Ocean View beaches, making them ideal for a relaxed wedding ceremony. There are also fishing piers, which would make stunning photo opportunities.

 


Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation (airports, ferries, etc). How to get there. - To get to the Virginia coast by air, either fly to Norfolk International Airport, near Virginia Beach, or Richmond International Airport if you’re planning to visit the central area. You can also take a connecting flight to Tappahannock-Essex County Airport, in the northeast corner of the state.

Entry Requirements; passports, visa, etc. - If you are from Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand you do not require a visa to enter the US. You only need a valid passport and proof of ongoing or return travel as long as your stay does not exceed 90 days. Citizens of other countries will require a visa. Note that the US government administers a strict entry regime. If in doubt, you should contact your nearest US embassy or consulate about your specific circumstances.

Languages Spoken / official language - The official language is English.

Currency - The official currency is the US dollar.

Tipping - In the US, most waiters and bartenders are paid below minimum wage, as they’re expected to make up the rest in tips. So if you’re in the US, you really should tip. A good rule of thumb is to tip 15 percent of the food bill to the waiter, and if the alcohol consumption has been substantial, split that part of the tip between the waiter and the bartender (if there is one). Always remember to pay the tip in cash directly to the person who has provided you with the service. Of course, if you think the service was terrible then you shouldn’t tip. For large groups, check your bill first as sometimes the tip is added automatically.

Taxes - In the US sales tax is applied to retail goods at the point of sale. There are also airport taxes, however generally these are paid along with the purchase of your airline ticket.

Electricity - The electrical systems in most residential and commercial sites in the US use 120V and 60Hz. The electrical plug in use is known as the Type A electrical plug, which has two flat parallel prongs.

Immunizations Required & Health Concerns - All travellers going overseas should be up-to-date with their routine vaccinations, which are usually given to babies and children, with some boosters given in adult life. Adults should have had a Tetanus booster in the last 10 years and consider having an Influenza vaccination if they have not had one in the past year.


Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information

As state and county marriage license requirements often change, it’s important that you verify all information with a local marriage license office or County Clerk before confirming your wedding or travel plans.

Currently the Following Applies:

  • You do not have to be a resident of Virginia to get married there.
  • You need to apply for a marriage license from a County Clerk. Both applicants must be present.
  • You will need to present valid photo identification such as your driver's license, Military ID or State ID, or passport and a certified copy of your birth certificate.
  • The license fee will cost about $30 (varies by county). Cash only.
  • There is no waiting period.
  • The license is valid for 60 days.
  • Some Virginia counties may require documentation to prove a previous marriage has been dissolved either through death or divorce.
  • If either applicant is under 18,they must have written, notarized consent from a parent or legal guardian.
  • Same-sex marriage is not permitted.
  • Marriage ceremonies can be performed by any ordained Minister, as well as Marriage Commissioners and Judges (current or retired).

Requirements for a Beach Wedding:


Tourism Office Information

Virginia Tourism Corporation
901 E. Byrd St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Tel: (800) 847-4882
 

Other Virginia Related Websites

 

Climate Information & the Best Time to Travel

The Virginia coast has a humid subtropical climate, characterized by hot summers (temperatures average in the 70s) and cool winters (temperatures average in the 40s). In July, the warmest month, temperatures can reach almost 90ºF and in January, the coldest month, they can get down to near 30ºF.

Hurricane season runs from June through November, however the hurricanes and tropical storms that cross Virginia occur mostly in August and September.

So if you want to avoid be going too hot or too cold, as well as a potential tropical storm and the summer crowds, then early summer, fall and late spring would be the most pleasant for a wedding.

High & Low Season for Travel - Generally summer and winter will have peaks in travel prices, due to the attraction of the beaches and the snowfields respectively. However, you could also consider weekdays (Monday through Thursday), when you’ll find cheaper airfares and accommodation rates. If you’re planning a spring wedding, it’s best to avoid Spring Break.


Map of Virginia

http://www.infoplease.com/atlas/state/virginia.html


Local Attractions & Must Do’s

At Virginia Beach you’ll find beaches that are free and open to the public. There’s a 3-mile oceanfront boardwalk, where numerous hotels and restaurants overlook the beach. Virginia Beach’s other attractions include the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Waterpark and the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.

Biking and hiking are popular at many places, such as First Landing State Park, which winds through wetlands along Broad Bay. While at the 8,000-acre Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge you can see a variety of animals in their native habitats. Beyond the refuge is False Cape State Park, one of the few remaining undeveloped areas along the Atlantic coast, which can be accessed by tram from Sandbridge.

Synonymous with history, Virginia's past is interwoven with the beginning of US history and heritage. From the first permanent English settlement of Jamestown in 1607 through the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, Virginia was where the nation originated, where it prospered and where many conflicts were resolved. Many sites and artefacts have been preserved for you to see right along the coast.


Top 5 Most Popular Hotels

Here we’ve listed a range of different accommodations that offer wedding packages. For more visit Virginia.org.

Barclay At The Beach Wedding Package - Built in 1895, Barclay Cottage is one of only two remaining Victorian cottages in Virginia Beach. Barclay Cottage is a romantic alternative to high-rise hotel and motel accommodations.

Paradise Palms Beach Wedding Package - A little different from the standard resort experience, this wedding package is designed for small destination weddings of up to 25 guests. It offers a 7-night stay in a 5-bedroom beach house in Sandbridge at the southern end of Virginia Beach and your wedding ceremony performed on the oceanfront nearby.

Magnolia House, Hampton - Magnolia House is a delightful bed and breakfast on an urban waterfront village – your elegant home away from home on the southeastern tip of the Virginia peninsula on Chesapeake Bay. A range of wedding packages is available for up to 35 guests.

The Tides Inn, Chesapeake Bay - Bordered by historic Chesapeake Bay to the east, the Potomac River to the north, and the Rappahannock River to the south, the Tides Inn exudes understated Virginia glamour. The Tides Inn also has its own marina, 18-hole golf course and spa.

Virginia Beach Resort Hotel, Virginia Beach - Where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean you’ll find a year-round beach resort with luxury accommodations and relaxing surroundings. Exchange vows on its private beach and see the spectacular sunsets from any of its 295 bay view suites. Visit Virginia Beach Resort for more information.

Getting Married in Massachusetts - Guide to Beach Weddings in Massachusetts

There’s no denying it – a beach wedding in Massachusetts is about Cape Cod and the islands, namely Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island.

Within Massachusetts’ distinctive coastline of large bays and islands, you’ll find numerous public beaches of fine sands and a laid back coastal attitude. There are beaches that face west, which are relatively calm, and beaches that face east, absorbing all the power of the Atlantic Ocean.

Cape Cod is a time-honored vacation destination, famous for its giant sand dunes and gable-roofed houses – as well as a 40-mile uninterrupted stretch of beach, the longest on the East Coast. And the handy thing is, it’s actually part of the mainland, so access is simple – you just drive.

On Martha’s Vineyard, you’ll find quaint appeal as well as stunning natural beauty, along with Nantucket Island, which has cobblestone streets, antique stores and acres of untouched land. Both of these islands take a bit more planning as they’re off the mainland, however they offer a unique wedding opportunity.

The Massachusetts coast also has a rich history, boasting the homes of many past US presidents and of course Plymouth Harbor. So if colonial history is your thing, you could incorporate historic places somewhere in your special day.


Most popular Beach Locations

Cape Cod - Cape Cod, famous for its beauty and giant sand dunes, has a narrow hook-like shape with two distinct sides. The bay side is calmer with flatter beaches and warmer water, while the Atlantic side offers strong waves and giant dunes. Six beaches along the Atlantic side are part of the National Seashore (Coast Guard, Nauset Light, Marconi, Head of the Meadow, Herring Cove, and Race Point), and there are town-managed beaches along the bay side.

