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All You Ever Wanted to Know About Getting Your Marriage License

Planning Tips

May 16, 2022

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 Welcome to the Soiree 99 blog, a journal about all things hosting, design, wedding planning and anything else that makes my heart flutter.

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Brit’s Top 5 Tips For Getting Your Marriage License

Before the Ceremony, Learn How to Get Your Marriage License

Past all of the elegant details and the fun quirky aspects of your wedding, at some point, you need to start thinking about the actual legal aspect of your wedding – and how to get your marriage license. 

Planning a wedding without thinking about getting your marriage license is like planning a trip and not thinking about buying a plane ticket – it just doesn’t make sense. 

The problem is, every state (and country) has its own requirements so, while I can’t go into detail about how exactly to get your marriage license, I do have 5 tips on getting your marriage license. 

5 Tips For Getting Your Marriage License

1 – Research Your Specific State 

If you are getting married in the United States, then you will need to do a quick Google search of your state’s marriage license requirements. Each state should have a page that walks you through the process, step by step. Also, make sure you look at the FAQ page. 

You’ll want to look for the following information: 

  • Where do you go to get a license?
  • How far in advance of the ceremony do you need to get the license? 
  • What documents do you need to bring? 
  • What documents do you need to fill out (and try to fill them out beforehand if possible)?
  • Are there any other rules or stipulations you need to be aware of? 

I know that for Montana marriage licenses, the process is really easy and very laid back. But other states give you more hurdles to walk through. 

Here is a website that lists links to all of the different states and their marriage requirements.

2 – Destination Wedding Consideration

If you are planning a destination wedding, you have some additional considerations. 

When planning a wedding in another country, it is usually easier to get the marriage license at home and have your legally-binding ceremony before you leave for your ceremony. While there are ways to get your marriage license in other countries, it is usually a lot more difficult than warranted. 

Consider having a private civil ceremony at your local courthouse—bring along your besties, your parents, and a photographer to document the occasion. 

If the wedding is within the United States, most people get their marriage license at the location they are having their ceremony but you can always get legally married at home if it is easier. 

Regardless, you need to thoroughly look into the requirements of your home state and your destination to see what makes the most sense for you. 

If you decide to get your license at the place you are getting married, make sure that you look closely at the time requirements. Some places require a waiting period between issuing a license and having the ceremony. 

First Kiss

3 – Utilize Your Planner

Don’t let its place in the middle of the list fool you, this is probably my top piece of advice. Use your planner’s expertise on getting your license. 

Your planner is a pro. She has done this more times than you could imagine. Let her (or him) guide you. 

And if you don’t have a planner, look into at least getting a day-of coordinator. They should be able to give you some guidance as well. 

4 – Work Getting Your License Into the Timeline

As you are creating your timeline for your wedding week, make sure you work the actual getting of your license into the timeline. With all of the last-minute chaos that inevitably happens during the wedding crunch time, it can be easy to overlook the license…. Or at least put it off until the last minute, when you can be found rushing frantically to the local clerk’s office 5 minutes before closing on a Friday…. Don’t let this be you.

Be specific in your timeline— plan a time and a date and then celebrate afterward with brunch and mimosas. 

Signing the Marriage License

5 – The Ceremony

So you have the license. Two things to remember about the ceremony:

Don’t forget to bring it to the wedding! Make sure you put the license somewhere that it won’t be left behind—your suitcase, with the rings, or give someone else the job of remembering the license.

And, also, work a time into the schedule to sign the license! Signing the license can make a cute photo opp!

Do you have any questions about getting your marriage license? Leave them below and I’ll do my best to help you out!

Want more wedding planning goodness? Check out this blog about wedding planners versus venue coordinators before you plan more of your wedding!

Photography By Stella K Photography

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I'm Brittany and I'm so happy you're here. This blog is a journal about all things hosting, design, wedding planning and anything else that makes my heart flutter.

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