Back when I was young & wet behind the ears I had a passion to be a party planner; specifically weddings. While I still have the interest & my friends admit I throw the best parties; life took me a different direction. You see; when I graduated from college I had a bachelor of liberal studies to go out into the world & plan parties…except there was a recession. Having a party planner is a luxury, not a necessity so there just was not a demand for my career interest.
Along the way, many of my friends have used me as a resource when it comes to planning their weddings. In the next few posts, I want to share with you some of my knowledge & tips I have picked up along the way.
You need a marriage license!
For so many of us, this seems common knowledge and a big DUH moment. In reality sometimes in the whirlwind of planning a wedding, it is something a lot of people overlook. Or…the license gets messed up one way or another. Remember you need to license to be legally wed! You need to be legally wed for the LEGAL to be accurate.
A wedding license isn’t just a piece of paper. It’s a foundation to ensure everything is legal…you know dot the I’s cross the T’s. There are a lot of rules surrounding a marriage license that most of us either don’t think about or are not familiar with. A big one is to make sure you are aware of the validity of your license based on the state and sometimes even county you are getting married in. A great example is here in Iowa you have to wait 3 days before getting married verse say Vegas you can head straight down the aisle. Or…say you are planning a spring wedding in Pennsylvania; the license is only valid for 60 days; so don’t apply to early!
It’s important to find out exactly what personal documents and actions are needed to get a license at your wedding location. You may find yourself digging through old forgotten papers or calling up your relatives to obtain documents such as:
- social security card
- birth certificate
- parents’ birth locations
- officiant’s personal information
- Official divorce papers if relevant
Surprise! Just as a license to practice medicine or a license to go fishing isn’t free; neither is a wedding license! The price varies by state, but suck it up and pay the fee to live a happy life with your loved one.
Most people think getting your marriage license is easy as going to the courthouse, pay the fee, sign the papers, BOOM marriage license is magically in front of you. What you may not think about is how in the excitement of it all you become emotional. You may get giddy and yell out words of excitement to complete strangers. You may cry as it hits you; this is real! You are signing on the dotted line; or when you finally see the legal document validating the marriage. SOAK IT IN! Just be prepared for the unexpected emotions.
Now that you have the emotions in check, take a picture! It’s not required but that was a big step! Take a shot or two with your officially official license. This is a fun moment to remember and to share; not only today but in years to come.
Once the wedding is over doesn’t mean your to-do list is done! Don’t forget to file for a certified license and marriage certificate. Most states grant you a year to do this…but don’t procrastinate you have a happy ever after life to live!
You put a lot of time and effort into that marriage license; consider displaying it as a reminder. I have seen people used holders or frames. If you would prefer to not show off the certificate make sure to keep it somewhere secure such as water and fireproof bag, document safe bag, or even a security lockbox.
Congrats on the big day! Make sure to check out my other posts of wedding advice! And please share any tips you have for future couples.
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