Martha’s Vineyard Beaches - Martha’s Vineyard is an island that lies between Nantucket Island and the mainland. You can reach it by ferry from Cape Cod or the mainland, and the Steamship Authority ferry also carries vehicles. It can also be reached by private boat or plane. With 19 beaches and the feel of an exotic island while at the same time offering numerous facilities, it’s worth a look.

Nantucket Island - Nantucket Island, 25 miles from Cape Cod, is accessible by private boat, ferry or air from Hyannis Port (it takes about one hour on the high speed ferry or 15 minutes by plane). The ocean on the Atlantic side can be quite rough (good for surfing), so it might be best to stick to those on the western side for a more peaceful feel. One of the best is Eel Point Beach (as long as you stay on the beach, not the tidal zone as it’s subject to tidal flooding!), which has a feeling of remoteness and great sunsets.

North Shore Beaches - If you want to stay on the mainland, try Crane Beach with miles of soft white sand, it’s one of the most picturesque in New England (just avoid greenhead bug season in July/August!).

South Shore Beaches - The best beaches on the southern mainland are Horseneck Beach State Reservation, with two miles of beach, and Quincy Shores Reservation, a 2.3-mile beach in Quincy.


Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation (airports, ferries, etc). How to get there. - Logan International Airport in Boston will get you close to the coast. From there you can fly to regional airports further south. If you’re going to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket Island, you might be able to take a direct connecting flight. Otherwise there’s always the hire car and the ferries!

Entry Requirements; passports, visa, etc. - If you are from Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand you do not require a visa to enter the US. You only need a valid passport and proof of ongoing or return travel as long as your stay does not exceed 90 days. Citizens of other countries will require a visa. Note that the US government administers a strict entry regime. If in doubt, you should contact your nearest US embassy or consulate about your specific circumstances.

Languages Spoken / official language - The official language is English.

Currency - The official currency is the US dollar.

Tipping - In the US, most waiters and bartenders are paid below minimum wage, as they’re expected to make up the rest in tips. So if you’re in the US, you really should tip. A good rule of thumb is to tip 15 percent of the food bill to the waiter, and if the alcohol consumption has been substantial, split that part of the tip between the waiter and the bartender (if there is one). Always remember to pay the tip in cash directly to the person who has provided you with the service. Of course, if you think the service was terrible then you shouldn’t tip. For large groups, check your bill first as sometimes the tip is added automatically.

Taxes - In the US sales tax is applied to retail goods at the point of sale. There are also airport taxes, however generally these are paid along with the purchase of your airline ticket.

Electricity - The electrical systems in most residential and commercial sites in the US use 120V and 60Hz. The electrical plug in use is known as the Type A electrical plug, which has two flat parallel prongs.    

Other (immunizations, health issues) - All travellers going overseas should be up-to-date with their routine vaccinations, which are usually given to babies and children, with some boosters given in adult life. Adults should have had a Tetanus booster in the last 10 years and consider having an Influenza vaccination if they have not had one in the past year.

 


Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information

As state and county marriage license requirements often change, it’s important that you verify all information with a local marriage license office or County Clerk before confirming your wedding or travel plans.

Currently the Following Applies:

  • You do not have to be a resident of Massachusetts to get married there.
  • You need to apply for a marriage license from a County Clerk. Both applicants must be present.
  • You will need to provide appropriate ID, and in some counties also a birth certificate.
  • The license fee will cost between $4 and $15 (varies by county). Cash is required in most counties.
  • There is a 3-day waiting period.
  • The license is valid for 60 days.
  • You are not required to present a divorce certificate when filing intentions to marry. However, in Massachusetts a divorce does not become absolute until 90 days after the divorce nisi has been granted.
  • If either applicant is under 18, a court order from a probate or district court where the minor resides must be obtained before the marriage intentions can be filed.
  • Same-sex marriage is permitted.
  • Marriage ceremonies can be performed by any licensed or ordained Clergy and Magistrates.

Requirements for a Beach Wedding:

  • You might need a special permit to hold your wedding on a beach or other public space if it is part of a State Park. For more information visit http://www.mass.gov/dcr/

Tourism Office Information

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4510
Boston, MA 02116
Tel: (617) 973-8500
Toll free: (800) 227-MASS (US & Canada)
 

Other Massachusetts Related Websites

 

Climate Information & The Best Time to Travel

Massachusetts has a humid continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters. At the coast the warmest month is July, with averages around 74ºF, while the coldest month is January, with averages around 30ºF. As with other parts of the East Coast, hurricane season runs from June through November, however, hurricanes or tropical storms are most likely to strike here during August and September.

From late May to August beaches are very crowded (especially Cape Cod on the weekends), and July and August are very humid in the Boston area, while snow falls in Boston in the winter.

So it really depends on what you want, but to avoid the crowds a wedding in the spring or the fall would be best.

High & Low Season for Travel - If you’re planning a spring wedding, it’s best to avoid Spring Break. If you want a summer wedding, you could also consider weekdays (Monday through Thursday), when you’ll find less people on the beach, as well as cheaper airfares and accommodation rates. If you want a winter wedding, airfares will be inflated during ski season, as Massachusetts is popular for its snowfields.

 


Map of Massachusetts

http://www.infoplease.com/atlas/state/massachusetts.html


Local Attractions & Must Do’s

Cape Cod National Seashore includes more than 43,000 acres of protected coastal zone and is famous for its gigantic sand dunes (rising up to 100 feet above the beach) and 40 miles of uninterrupted beach (the longest on the East Coast). The Atlantic side is popular with surfers, and the area also includes hiking and cycling trails, marshes, ponds, forests, historic structures and lighthouses.

At Martha’s Vineyard there are the brightly painted ‘gingerbread’ cottages of Oak Bluffs, which began as a nineteenth-century Methodist summer campground, and the picturesque communities of Vineyard Haven and Edgartown. In terms of scenery, you can’t go past the dramatic, color-streaked Aquinnah Cliffs.

Nantucket Island is perfect for exploring on foot or by bicycle. There are unspoiled beaches, lighthouses, and acres of conservation land. Visit the Nantucket Whaling Museum and, if you love beer, look no further than the Cisco Brewers.

Bird watchers should stop at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island, where you can find many species of migrating shore bird.

In terms of cultural history, no other area can compare. From the first pilgrim settlers, to presidents John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and John F. Kennedy, the coastal areas south of Boston have hosted some of the finest leaders in the US. Explore Quincy (the City of Presidents) and Plymouth, where colonial history began. Board a replica of The Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor, gaze upon Plymouth Rock, or visit Plymoth Plantation. And when you’re done, relax on Revere Beach near Boston, the first public beach in the US (1896).


Top 5 Most Popular Hotels

Cliffside Beach Club, Nantucket - Right on the beach and one mile from town, this is the premier lodging on the Nantucket Island. While it might not be as fancy as some, it has a sublime and relaxed seaside feel.

John Carver Inn & Spa, Plymouth - Located in the heart of historic Plymouth, the John Carver Inn & Spa is just a short walk to all attractions and the breathtaking waterfront. This boutique hotel boasts colonial charm and hospitality combined with contemporary comforts and conveniences. Wedding packages are available.

Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club, Cape Cod - A seaside retreat set on 429 acres overlooking Cape Cod Bay. It offers everything, including a golf course, tennis courts, croquet and a 26-mile bike trail – and of course luxury accommodation. Wedding packages are available.  http://www.oceanedge.com/

The Beach Rose Inn, Cape Cod - Built in 1863 and listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, The Beach Rose Inn features upscale amenities including queen canopied beds, fireplaces, full gourmet breakfasts and outdoor hot tub. And with only 10 guest rooms, it makes for a very private romantic getaway.

Winnetu Oceanside Resort, Martha’s Vineyard - Located at spectacular South Beach in Edgartown, Winnetu is the quintessential ocean resort. Offering both hotel accommodation and vacation rentals, it has an extensive list of resort activities and top-class facilities. This resort also offers wedding packages.

Getting Married in North Carolina - Guide to Beach Weddings in North Carolina

North Carolina offers 300 miles of sandy beaches, pristine wetlands, and a pleasant climate, attracting millions of tourists each year.

