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The Marriage License

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today is the day, we are getting our marriage license!

A marriage license is pretty much a permit that is required in the US and shows that two people may marry one another. It shows that they are of legal age, are not married to anyone else, and sometimes deals with bloodline issues (some states care if you marry your cousin, others not so much!). The requirements vary from state to state so it’s important to look into this a few months before your wedding. In most states they are valid for 90 days so for your type A brides like myself you’ll have to wait until at least 3 months before to check this off the to-do list!

You can generally apply for a marriage license at City Hall but again requirements differ. We are getting married in NH so are getting ours in the state of NH but not the town where the ceremony will take place.

The Knot has a great list for state-to-state conditions: The Knot Marriage License Search.

One requirement that tends to be consistent is that both bride and groom must be present at the time of application. 

Items you will probably need include:

  • Birth certificates (proof of age)
  • Proof of citizenship and/or residence
  • Photo identification
  • Parental consent if underage (usually 16-17; you may also need court consent)
  • Death certificate if widowed
  • Divorce decree if divorced
  • Blood test results (if needed; only a few states still require this)
  • Money! Most cost $50

You’ll need to bring your marriage license to your wedding and sign with your officiant present. After the wedding, your officiant will send your signed license to the marriage license bureau, and then you should receive a certified copy within a few weeks or months.

Good luck!

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