Making It Legal

I know all the legal stuff isn't that fun to talk about but it is very important that you do it or you won't be able to get married. A marriage license is required in every state in the U.S. It is like a permit that says that you are allowed to get married. The rules and requirements for obtaining a marriage license vary from state to state and country to country. Independent of your location, nearly every city and county have websites where you can go online and find out what is required.

Here is a list of questions you will want to find out:

  • Is there a waiting period and how long is your marriage license valid? Some states have a waiting period of how long it takes to get the marriage license back (think of it as a processing period). You don't want to apply too early and end up having to reapply and pay more money because it expired. Aim to get the license about two weeks before your date. 
  • What documents will you need? Most states require birth certificates, proof of residency, driver's license, if you have been widowed or divorced copy of death certificate or divorce decree,
  • How much are the fees? All states have a few and it is up to you to pay that fee when you apply to get your license.
  • Is it a blood test required? The District of Columbia and females in Montana are the only two places that require this.
  • If you are having a destination wedding you will need to find out residency requirements (how long you must be in the county before you can apply). The country made have specific laws about how long you must be in the country before you can legally get married.
Here is a chart that lists the state, if they require a blood test, how long the waiting period is, and when the license expires. However, I'd recommend contacting your county to ensure this is still correct. Here is another website I found that has more details on what you need to bring, rules and fees. 

If you want to have a destination wedding in Mexico here is a link to information on what you will need to do. The same for the Bahamas.

Hopefully this information was useful and now when it comes down to the time where you need to get your marriage license you will know what to do and it will be easy and not stressful.


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