For your special day you can choose from the islands of the Outer Banks in the north of the state. Here you’ll find great resorts and perfect white sand. The islands are connected to the mainland by private boats, ferries, and bridges. Part of the barrier island system which runs along the US East Coast, the Outer Banks have created the visually spectacular lagoons between them and the mainland. One of these lagoons, Pamlico Sound, at 80 miles long is the largest on the US East Coast.

North Carolina's Lower Coast is home to pristine settings like Cape Lookout and Hammocks Beach State Park and popular tourist spots like the Crystal Coast and Pleasure Island.

The Crystal Coast, also known as the Southern Outer Banks, is an 85-mile stretch of coastline that includes Cape Lookout National Seashore, which in itself has 56 miles of protected beaches – so it’s the place to go if you want untouched natural beauty.

History buffs will also be pleased with the abundance of historic sites – which you can incorporate into your wedding day either for the ceremony, photographs or the reception. Significant sites include Cape Hatteras, Fort Macon, Roanoke Island and Wilmington.


Most Popular Beaches

 

Crystal Coast Beach - There's only one type of wedding you can have on the Crystal Coast, and that’s uncompromisingly romantic! With a variety of locations and wedding day resources, it’s a popular destination for couples wanting a truly unique setting for their special day.

Hammocks Beach State Park - Hammocks Beach on Bear Island is one of the most unspoiled beaches on the Atlantic coast. Accessible only by passenger ferry or private boat, it’s all about the sand, the dunes, the grasses and marshes – and the spectacular Atlantic Ocean. For somewhere that feels untouched and remote, it’s the place to be.

Holden Beach - Holden Beach's shores extend for eleven miles, making the longest shoreline of all the South Brunswick Islands. The town of Holden Beach, with fewer than 1,000 residents, has maintained its charm and solitude. There’s a lovely marina for your wedding photos, and the old Town Hall would make a quaint and cozy reception venue.

Pleasure Island - Pleasure Island incorporates Carolina Beach State Park and Kure Beach. A popular coastal attraction with distinct coastal habitats, Carolina Beach State Park is the place to go if you want to immerse yourself in nature. While Kure Beach is picturesque, surrounded by stately homes and offering a lovely pier for romantic photos.

Ocean Isla Beach - Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina is a quiet, unspoiled beach. One of the barrier islands along the southeastern corner of North Carolina, Ocean Isle Beach is the uncrowded alternative. Discounts for accommodation apply between December and March.

Sunset Beach - Since most of Sunset Beach and the adjoining Bird Island coastal reserve encompass a barrier island, the only way to get there from the mainland is by crossing a pontoon bridge (swing bridge) – the only one of its kind in use on the East Coast, it’s quite a lovely way to get to a wedding. 

Topsail Beach - Topsail Beach boasts the white sands and dunes typical of North Carolina. High-rise development is not allowed, beautification is encouraged, and conservation of the island environment is a top priority. The town of Topsail Beach has only 500 residents, offering a very relaxed experience.


Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation (airports, ferries, etc). How to get there. - If flying in from outside the US, you might need to fly into Wilmington International Airport in the southeast, or if you’re connecting from elsewhere in the US you can fly to Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, which is more central to the coast. Some islands are only accessible by ferry however bridges connect most of them.

Entry Requirements; passports, visa, etc. - If you are from Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand you do not require a visa to enter the US. You only need a valid passport and proof of ongoing or return travel as long as your stay does not exceed 90 days. Citizens of other countries will require a visa. Note that the US government administers a strict entry regime. If in doubt, you should contact your nearest US embassy or consulate about your specific circumstances.

Languages Spoken / official language - The official language is English.

Currency - The official currency is the US dollar.

Tipping - In the US, most waiters and bartenders are paid below minimum wage, as they’re expected to make up the rest in tips. So if you’re in the US, you really should tip. A good rule of thumb is to tip 15 percent of the food bill to the waiter, and if the alcohol consumption has been substantial, split that part of the tip between the waiter and the bartender (if there is one). Always remember to pay the tip in cash directly to the person who has provided you with the service. Of course, if you think the service was terrible then you shouldn’t tip. For large groups, check your bill first as sometimes the tip is added automatically.

Taxes - In the US sales tax is applied to retail goods at the point of sale. There are also airport taxes, however generally these are paid along with the purchase of your airline ticket.  

Electricity - The electrical systems in most residential and commercial sites in the US use 120V and 60Hz. The electrical plug in use is known as the Type A electrical plug, which has two flat parallel prongs.

Immunizations & Health Concerns - All travelers going overseas should be up-to-date with their routine vaccinations, which are usually given to babies and children, with some boosters given in adult life. Adults should have had a Tetanus booster in the last 10 years and consider having an Influenza vaccination if they have not had one in the past year.


Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information

As state and county marriage license requirements often change, it’s important that you verify all information with a local marriage license office or County Clerk before confirming your wedding or travel plans.

Currently the Following Applies:

  • You do not have to be a resident of North Carolina to get married there.
  • You need to apply for a marriage license from a County Clerk.
  • You will need to your driver's license, Military or State ID, passport or certified birth certificate. You will also need to show proof of your Social Security number (US citizens).
  • The license fee will cost at least $50 (varies by county). Cash only.
  • There is no waiting period.
  • The license is valid for 60 days.
  • If previously married, the date of divorce or date of spouse's death must be supplied. If the divorce was in the previous 60 days, a signed copy of the divorce decree will need to be shown.
  • Applicants less than 20 years of age will need to show a certified copy of their birth certificate. If you are between 16 and 17, you will have to show parental consent. Those who are 14 to 15 years old need a court order.
  • Same-sex marriage is not permitted.
  • Marriage ceremonies can be performed by any licensed or ordained Clergy and Magistrates.

Requirements for a Beach Wedding:

  • You might need a special permit to hold your wedding on a beach or other public space if it is part of a State Park. For more information visit http://www.ncparks.gov/

Tourism Office Information

North Carolina Department of Commerce
301 North Wilmington Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27601-1058
Tel: 1-800-VISITNC
 

Other North Carolina Related Websites

 

 


Climate Information & the Best Time to Travel

The North Carolina coast has hot summers (August averages in the 90s) and mild winters (January averages in the 40s). Hurricane season runs from June through November, although hurricanes are most likely to strike these parts in August and September. So a spring wedding in North Carolina sounds just fine! Remember though that it can get quite windy, especially in the northern beaches.

High & Low Season for Travel - If you’re planning a spring wedding, it’s best to avoid Spring Break. You could also consider weekdays (Monday through Thursday), when you’ll find cheaper airfares and accommodation rates.


Map of North Carolina

http://www.infoplease.com/atlas/state/northcarolina.html


Local Attractions & Must Do’s

Adventurers will enjoy scuba diving, surfing, hang gliding and with wind a feature of the northern beaches, it’s a great place to fly a kite and go kiteboarding. Or take a paddle through the Great Dismal Swamp for a real taste of the outdoors untouched.

If history is your thing, get to Cape Hatteras, the first national seashore proclaimed in 1953, which now boasts Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the tallest in the US (visitors can climb the 248 stairs in the warmer months). Then there’s Roanoke Island, where North America’s first English settlement was established in 1585, and Tryon Palace, which served as North Carolina’s first capitol after independence and where George Washington dined.

On Kill Devil Hills is the Wright Brothers Memorial, marking the place where Orville Wright made the world’s first powered flight in 1903.

North Carolina is also known for the many shipwrecks near the coast (more than 600 since the 16th century). As a result the state built ten lighthouses, of which seven remain. You can find artefacts from shipwrecks, including Blackbeard’s pirate ship, at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

North Carolina is also a great spot for fishing, with the warm waters of the Gulf Stream nearby attracting a large variety of fish. And you simply can’t leave the state without tasting some of that seafood Calabash-style. Reviewed by the New York Times, Calabash-style cooking embodies true North Carolina spirit.


