How the Government Shutdown Can Affect Your Wedding

It’s crazy to think that this has been the longest government shutdown in US history. It’s nuts!

Those working for the government are affected both on a day to day basis, but also financially.

And if you don’t work for the government, it’s an state of affairs that makes you feel both uncomfortable and uncertain. You’re not sure what it means.

And if you’re planning a destination wedding, you’re wondering, how does the government shutdown affect you and your wedding?

Groom making a funny face at his wedding in San Francisco by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Jerry Yoon Photographers)

Two ways the government shutdown can affect your wedding (and what to do about it)

#1 – Your Venue

The major thing the government shutdown potentially affects is your wedding venue. If you’re having your wedding at a national park, museum or zoo, your venue likely will not be operational.


Yes, this means you need to find another venue.

Merced river and Yosemite valley taken by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

Now obviously this mainly affects those getting married now or in the immediate future. But, not knowing how long the shutdown will go on means if your wedding is coming up in the next month or two you may be affected too.

It’s hard to know when the lights will turn back on and when they do, what shape your venue will be in. Especially if you’re having it in a park. Because parks require upkeep. 

My advice: Make a plan B and C and D.  

Why so many?  Every couple who is affected will also be working on a plan B. So, having a few ideas and options you can implement is going to be crucial.

You may not need it, but you’ll be happy you have it if you do need it.

#2 – Travel

If you’ve been reading or hearing the stories about TSA agents calling in sick or air traffic controllers working without pay, it’s affecting travel.

I was recently at an airport just the other day traveling for a wedding and the lines were long! It’s like trying to get a drink at the bar!

And then when you couple that with winter storms you get lots of missed flights, upset passengers and all around travel madness! This can lead to your guests considering not attending. Or vendors you’re bringing in for your destination wedding to be delayed.

And of course it can affect you too!

And the longer the shutdown goes on, the worse the situation at airports will get. 

Away suitcase for traveling

My advice: Pay close attention to news and info about your particular airport because every one is different. And you may be totally fine… or you may have to wait an hour or more to get through security.

If your airport is looking bad, plan ahead and give yourselves lots of time. You’ll also want to keep your guests informed on the situation and on what they can do (if anything). 

Now happily the shutdown doesn’t affect everything for your destination wedding. Here are two things you won’t have to worry about.

Two ways the government shutdown won’t affect your wedding

#1 – Marriage Licenses

Happily, marriage licenses are issued at the city and county level, which is not federal. So you shouldn’t have a problem getting it or getting married. Which means you can still marry your love!

#2 – Passports

If you’re having an international destination wedding or planning on going out of the country for your honeymoon, you’ll need a valid passport. The passport office is federal, which usually would be a worry. But, it has not yet been affected by the shutdown. So, if you need to renew your passport or get one for the first time, you’ll be ok.

The government shutdown is no joke and it definitely can affect you and your destination wedding. The uncertainty alone is a lot to handle.

But understanding what you need to worry about and what you don’t helps alleviate that stress.  Take it day by day (like the federal workers) and if you need some help to offload the stress, we’re here! Contact us today.

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