Tying the Knot: How the Shutdown Ruins Wedding Plans

Molten lava at night on the Big Island

Nearly-wedded couples looking to say “I Do” at a national park can blame Congress for messing up their big day.

The shutdown closed about 300 national parks throughout the country, including those in Hawaii. Couples planning to marry at one within the next month or so must now relocate. But relocating doesn’t just mean finding a new venue; it means redirecting every single vendor involved – from the florists to the caterer to the photo booth.

Because I am also in the process of planning my own wedding, I sympathize with these nearlyweds. It takes months, years even, to plan a wedding – especially if that special day occurs in a far-off destination, like Hawaii. In that case, couples have already booked flights and hotels for themselves and their family members. We have family coming from Colorado, California, Kauai and the Hawaii Island, so I totally get how frustrating this can be.

If you plan to wed in another country and do not have a passport/visa, these services may be delayed if the passport office is located in a government building that has been shut down. The good news, however, is that you can still apply for a marriage license. Any state and local government services will not be affected.

Hopefully this helps clear up any confusion about how the shutdown affects destination weddings. I am hoping that vendors will understand your situation and accommodate you in the best way they can. Good luck!

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