Top 5 Most Popular Hotels

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation, with resorts aplenty. Here are a few of our favorites.

Brunswick Plantation Resort, Calabash - A casual yet refined atmosphere, endless amenities, terrific golf, and minutes from fantastic beaches. One of the few complete resorts in the area, this spacious and luxurious property sits on 1400 acres.

Hilton Garden Inn, Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk - A luxury experience, every room enjoys ocean views and you can walk right out the door and onto the beach. With excellent hospitality and facilities, as well as wedding packages, you really should keep it in mind. http://www.hiltongardeninnouterbanks.com/

Pinehurst Resort - At Pinehurst Resort you can choose from two hotels: Holly, a warm and beautifully decorated boutique hotel that has hosted presidents; or the grand Carolina, which has welcomed guests through its stately columns since 1901. Wedding packages are available.

Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center, Sunset Beach - Nestled just five minutes from the Atlantic Ocean in Sunset Beach, Sea Trail provides endless activity choices for everyone on 2,000 beautiful coastal acres. Wedding packages are available.

The Sanderling Resort & Spa, Outer Banks - Situated between the shores of the majestic Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound, The Sanderling is the perfect hotel for your vacation. Within walking distance of the sand and the surf of the beach as well as the tranquil waters of the sound, it has everything you could want from a resort. Wedding packages are available.

The Winds Resort Beach Club, Ocean Isle Beach - The Winds Resort Beach Club is complete with its own white-sand beach and spectacular oceanside pools – it’s the island getaway you've dreamed about.

Getting Married in S. Carolina - Guide to Beach Weddings in South Carolina

According to residents of South Carolina, they’ve got all the best beaches right at their doorstep. From Myrtle Beach in the north, historic Charleston in the center, and the resort islands in the Lowcountry, you’re sure to find a beach for your wedding here.

South Carolina’s coast (all 187 miles of it) is mostly flat and made up of islands, bays, inlets and marshes. Not to mention the miles of white sandy beaches that offer breathtaking views and a serene experience. The marshes and streams attract numerous birds and the trees are covered in Spanish Moss. By night this romantic setting takes on a new appeal with the moonlight adding some sparkle and mystery to it all.

Yet even in this setting, you’re never too far from world-class facilities to help you create a polished and elegant wedding experience.

The barrier islands that form a chain along the US East Coast continue here, most of which have been developed as resort islands with award-winning facilities. You can choose from those with a sense of private appeal right through to Hilton Head Island, which has its own airport.

Or if history is your thing, you could combine a wedding at Folly Beach with a reception at one of Charleston’s historic locales, or try the historic town of Beaufort instead.


Most Popular Beaches

Beaufort - Facing the Beaufort Inlet and protected from the sea by the arms of the Southern Outer Banks is the historic port town of Beaufort. Retaining the charm of its early days with 18th century homes still standing, gleaming white, on the waterfront.

Edisto Beach State Park - Quiet and relaxed, Edisto Beach State Park is for those who want to connect with nature – the excellent beaches, the views, the salt marsh, the oaks and palmetto trees, the all-round beautiful scenery.

Folly Beach - Calm and relaxed, Folly Beach is arguably the best beach in South Carolina. Known as “the edge of America” Folly Beach is a seven-mile long barrier reef located just eight miles south of Charleston — the closest beach to the city and an option for a reception venue. There’s also a lighthouse and fishing pier for photo opportunities!

Fripp Island - Fripp Island, the most seaward of the barrier islands, is just 18 miles east of Beaufort and one hour from Savanna/Hilton Head International Airport. Thismajestic 3000-acre island was once a popular oasis for world explorers and a quiet retreat for pirates. With fewer tourists than most places, you’ll be able to exchange your vows in private, though at the same time the island also offers excellent resorts and facilities.

Hilton Head Island - For a wedding with a romantic getaway feel, try one the beautiful beaches on Hilton Head Island – with 12 miles of beachfront, there’s plenty to choose from. Hilton Head Island offers a perfect romantic setting for a memorable wedding ceremony, and the island has great facilities for all your wedding needs. To make things easier, it also has its own airport.

Hunting Island State Park - The four-mile long island reserve is a popular state park with more than one million visitors each year. Located near historic Beaufort, Hunting Island State Park is a natural paradise where you can enjoy the serenity of nature. The Hunting Island Lighthouse is the only lighthouse in the state open to the public.

Isle of Palms - An exquisite barrier island near Charlestown, it is quite urbanized but no less breathtaking. A fantastic pier (great for photos) expands into the Atlantic, waves crashing below. There are miles of oceanfront, and the Wild Dunes Resort with excellent facilities right near the water.

Kiawah Island - With ten miles of undisturbed Atlantic beachfront and five golf courses, Kiawah Island is a popular tourist spot. Only 21 miles from historic Charleston, much of Kiawah Island is privately owned, but Beachwalker Park is open to the public.

Myrtle Beach State Park - A wide sandy beach, a fishing pier perfect for wedding photos in the sunset, and one of the last stands of oceanfront maritime forests. All right in the heart of Grand Strand, one of America’s most popular vacation destinations.

Seabrook Island - Only 23 miles from historic Charleston Seabrook Island offers a serene setting combined with the island's natural wildlife. Seabrook offers 2,200 acres of lush forest, beautiful salt marshes, pristine sand dunes and remote beaches. The best beaches for a wedding are Pelican Beach, at the south and adjacent to Seabrook Island’s beach club facilities, or North Beach, one of the widest beaches in South Carolina that captures the privacy you want for your wedding day.


Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation (airports, ferries, etc). How to get there. - You have a few options for flying to the South Carolina coast. In the north is Myrtle Beach International Airport, in the central area is Charleston International Airport, and if you want to access the south of the coast, where most of the islands are, you can fly to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, which lies on the Georgia border.

Entry Requirements; passports, visa, etc. - If you are from Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand you do not require a visa to enter the US. You only need a valid passport and proof of ongoing or return travel as long as your stay does not exceed 90 days. Citizens of other countries will require a visa. Note that the US government administers a strict entry regime. If in doubt, you should contact your nearest US embassy or consulate about your specific circumstances.

Languages Spoken / official language - The official language is English.

Currency - The official currency is the US dollar.

Tipping - In the US, most waiters and bartenders are paid below minimum wage, as they’re expected to make up the rest in tips. So if you’re in the US, you really should tip. A good rule of thumb is to tip 15 percent of the food bill to the waiter, and if the alcohol consumption has been substantial, split that part of the tip between the waiter and the bartender (if there is one). Always remember to pay the tip in cash directly to the person who has provided you with the service. Of course, if you think the service was terrible then you shouldn’t tip. For large groups, check your bill first as sometimes the tip is added automatically.

Taxes - In the US, sales tax is applied to retail goods at the point of sale. There are also airport taxes, however generally these are paid along with the purchase of your airline ticket.

Electricity - The electrical systems in most residential and commercial sites in the US use 120V and 60Hz. The electrical plug in use is known as the Type A electrical plug, which has two flat parallel prongs.

Immunizations or Health Concerns - All travellers going overseas should be up-to-date with their routine vaccinations, which are usually given to babies and children, with some boosters given in adult life. Adults should have had a Tetanus booster in the last 10 years and consider having an Influenza vaccination if they have not had one in the past year.


Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information

As state and county marriage license requirements often change, it’s important that you verify all information with a local marriage license office or County Clerk before confirming your wedding or travel plans.

Currently the Following Applies:

  • You do not have to be a resident of South Carolina to get married there.
  • You need to apply for a marriage license from a County Clerk.
  • You will need to show your drivers license, voter registration card, birth certificate or passport and social security card (US citizens).
  • The license fee varies between counties. Cash is required in most counties.
  • There is a 24-hour waiting period.
  • Once a marriage license is issued, there is no expiry date.
  • Proof of divorce is not needed.
  • If you are under 18, you will need a certified copy of your birth certificate and a notarized statement of parental consent. The parent or legal guardian has to appear at the same time as the minor to show their identification and to sign the parental consent form.
  • Same-sex marriage is not permitted.
  • Marriage ceremonies can be performed by and licensed or ordained Clergy and Justices of the Peace.

