Source: Martha Stewart Weddings
Your ceremony and reception are certainly important, but without a signed marriage license, your union isn’t technically complete. That’s why it’s so important to ensure this document is signed at the appropriate time, with the right witnesses. To help you be certain your nuptials are valid in the eyes of the law, we’re tackling some of the most common questions related to the signing of a marriage license.
When should you sign your marriage license?
Most couples sign their marriage license right after the wedding ceremony ends, but it’s not the end of the world if you forget in all the hubbub of celebrating. In most states, you have 30-60 days to file a certificate from the time you pick up. Most couples will pick up the paperwork a week or two before the wedding, sign the document after the ceremony, and have their officiant mail it the following week.
What else should be coordinated for the signing of a marriage license?
The marriage license needs to be signed with your officiant and witnesses present, as they’ll be signing too. Many couples opt to have siblings or very close friends act as witnesses, often selecting people they know will support their marriage throughout their lives.
What’s the story with destination wedding marriage licenses?
For the majority of destination weddings, the couple isn’t looking for their marriage to be recognized where they’re getting married, so their destination ceremony often isn’t the legally binding one. Instead couples often choose to have a civil ceremony at home in order to obtain their local marriage license, then tie the knot with a religious or spiritual ceremony in their destination of choice. A legally binding marriage certificate obtained out of the country can be costly and time consuming to acquire, and the union will still need to be certified at home, so adding a foreign marriage certificate to the mix generally makes the process more complicated than necessary.
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