You got the ring and you’ve started planning out your dream wedding, but there is one important (and quite frankly not as glamorous or exciting) step that you cannot miss: getting the marriage license. You can Google the requirements on how to obtain a marriage license and you’ll most likely be pointed to the county clerk’s office, city hall or a marriage license bureau. You should submit your application at least a few weeks before the wedding so that you can have it a week or two before your wedding day. You may need to be present with your fiance to pick up the license so give them a heads up!
At your wedding, your officiant will sign the license to validate it and he/she is responsible for submitting it to the county or city clerk’s office. From there, it will get processed and you will receive the marriage certificate by mail within a few weeks. You may want to request multiple copies of the wedding certificate, especially if you plan on changing your name.
Here is a check list of things you should prepare before going to obtain your marriage license:
- Check to see if you meet the requirements (age of consent).
- See what documentation is needed when you go to the issuing office. Typically a birth certificate, proof of citizenship (if born out side the United States) and a photo ID. If you’re divorced or widowed, you may need to bring a divorce decree or death certificate with you.
- Will you need to bring a witness with you?
- Do you need to bring blood tests, proof of vaccinations or other medical tests? Make sure these are all recent.
- What is the marriage license fee?
- Check to see if there’s a waiting period between when you apply for the license and your wedding date.
- Ask how long the license is valid. Some may only be valid for 30 days so it’s important to know.
Featured Cover Image: Dana Fernandez Photography