What is the second most important item to bring to the church on your wedding day, besides your fiancée? That's right, the wedding license!! Without it, the marriage is not legal. Wedding license requirements vary from location to location and should be obtained where the ceremony is taking place. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to research the requirements as some locations have very specific time requirements. Generally you can find out information regarding marriage licenses by phoning City Hall, if they can not give you specific information, they should be able to direct you to the appropriate agency.
Pay specific attention to time requirements. Most licenses are only valid for a specific period of time. Some locations may allow you to get your license up to 90 days before the wedding and some may be 30 days. Keep that in mind should you ever change the date of your wedding after you obtained your license as you may be required to get a new one. Additionally, some locations have a waiting period after a license is obtained. Lastly, find out how long it takes to issue the license, in some locations it may take up to five days.
Here are a few other items to keep in mind when obtaining a marriage license:
1. Who needs to be present (generally it is BOTH the bride and the groom).
2. What type of identification is required (birth certificate, driver's license, passport, social security card etc.)
3. How much does it cost and how can it be paid (cash, check, or credit card)
4. Are there any other requirements such as a blood test and/or physical examination.
5. If you have been married previously, check to find out what documentation you may need to bring. You may be required to bring your original marriage license and your divorce decree.
Destination Weddings (Outside your resident country) : If you are getting married in a country that is not your country of residence you should check the marriage requirements in that location as well as the location where you reside. You will need to ensure that your foreign marriage is legally recognized where you live. Again, pay particular attention to timing, some countries require that a bride and groom be in their country for a specific amount of time prior to the wedding.