Destination New Hampshire

For many brides, the hometown wedding — a ceremony at her childhood church and reception in the backyard or at a place nearby — is exactly what they want for their special day. For others, faraway places — perhaps St. Lucia, or Greece — beckon. They’re happy to pack up the wedding accoutrements and have their family and friends fly in for a long weekend of celebration. These “destination weddings” are increasingly popular. But the destinations are not all palm trees and Disney World, according to wedding planner Melanie Bibbo of Blissful Beginnings ( For quite a few couples, the destination is New Hampshire, beautiful in all four seasons. “They come from two mindsets,” Melanie says. “Either they love the serenity here that they can’t get in a big city, or they have some sort of tie to the state — a camp, school, summer home or vacation memories. They figure, our family and friends are scattered all over the country, why not go to New Hampshire?” One recent wedding brought 200 New Yorkers to an inn overlooking Lake Sunapee, where the groom’s family has a vacation house. Instead of the garb appropriate for New York’s fancy ballrooms, guests went casual. “People want to get away from the craziness and just relax,” she says. The Paperwork What you need to know about getting a N.H. marriage license: - Any town or city clerk can issue a marriage license, unless one party resides out of state. Then the application must be filed where the resident lives. - Both par ties must appear and complete application. - Supply proof of age. People over 18 can marry without parental permission. - Provide certified copies of divorce and/or death certificates for previous marriages. - No blood test is required. - The license, which costs $45, is issued after a three-day wait and is good for 90 days.
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