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Get Your Passport Early, But Not Too Early

Over the next year and a half, I'll share my tips, questions and struggles throughout the process of planning my perfect Summit wedding.

I've been engaged for just more than a month.


It's hard to even believe that it's been a month already but it has. Proof positive that the next year and a half are going to go by in a flash.

So when I sat down and thought about the idea of doing a wedding column throughout the process for our Patch readers, I wondered what I would write. But after taking an unofficial poll of readers, I decided it would be an honor to share my experiences and provide a forum for other Summit brides to discuss tips, share experiences and even warn each other about common wedding pitfalls.

Lucky for Summit, you're getting a two for one deal on this. Not only am I planning my wedding, I am also going to have the benefit of sharing the advice of one of my best friends, Megan, who is planning her July 2011 wedding as well.

So, while I'm getting a lot of my tips and advice from her since she's being the guinea pig and going first, her wedding won't be here in the Hill City. So, I hope we can create a forum here on Patch for Summit brides to help each other through this incredibly wonderful, yet stressful process.

So, every Friday you'll find the next installment of "A Patch Made in Heaven." Please e-mail or call me with your questions and suggestions for topics you need help with, questions you need answered and or suggestions you'd like to share.

I'll be writing mostly about things as I experience them but that doesn't mean what is on the minds of other Summit brides doesn't matter. So don't hesitate to join in the conversation.


So here I am, one month in. I haven't officially booked anything but I have a hold on a date next October at both St. Teresa of Avila here in Summit and at a reception hall nearby. I had more than one person suggest I let Mayor Jordan Glatt marry my fiance and I, however Jordan and I both agreed we already spend waaaaay too much time together at council meetings!

So my first piece of advice to share is this: get your passport early but not TOO early. I went earlier this week to the Summit Post Office to apply for my passport. It was incredibly easy to set up an appointment, pre-fill out the paperwork online so I could just bring it there and to get my picture taken and actually go through the process at the post office. Not to mention Donna, the passport agent, is incredibly sweet and helpful.

However, the thing I was wondering about that Donna clarified for me is that after you get married–if  you're going to legally change your name–is what happens to your passport once your name is changed?

As you'll come to find out about me throughout this column, I like to be safe rather than sorry, so I decided to go apply for it immediately to make sure I would have my passport in time. I know things are much better now but I still have a distant memory of the year-long waiting time people were experiencing just a few years ago. So, yes: I'm paranoid and wanted to make sure I had that little puppy in my possession well in advance of my honeymoon.

However, I asked Donna what happens after you change your name? Can you still use your passport and just prove that you've been married and your name changed? Or do you have to reapply all over again?

What's great is that if you go back to the post office within one year of your passport being issued, they will re-do your passport for free with your new, married name. However, if you're obsessive compulsive like me, and you get yours more than a year ahead of time you'll be out the time and money again to get a brand new passport with your new married name.

I'm not really that upset about it because, let's be honest, who knows if I'll even get out of the country again anytime soon after my honeymoon. But either way, take that into consideration when making your appointment to apply for your passport.

Below is the information to schedule an appointment for your passport at the Summit Post Office:

Phone number: (908) 277-1737

Online Application to fill out, print but DO NOT sign before your appointment: https://pptform.state.gov/

You will need:

  • Birth certificate
  • Another form of ID, i.e. driver's license

So there you go! Good luck making your passport appointment, but don't worry! It's easy!

Questions? Suggestions? Tips? E-mail heather@patch.com to share your thoughts on this week's column or on topics for forthcoming editions.


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Max July 03, 2010 at 04:24 PM
Get your passport earlier, not later Heather! After July 12, US Passports will cost $110, $35 more than they cost today. Also, if you expect to travel a lot over the next decade, ask for the 52-page version (no extra charge). Otherwise, if you run out of space, you will have to pay $82 to have pages added to the default 28-page passport.


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