Requirements for a Beach Wedding:

  • You might need a special permit to hold your wedding on a beach or other public space if it is part of a State Park. For information visit http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/

Tourism Office Information

SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism

1205 Pendleton Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Tel: (803) 734-1700
Tel: (866) 224-9339 (toll free)
State Parks:
 

Other South Carolina Related Websites

 
 

Climate Information & the Best Time to Travel

South Carolina’s climate is subtropical, with hot and humid summers and generally mild winters. Average daily temperatures at the coast are around 80°F in summer and 50°F in winter (temperatures along the coast typically increase as you get further south). And importantly the South Carolina coast is particularly susceptible to hurricanes (think Hurricane Katrina in 2009) – the hurricane season runs from June through November. So a spring wedding is best for the South Carolina coast, or a mild winter’s day could also be lovely.

High & Low Season for Travel - In order to avoid storms and hurricanes, it’s best to plan your travel for December through May. Also keep in mind that December (Christmas time) and Spring Break are peak seasons for travel. You could also consider weekdays (Monday through Thursday), when you’ll find cheaper airfares and accommodation rates.


Map of South Carolina

http://www.infoplease.com/atlas/state/southcarolina.html


Local Attractions & Must Do’s

A mix of history and natural beauty, the South Carolina coast and islands offer world-class golf courses, horse riding, fishing, boating – and Folly Beach, one of the best surfing destinations on the East Coast.

If you’re after nature, you can’t go past Bull Island and Seabrook Island. Part of the 62,000-acre Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, Bull Island offers an exciting day trip for nature lovers, while Seabrook Islandhas 2,200 acres of lush forest, beautiful salt marshes and a pristine beach.

You’ll find places associated with the Civil War at many spots along the coast, in particular Beaufort, Bull Island, Folly Beach and Hunting Island. The Hunting Island Lighthouse (rebuilt in 1875 after being destroyed during the Civil War) is the only lighthouse in the state open to the public.

And of course everyone should visit the romantic city of Charleston with its beautiful architecture, rich history and Old South charm. From the engaging historic downtown district to a wide variety of beaches on the beautiful South Carolina islands, Charleston invites you to relax and enjoy.


Top 5 Most Popular Hotels

Luxury resorts abound on the South Carolina islands, most of which offer wedding packages. Here are some of our favorites. For more visit http://www.resortsandlodges.com/lodging/usa/south-carolina/index.html

Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort, Fripp Island - One of the most scenic places in South Carolina, the Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort possesses all the amenities of a private club with world-class accommodations, including two golf courses.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort - Located on a beautiful barrier island just a few miles from historic Charleston lies Kiawah Island Golf Resort with its our award-winning oceanfront Sanctuary Hotel.

Litchfield Plantation, Pawleys Island - Bordering the water on Pawleys Island and 25 miles from Myrtle Beach, this historic inn is situated on a former Lowcountry plantation, with rice fields, marshes, ponds, and majestic oaks. It has been meticulously transformed into an exceptional inn and offers wedding packages.

The Inn at Palmetto Bluff Resort - Situated in the picturesque Lowcountry along the beautiful May River, The Inn at Palmetto Bluff Resort is the embodiment of all that is graceful, comforting and romantic about South Carolina. This peaceful retreat pampers with luxurious resort lodging accommodations, distinctive cuisine and stimulating adventure. Wedding packages are available.

Wild Dunes, Isle of Palms - In Charleston County, the Wild Dunes resort offers spectacular facilities set in even better scenery, right on the beach in the Isle of Palms. From elegant dinners to casual beach parties – and accommodation for you and all your guests – Wild Dunes is definitely worth a look.

Getting Married in Georgia - Guide to Beach Weddings in Georgia

If you’re after a beach wedding in Georgia, it’s all about the islands – and with 18 barrier islands, there’s plenty to choose from. The barrier islands are the mid-portion of the sandy barriers running from the middle of the South Carolina coast to the mouth of the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida.

With a unique blend of coastal ecosystems and generally accessible only by ferry, they make an unforgettable and naturally secluded wedding backdrop. A blend of natural and built environments, you will also be spoilt for choice when it comes to reception venues – elegant Georgian architecture is definitely the way to go here.

The Jekyll Island is probably one of the most stunning, with the Georgia Beach one of the most elegant beaches in the world, offering amazing sunrises and sunsets and unique natural landscapes. Tybee Island is equally as good.

And while in Georgia, don’t forget to sample delicacies like soft-shelled crabs and Brunswick stew – and enjoy the music!


Most Popular Beach Locations

Jekyll Island - The beautiful Jekyll Island is the ideal wedding venue in Georgia. With stunning beaches and vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, amazing sunrises and sunsets, it’s well packaged for romance. For a beach wedding, you can hire the Ocean Front Gazebo on Georgia Beach or you could plan a beachside wedding with The Villas by the Sea luxury resort. The Rocky Cove is another popular wedding spot for would be couples.

Riverboat Cruise, Savannah - While it might not be the beach, we couldn’t mention Georgia without suggesting a riverboat cruise for your wedding celebrations. Imagine marrying on a boat in the harbor, then setting off with all your guests for a night of feasting, dancing and romance. http://savannahriverboat.com/

Sapelo Island, Darien - One of the best examples of a barrier island’s natural beauty, Sapelo Island offers complex beach and dune ecosystems. As it’s only accessible by ferry (from Meridian), you’re sure to have a private oasis for your special day. There is also Reynolds Mansion, which could make for a delightful place to celebrate afterwards.

Sea Island - Renew the spirit, savor distinctive luxury, and reclaim nature’s timeless rhythm with a wedding at Sea Island. The Cloister resort offers five miles of private beach and Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond accommodation for your wedding day, right next to the beach.

Tybee Island - Whether you’re planning a small private wedding or a grand affair with all the trimmings, a Tybee Island has marked its place on the map as a wedding destination. With wonderful weather, gorgeous beaches and a laid back southern elegance, you can plan a wedding and a honeymoon in one, almost any time of year.


Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation (airports, ferries, etc). How to get there. - To fly to the Georgia coast from international destinations, you will need to fly to the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in the north. You can then take a connecting flight to Brunswick airport in the south, or just drive if you have the time.

Entry Requirements; passports, visa, etc. - If you are from Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand you do not require a visa to enter the US. You only need a valid passport and proof of ongoing or return travel as long as your stay does not exceed 90 days. Citizens of other countries will require a visa. Note that the US government administers a strict entry regime. If in doubt, you should contact your nearest US embassy or consulate about your specific circumstances.

Languages Spoken / official language. - The official language is English.

Currency - The official currency is the US dollar.

Tipping - In the US, most waiters and bartenders are paid below minimum wage, as they’re expected to make up the rest in tips. So if you’re in the US, you really should tip. A good rule of thumb is to tip 15 percent of the food bill to the waiter, and if the alcohol consumption has been substantial, split that part of the tip between the waiter and the bartender (if there is one). Always remember to pay the tip in cash directly to the person who has provided you with the service. Of course, if you think the service was terrible then you shouldn’t tip. For large groups, check your bill first as sometimes the tip is added automatically.

Taxes - In the US sales tax is applied to retail goods at the point of sale. There are also airport taxes, however generally these are paid along with the purchase of your airline ticket.

Electricity - The electrical systems in most residential and commercial sites in the US use 120V and 60Hz. The electrical plug in use is known as the Type A electrical plug, which has two flat parallel prongs.

Other (immunizations, health issues) - All travellers going overseas should be up-to-date with their routine vaccinations, which are usually given to babies and children, with some boosters given in adult life. Adults should have had a Tetanus booster in the last 10 years and consider having an Influenza vaccination if they have not had one in the past year.


Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information

As state and county marriage license requirements often change, it’s important that you verify all information with a local marriage license office or County Clerk before confirming your wedding or travel plans.

Currently the Following Applies:

  • You do not have to be a resident of Georgia to get married there. However, if you’re not a resident you need to apply in the County where you intend to marry.
  • You need to apply for a marriage license from a County Clerk.
  • You will need to provide two forms of ID such as a driver's license, birth certificate, passport, Armed Forces ID card, or Resident Alien ID card.
  • The license fee will cost at least $65 (varies by County). Cash is required in most counties.
  • There is no waiting period.
  • Once a marriage license is issued, there is no expiry date.
  • If divorced within 6 months, you will need to show a copy of your divorce decree. Some counties require a final divorce decree no matter how long you’ve been divorced.
  • If applicants are under 18, both of the minor’s parents or legal guardians must give their consent to the marriage in person. In some counties the couple must also appear before a judge.
  • Same-sex marriage is not permitted.
  • Marriage ceremonies can be performed by Ordained Ministers, Clergy or Pastors of recognized religious societies, and Justices of the Peace.
  • State law requires that counties charge more for a marriage license if couples have not completed a premarital education course.

Requirements for a Beach Wedding:

  • You might need a special permit to hold your wedding on a beach or other public space if it is part of a State Park. For more information visit The Department of Natural Resources.

Tourism Office Information

 
Georgia Department of Economic Development
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 1200
Atlanta, GA 30308
Tel: 404-962-4000
 
Georgia Coast Travel Association
1825 Glynn Avenue,
Brunswick, GA 31520
Tel: (912) 635-2698
 

Other Georgia Related Websites

 

Climate Information & The Best Time to Travel

The climate of Georgia is typical of a humid subtropical climate with most the coast having mild winters (highs of about 60°F in January) and hot, humid summers (highs of about 92°F in July). Although Georgia is vulnerable to hurricanes in the summer and fall, direct hurricane strikes are rare. Usually they come close to the coastline on their way north, bringing tropical storms to the coast. So if you want to avoid humidity, cool weather, and potential storms, spring is best!

High & Low Season for Travel - If you want to plan your wedding for the best weather, then spring is it. You just need to avoid Spring Break, which is a high season for Georgia. You could also consider weekdays (Monday through Thursday), when you’ll find cheaper airfares and accommodation rates.


Map of Georgia

http://www.infoplease.com/atlas/state/georgia.html


Local Attractions & Must Do’s

Georgia is all about colonial history, beautifully maintained homes of yesteryear, and of course the natural beauty of its unique coastline. Here are some of the places you really should visit.

For colonial history, you can’t go past the forts. Fort Frederica, St. Simons Island, is where troops defeated the Spanish in 1742, ensuring Georgia's future as a British colony. Fort King George, Darien, is the oldest English fort remaining on Georgia's coast. Fort Morris, Midway, was built around 1776 to protect the growing seaport from the British.

With so many barrier islands off the coast, it’s worthwhile visiting the Island Maritime Center on St. Simons Island to learn more about the natural history of the area. And for the best example of a barrier island’s natural community, from the forested uplands, to the vast salt marsh, and the complex beach and dunes systems, you can’t go past Sapelo Island, Darien.

Tybee Island offers many attractions and activities such as Historic Fort Pulaski, The Tybee Island Lighthouse Station and Museum, inshore and offshore fishing charters, eco-tours, dolphin tours, water sports, award-winning restaurants, and a breathtaking oceanfront setting.

And don’t forget to end at least one of your days with an evening of dinner, live entertainment, and an unforgettable tour of Savannah on a sightseeing riverboat cruise, taking in the harbor in the moonlight.


Top 5 Most Popular Hotels

Georgia’s accommodation offers a blend of nostalgic historic buildings on its coastal rivers and beaches, right through to top class luxury resorts. Here’s a taste of what’s on offer.

Darien Waterfront Inn - No ordinary stopover, Darien Waterfront Inn sits at the end of historic Broad Street in a 75-year-old warehouse that boast a riverfront porch spanning the establishment from end-to-end. A few feet from the Darien Development Authority boat docks, you can launch your kayak or take a rest on your journey along the Intracoastal Waterway.

DeSoto Beach Hotel - The DeSoto Beach Hotel is less than 20 minutes from historic downtown Savannah, 45 minutes from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, and only steps from Tybee Island's beautiful beachfront.

Jekyll Island Club Hotel - Rated among the top 500 resorts in the world by Travel & Leisure, the Jekyll Island Club hotel offers superb resort accommodations, outstanding service, and an unforgettable experience with all the nostalgia of a true Georgian beauty.

Spencer House Inn - Spencer House Inn Bed & Breakfast, circa 1872, is your ideal coastal retreat. The Inn is located within the historic district of St. Marys, Georgia, and within walking distance to the ferry that takes you to Cumberland Island National Seashore. Wedding packages are available. Email: info@spencerhouseinn.com

The Cloister, Sea Island - A stunning Georgia luxury resort, consistently garnering prestigious travel awards in the US and an adored destination since 1928, delight in the gracious service, stunning diversions, expansive fairways, and surrounding natural beauty of this unforgettable property.

Getting Married in Texas - Guide to Beach Weddings in Texas

Clearly the feature of the Texas Gulf Coast region is the shore along the Gulf of Mexico, which stretches624 miles from the Mexican border near Brownsville to Louisiana. Mostly barrier islands and peninsulas, the coast transforms from sun-kissed valley near Mexico to primarily marshland from eastern Texas through to Orange and into Louisana.

Galveston Island and Padre Island make up about 130 miles of barrier island on their own. In fact, Padre Island has the longest stretch of pristine barrier island coast in the world, and attracts an array of birdlife and other marine life. While Galveston Island offers the best conserved Victorian architecture anywhere in the world – so be sure to keep that in mind for a period wedding or just a pretty backdrop to your photos.

Travel along the coast and you’ll find it dotted with charming seaside villages and calm beachfronts. And no matter where you choose to go, you can be assured of Texan hospitality – not to mention the rich variety of seafood caught fresh every day!


Most Popular Beach Locations

 

Corpus Christi Bay Area: Corpus Christi Beach - In Corpus Christi you will find smooth sea breezes, calm sandy beaches and blue skies year-round. Protected behind Padre Island And Mustang Island, it offers a clam and relaxed seaside experience. Corpus Christi Beach, where there is no driving allowed, would be the best spot for a beach wedding here.

Corpus Christi Bay Area: Mustang Island - Mustang Island lies across the bay from Port Aransas on the Gulf Coast. It offers miles of beautiful calm beaches, vibrant views, great sunrises and sunsets, and a relaxed feel. The island village of Port Aransas is one of the most popular vacations destinations in the area, with a population of little more than 3,000.

Corpus Christi Bay Area: Padre Island National Seashore - One of the most popular seaside vacation destinations, Padre Island offers the Padre Island National Seashore – the longest stretch of pristine barrier island in the world. A unique wedding experience, you’ll be surrounded by amazing wildlife and feel like you’re someplace remote.

Galveston Island - Galveston is a small romantic island tucked deep within the heart of south Texas with all the charm of a small southern town and just 40 minutes south of Houston, the fourth largest city in the US. With 32 miles of beautiful sandy beaches, there’s plenty of choice for a beach wedding. It also has one of the largest concentrations of Victorian architecture in the US – sure to offer beautiful opportunities for your wedding reception.

Rockport - Rockport is a charming fishing village. Surrounded on three sides by different bays, it offers protection from the elements and a very gentle beach experience. So if you want a calm seaside village for your backdrop, Rockport could be it.

Sea Rim State Park - Scenic Sea Rim State Park, located in Jefferson County and just south of Port Arthur, features 4,000 acres of marshland and more than 5 miles of shoreline. This beautiful area has many unique features and wetland wildlife that visitors love.


Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation (airports, ferries, etc). How to get there. - There are three international airports on the Texas Gulf Coast, so it might be worth booking a flight that arrives closest to your destination. In the south there’s Corpus Christi International Airport and Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport, and in the north is George Bush Intercontinental Airport at Houston.

