After the engagement ring, the honeymoon
is the most expensive and important thing the groom will be financially responsible for. It will be a time of relaxation and fun with your new bride. However, if you’re planning on traveling outside of the country, your vacation could turn into a disaster if you aren’t fully prepared with a valid passport. The following guidelines will help make sure you don’t end up honeymooning in the backyard.
If you already have a passport
• Locate your passport, and keep it in a safe place until the wedding day or honeymoon
• Double-check that your passport is still valid. U.S. passports are good for 10 years from their issue date.
• When you pack for the honeymoon (usually several days before the wedding), make sure to put your passport in your bag. That way, there’s no doubt it will make the trip with you. If you don’t have a passport
The wait time for getting a passport has significantly increased during the last several years. It’s wise to apply no shorter than three months before your departure date. Here are a few important tips:
• Get a copy of your official birth certificate (the one from the courthouse, not the one from the hospital with your footprints on it). You can get this at your county clerk’s office. There’ll be a small fee (usually less than $10).
• Go to your local post office or circuit court and get an application
• When turning in your application, make sure to have a valid photo ID and the copy of your birth certificate. You’ll also need to have a passport photo taken. You can do this there or at your local drugstore or copy shop.
• Be prepared for the cost of the passport. They’ll come in at about $60-$120, depending on whether you choose to have it expedited. Bring two checks (one to pay for the passport, and the other to pay the Post Office or Circuit Clerk)
• Wait for your passport and birth certificate to be sent to you via standard mail. When it comes, be sure to double-check that all information on your passport is correct.
If you don’t already have a valid passport, apply for one now. The wait time is getting longer, and you don’t want to risk it. Play it safe and get it done early.