Nuptial November: Legalities of Marriage

Expect to show up at your wedding, say I do, and suddenly be married? Not so fast! There is actually quite a bit that you have to do in order to be married and it will change from state to state and even county to county! 

Make sure you do your research. Some states require that you get a blood test before you can get married and some require you to bring your birth certificate. Fees vary vastly and even the number of witnesses you may need to be present. For example, Fairfax County, Virginia, requires the couple to appear together at the County Clerk's office with valid photo identification, $30 payment and their social security numbers and parents full legal names. Meanwhile, a short distance away in Prince George's county, Maryland, one of you can go alone to pick up the license with valid photo ID, a $70 payment, and your social security numbers. 

Getting married out of state? There may be residency rules that apply, meaning that you need to be in a state for a certain number of days prior to obtaining a license. And don't forget that many states require that you use the licenses within a certain timeframe such as 30 or 90 days.

Again, make sure you do your research several weeks in advance! Don't leave it to the Friday before your wedding because you may find that the county clerk's office closes at noon on Friday and doesn't reopen until Monday morning! If you have any questions or concerns, ask your planner for help. While some of these processes may be convoluted or complicated, your planner can help guide you to make it easier so be sure to use him or her as a resource! Just a few pointers to help you through Nuptial November!