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Getting married involves many important details. Some small things can be overlooked. One thing that is small but very important is the marriage license.. You need this in order for your marriage to be legal. So, what happens if you never turn in your marriage license?
If a marriage license is never turned in, then the marriage is not legal. This means in the eyes of the county, city, state, or law, you are not legally married. A marriage license signed by the groom, bride, officiant, and two witnesses are needed as proof of marriage and it must be turned in.
Engaged couples can get caught up in the planning and stressing over wedding details that sometimes things are forgotten. This is why it’s important to make a list of what you need to do before the big day. Here is a list of some things that need to be done before tying the knot:
- Set a budget
- Decide on wedding party
- Make a guest list
- Buy wedding bands if you still need to
- Decide wedding colors and “theme”
- Select the venue
- Hire vendors/caterer
- Buy wedding dress
- Select bridesmaid dresses
- Book honeymoon
- Book hotels for guests
- Take engagement photos
- Send save the dates
- Hair and makeup appointment
- Choose wedding cake
- Send invitations
- Plan reception (menu, seating, photo booth, etc)
- Hire a florist
- Book rehearsal dinner
- Hire musicians
- Hire officiant
- Book transportation
- Buy or rent the grooms tuxedo
- Select groomsmen’s attire
- Start premarital counseling
- Decide on guest favors or gift bags
- Write your vows (if you decide to)
- Select readings for ceremony
- Start purchasing/crafting decorations
- Give wedding party gifts
- Assign duties to those helping with the wedding
- Give song selections of musicians
- Buy any items needed for ceremony, reciperion, send-off etc.
- Buy wedding shoes and break them in
- Get a marriage license
- Put check or cash in envelopes for vendors
- Pamper yourself (hiar, mani pedi, massage, etc)
- Pack bags
- Write a note to your husband-to-be/wife-to-be
- Each healthy and get some sleep
Let’s talk more about number 35, getting a marriage license. This little detail can be easy to forget but is important. If you forget to get a marriage license it means that your marriage isn’t legal. It is basically a permit to get married.
A marriage license is a legal document for public record stating that you and your partner are free and eligible to marry each other. Then after you are married you will receive a marriage certificate which is a certified copy of the marriage license to prove that you’re married.
Even though it is necessary paperwork, it is exciting. It means that you and our husband-to-be or wife-to-be will be legally married. Marriage license applications requirements vary state to state. It is the officiant’s job to make sure that the marriage license is turned in after it has been signed at the ceremony and if it isn’t turned in before it expires, then the marriage is not legal.
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Does The Lack Of A Marriage License Make The Marriage Void?
Weddings can be hectic with a lot going on. A marriage license can be a small detail that is easily forgotten but it is an important document setting you are married.
So, does this mean that the lack of a marriage license makes your marriage void?
If you don’t have a marriage license it doesn’t necessarily mean the marriage is void, but it isn’t legal. This can cause problems since you have to have a marriage license to be married in the eyes of the law.
In order to obtain a marriage license, you should know what city the wedding will be taking place in. Then you should find the city hall, city clerk, or county clerk’s office. Every region has their own requirement for getting a marriage license and you will need to know what to do.
You will need important documents such as your birth certificate, I.D.s, social security number, parent’s birth name, birth dates, and birth states. Diovorce decree if divorced or a death certificate, if widowed are needed as well.
Usually you can apply online as soon as you have the wedding date and location. The marriage license application will tell you how early to apply. You don’t want to apply too early and end up with the license expiring, and they do.
Marriage licenses are only valid for a certain amount of time and must be turned in by a certain time. A marriage license should be submitted before it expires but this varies by state.
In Colorado, a marriage license must be obtained from the county clerk’s office, costs $30 and expires within 35 days after it has been issued if it hasn’t been used. You must turn in the marriage license or it will appear you were never married. So, for legal reasons and to show you are married in the eye of the law, you must turn in the marriage license.
Who Turns In The Marriage License?
So, there are certain steps to follow when getting a marriage license. You should apply for one, sign it at the ceremony and then send it back to the local officials. But, since the bride and groom are heading off on their honeymoon, who turns in the marriage license?
The officiant of the wedding is the one who typically turns in the marriage license after it has been signed by himself, the groom, bride, and two witnesses. It’s important he remembers to do this since if he forgets, and the license expires then the marriage isn’t legal.
By remembering to obtain and turn in the marriage license you can save yourself a lot of trouble. A marriage license is needed to make your marriage legal and if one is never turned in, then there is no legal proof that you are married.
Marriage licenses usually cost somewhere between $35 to $150 and take a few days to get once you have applied for one. After you receive the marriage license, keep it until the wedding. It should be brought to the wedding ceremony and signed by you and your husband/wife along with the officiant and two witnesses (usually the best man and maid of honor).
Then, the marriage license is turned in to the local officials and a marriage certificate is available. Sometimes this is sent to the newlyweds and other time they have to order and purchase one.
Marriage licenses are proof of marriage for taxes, insurance, banking, mortgage applications, name changes, etc. After they are signed at the wedding, they are then turned back into the county by the officiant. The marriage is then made legal.
As you can see, marriage licenses are important and you should be sure to turn them in otherwise, failure to do so will result in the marriage not being legal. For more information about how to get a marriage license click here.