Entry Requirements; passports, visa, etc. - If you are from Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand you do not require a visa to enter the US. You only need a valid passport and proof of ongoing or return travel as long as your stay does not exceed 90 days. Citizens of other countries will require a visa. Note that the US government administers a strict entry regime. If in doubt, you should contact your nearest US embassy or consulate about your specific circumstances.

Languages Spoken / official language - The official language is English.

Currency - The official currency is the US dollar.

Tipping - In the US, most waiters and bartenders are paid below minimum wage, as they’re expected to make up the rest in tips. So if you’re in the US, you really should tip. A good rule of thumb is to tip 15 percent of the food bill to the waiter, and if the alcohol consumption has been substantial, split that part of the tip between the waiter and the bartender (if there is one). Always remember to pay the tip in cash directly to the person who has provided you with the service. Of course, if you think the service was terrible then you shouldn’t tip. For large groups, check your bill first as sometimes the tip is added automatically.

Taxes - In the US sales tax is applied to retail goods at the point of sale. There are also airport taxes, however generally these are paid along with the purchase of your airline ticket.

Electricity - The electrical systems in most residential and commercial sites in the US use 120V and 60Hz. The electrical plug in use is known as the Type A electrical plug, which has two flat parallel prongs.   

Other (immunizations, health issues) - All travellers going overseas should be up-to-date with their routine vaccinations, which are usually given to babies and children, with some boosters given in adult life. Adults should have had a Tetanus booster in the last 10 years and consider having an Influenza vaccination if they have not had one in the past year.


Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information

As state and county marriage license requirements often change, it’s important that you verify all information with a local marriage license office or County Clerk before confirming your wedding or travel plans.

Currently the Following Applies:

  • You do not have to be a resident of Texas to get married there.
  • You need to apply for a marriage license from a County Clerk.
  • You will need to provide a valid form of ID, such as a driver's license, certified copy of your birth certificate, passport or military ID card, as well as your social security number (for US citizens).
  • The license fee will cost at least $60 (counties may impose extra fees). Cash is required.
  • There is a 3-day waiting period. This can be waived for active duty military personnel.
  • The license is valid for 30 days.
  • If divorced within the previous 30 days, you must show a certified copy of your divorce decree stating that the 30-day waiting period has been waived.
  • If applicants are between 16 and 17, they may apply for a marriage license in Texas only with written parental consent on an official form in the presence of the County Clerk or if they have received an order from the Texas district court authorizing the marriage.
  • Same-sex marriage is not permitted.
  • Marriage ceremonies can be performed by licensed or ordained Christian Ministers, Priests, Rabbis, officers authorized by religious organizations, Justices or Judges (current or retired).
  • Note that according to Texas law, couples are encouraged to attend a premarital education course, which must be finished during the year preceding an application for a marriage license. Couples who complete the course will have $60 of the marriage license fee and the 3-day waiting period waived. Contact the County Clerk for course providers.

Requirements for a Beach Wedding:

  • You might need a special permit to hold your wedding on a beach or other public space if it is part of a State Park. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/

Tourism Office Information

Texas State Travel Guide

PO Box 141009

Austin, TX

Tel: 78714-1009

Tel: 800-888-8839 (Free Texas State Travel Guide, US & Canada only)

http://www.traveltex.com/


Other Texas Related Websites

http://gotexas.about.com/od/gulfcoast/

http://www.cctexas.com/visitors/

http://www.galveston.com/

http://www.portaransas.org/

http://www.txbeautiful.com/


Climate Information & The Best Time to Travel

If you’re planning on marrying in Texas you need to know that hurricane season runs from June to November (the main hurricane months are August and September). Summers in this subtropical climate can also be very hot with high humidity (not great for makeup!). Winters are mild, with average highs in January around 65ºF on the coast, however most days in December and January are cloudy. So spring is the best season for a Texas wedding, keeping in mind what the Texans always say, “If you don’t like the weather now, just wait five minutes and it’ll change.”

High & Low Season for Travel

If you want to plan your wedding for the best weather, then spring is it. You just need to avoid Spring Break, which is a high season for Texas. You could also consider weekdays (Monday through Thursday), when you’ll find cheaper airfares and accommodation rates.


Map of Texas

http://www.infoplease.com/atlas/state/texas.html


Local Attractions & Must Do’s

There are 466 attractions and 339 events to experience in the Texas Gulf Coast region. And don’t forget to enjoy Texas music along the way – whatever your music pleasure, you’re sure to find it here.

Host to an amazing variety of local and migratory birds, Texas the place for bird watching. You can follow the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail sites and visit the Rio Grande Valley, part of which falls in the region, which is the nation’s number one bird-watching destination. See the endangered whooping cranes that winter at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and visit Rockport-Fulton for the hummer birds.

For history buffs, travel back in time at one of many historic sites, such as the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in Deer Park, where Texas won its independence from Mexico, or Spindletop in Beaumont, which set off the oil boom in 1901.

For museum lovers, the region is rich with art and museums, as well as historic homes and buildings. Houston’s Museum District is ranked among the five best in the US, and its Museum of Fine Arts is the sixth largest. Also in Houston you’ll find the home of America’s space program – the NASA Space Center.


Top 5 Most Popular Hotels

If you want luxury on the Texas coast, then it’s the islands that have it, and in particular Galveston Island – so take a trip for romance.

Hotel Galvez & Spa, Galveston Island - Since 1911, comfort and old world elegance have been the standard at the grand dame of all island hotels. An historic property, Hotel Galvez offers elegant guest rooms full of delightful touches like marble bathrooms, hand decorated walls and views of the Gulf. Wedding packages are available.

Moody Gardens Hotel, Galveston - This world-class hotel is set in 242 acres of botanical beauty. With 428 guest rooms, you’re sure to find something to please.

Port Royal, Port Aransas - You won't find a more luxurious, full-service resort anywhere else on the Texas Gulf Coast...where the sun rises from the sea each morning to greet you with a royal welcome.

The Isla Grand Beach Resort, South Padre Island - The Isla Grand Beach Resort is one of the premier hotels along the Texas Gulf Coast. Located right on the beach, this beachfront resort has great onsite amenities such as swimming pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, restaurants, nightclub, gift shop, coffee shop, activities and more.

The San Luis Resort, Galveston Island - Discover unparalleled luxury at The San Luis Resort, a 30-acre beachfront hotel and resort property on beautiful Galveston Island. Recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award since 2000, this resort features lavish accommodations, breathtaking Gulf views and personalized service.

Getting Married in Southern California - Guide to Beach Weddings in Southern California

Southern California offers many opportunities for a wedding ceremony. Heavily populated, there is so much choice for a setting by the sea, be it an historic home, one of the many luxury resorts, or even a golf course. You can take advantage of the State Parks if you want something a bit more private. And of course there’s the appeal of the sunny, mild climate.

From Santa Barbara to San Diego, each beach area has its own character. There’s Santa Barbara with its rich history and prime geographic location, nestled between the coast and the mountains. Ventura has a laid back old town feel and lovely harbor, with few crowds even in summer. And Malibu has hilltop mansions and celebrity appeal, adding a bit of glamour.

Santa Monica has its amusement pier and beach cottages – and it’s close to Los Angeles International Airport, which could be helpful if you have a lot of guests flying in from out of town. Long Beach has the Queen Mary and Little Naples with its gondolas, and from there you can catch a ferry to pretty Santa Catalina Island – and unique wedding experience.

While you might be dreaming of a beach wedding, the luxury beachfront resorts in Southern California are second-to-none and are well worth investigating for your special day.


Most Popular Beach Locations

 

Adamson House and Malibu Area State Beaches - Built in 1929, this elegant home and its grounds share one of the most beautiful beach locations in Southern California, with views of Malibu Lagoon, Malibu Beach and the Malibu Pier. It is now part of Malibu Lagoon State Beach and can be booked for weddings. For information about this and other State beaches in the Malibu area (including Topanga State Beach, Point Dume State Beach and Leo Carrillo State Beach), visit Adamson House.

Asilomar State Beach - Asilomar State Beach is already well set-up for weddings. At the Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds, you can marry in charming California Arts and Crafts architecture while taking in breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. It’s an intimate setting that combines nature and romance, with all the trappings of a luxurious wedding experience.

Carmel River State Beach - Carmel River State Beach features a mile-long beach on Carmel Bay, with a wide variety of bird life. Monastery Beach, also known as San Jose Creek Beach, is part of the park and is popular with scuba divers. As swimming and wading are considered dangerous, it’s not going to be crowded with holidaymakers. The historic Customs House and Memory Garden could also feature in your special day.

Del Mar - Just north of San Diego lies the quaint seaside village of Del Mar. A perfect blend of elegance and coastal living, it offers couples a wonderful setting for romance. You can marry on the beach or to add a bit of class, try the luxury of L'Auberge Del Mar resort, which sits moments from the surf and can accommodate all your guests in style. Read more about Del Mar.

Laguna Beach - Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach has bluff top wedding sites and allows beach weddings. There is also a federally listed historic district, with rustic coastal cottages and 1920s appeal, at the mouth of Los Trancos Creek. For more information visit

Santa Catalina Island - We couldn’t leave Southern California without mentioning Santa Catalina Island. Just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California and accessible by ferry (or helicopter!), this once exclusive island would create a memorable wedding day for you and your guests. The most famous venue is the Casino Ballroom, an Art Deco landmark built right on the water. So while it’s not quite the beach, it certainly comes very close!


Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation (airports, ferries, etc). How to get there. - The best way to reach Southern California is to fly to Los Angeles International Airport, or if you’re planning to stay at the very southern tip you could fly to San Diego International Airport. Then just hire a car and drive.

Entry Requirements; passports, visa, etc. - If you are from Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand you do not require a visa to enter the US. You only need a valid passport and proof of ongoing or return travel as long as your stay does not exceed 90 days. Citizens of other countries will require a visa. Note that the US government administers a strict entry regime. If in doubt, you should contact your nearest US embassy or consulate about your specific circumstances.

Languages Spoken / official language - The official language is English.

Currency - The official currency is the US dollar.

Tipping - In the US, most waiters and bartenders are paid below minimum wage, as they’re expected to make up the rest in tips. So if you’re in the US, you really should tip. A good rule of thumb is to tip 15 percent of the food bill to the waiter, and if the alcohol consumption has been substantial, split that part of the tip between the waiter and the bartender (if there is one). Always remember to pay the tip in cash directly to the person who has provided you with the service. Of course, if you think the service was terrible then you shouldn’t tip. For large groups, check your bill first as sometimes the tip is added automatically.

Taxes - In the US sales tax is applied to retail goods at the point of sale. There are also airport taxes, however generally these are paid along with the purchase of your airline ticket. 

Electricity - The electrical systems in most residential and commercial sites in the US use 120V and 60Hz. The electrical plug in use is known as the Type A electrical plug, which has two flat parallel prongs.

Other (immunizations, health issues) - All travellers going overseas should be up-to-date with their routine vaccinations, which are usually given to babies and children, with some boosters given in adult life. Adults should have had a Tetanus booster in the last 10 years and consider having an Influenza vaccination if they have not had one in the past year.


Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information

As state and county marriage license requirements often change, it’s important that you verify all information with a local marriage license office or County Clerk before confirming your wedding or travel plans.

Currently the Following Applies:

  • You do not have to be a resident of California to get married there.
  • You need to apply for a marriage license from a County Clerk.
  • You will need to provide a driver's license or other form of ID that contains a photo and your date of birth, and in some counties also a birth certificate.
  • The license fee will cost between $45 and $84 (varies by county). Cash is required in most counties.
  • There is no waiting period.
  • The license is valid for 90 days.
  • If you are divorced, you must show proof of divorce, death or annulment. You need to bring a copy of your final divorce decree if you have divorced within 90 days of your application for a marriage license (varies by county).
  • If applicants are under 18, at least one of the minor’s parents or legal guardians must appear with the couple and certified copies of their birth certificates. The couple must also have counseling and appear before a judge.
  • Same-sex marriage is not permitted.
  • Marriage ceremonies can be performed by Clergy, Justices, Judges, Magistrates or Marriage Commissioners (current or retired).

Requirements for a Beach Wedding:


Tourism Office Information

California Tourism
Tel: 1 (916) 444-4429

Other Southern California Related Websites


Climate Information & The Best Time to Travel

The coast of Southern California offers warm summers (daily highs around 72°F) and mild winters (daily highs around 52°F) – a mild climate year-round.This is due to the cool California Current offshore and upwelling of cold sub-surface waters, which also often create summer fog near the coast. If you’re planning to do a lot of water activities, keep in mind that the ocean is about 10ºF warmer in the south compared to the north of California.

High & Low Season for Travel

Southern California has a high season in the spring, especially Spring Break, and the Los Angeles area also has a high season in winter (family vacations to Disneyland). If you must marry during these times, you could consider weekdays (Monday through Thursday), when you’ll find cheaper airfares and accommodation rates.


Map of Southern California

http://www.americansouthwest.net/california/map.html


Local Attractions & Must Do’s

In Los Angeles there’s Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier, day trips through Hollywood and Universal Studios, and for a more relaxed experience, Catalina Island is just a ferry ride away. If you have children, then of course there’s Disneyland and an array of theme parks, zoo, aquarium!

Moving onto Orange County you’ll find 3.5 miles of pristine beach and 2,000 acres of park at Crystal Cove, a 3-mile walking trail at San Clemente Beach, an ecological reserve at Newport Bay – and then there’s Mission San Juan Capistrano, the birthplace of Orange County.

California’s Central Coast, which stretches from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz, is thought of as the Southern California of the 60s and 70s – towns are smaller, beaches are less crowded, and the pace of life is slower. Drive Highway 1 to see some wonderful seaside landscapes, including Avila Beach, Montano de Oro, Morro Bay and Pismo Beach. And of course there’s Santa Barbara, known as the American Riviera.

In the far south is San Diego County, where you’ll find the popular Mission Beach and San Diego Zoo, the largest zoo in the west. There’s also Del Mar, a pretty seaside village, and Torrey Pines State Park, one of the last pristine stretches of coastline in this part of the state.

For what to do near you, visit http://www.daytrippen.com/


Top 5 Most Popular Hotels

Southern California is synonymous with luxury and style, no less so than in its resorts. Here are five of the best, and all of them offer wedding packages. They are so exquisite – you really ought to think about it.

L’Auberge Del Mar, Del Mar - L’Auberge Del Mar is a stunning resort in the quaint seaside village of Del Mar. Ranked among the top resorts in the world by Conde Nast and brimming with class, it’s the perfect place for romance.

Montage, Laguna Beach - Set on an oceanfront bluff with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and striking Craftsman-style architecture, this 250-room luxury beach resort commands 30 acres in the heart of the picturesque arts community of Laguna Beach (midway between Los Angeles and San Diego), making it the ideal choice for a seaside getaway.

Pelican Hill, Newport Coast - Ranked one of the best resorts in the US and the world by Conde Nast, you’ll be impressed by the century-old olive trees, rows of lavender and 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean. With exquisite options for a seaside wedding, Pelican Hill is worth investigating.

St Regis, Monarch Beach - With its oceanfront allure, Tuscan style and timeless appeal, The St. Regis is California's only Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond awarded resort. With an oceanfront golf course, panoramic views and one of the most exclusive beaches in Southern California, it’s sure to impress.

Terranea, Los Angeles - Dramatically poised at the edge of the Pacific Ocean on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Terranea’s 102 acres are infused with the elegance of a classic Mediterranean estate and the casual energy of coastal Southern California. Just south of Los Angeles, it’s also not too far away.