Approaching marriage license like paperwork

posted 3 years ago in Elopement
Post # 3
4441 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

@jj0313:  There’s a difference between going to the county clerk for the marriage license and having a courthouse wedding.  The marriage license was just paperwork for us, but we’re not “spiritual.”  Between your title and your actual post I’m not sure which you’re referring to; marriage license or courthouse ceremony. 

Post # 4
2914 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

You can choose to do the vows or not. Should be fine to just sign and be on your way!

Post # 6
1362 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Turf Valley

You can go and just get the paperwork done.  You don’t HAVE to have a “courthouse” wedding.

Post # 8
2938 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

when we got our marriage license we were asked if we wanted to get married right then and there. we didn’t go that route, so i’m not sure how it would have been done, but i got the impression that it would have just been some quick “i do’s” and paperwork.

Post # 9
2376 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Just so you know, the license does NOT mean that you’re married. The license needs to be signed by both parties, witnesses and your officiant (justice of the peace, etc) and sent in to the state. At that point, you receive your marriage certificate, which is your legal proof of marriage. In several states, there is a waiting period involved. For example, in Wisconsin, the license must be obtained no more than 30 days, but no fewer than 7 days before the wedding date. In some states, it’s same day. Make sure to check your state laws.

They normally don’t do vow recitals at the courthouse unless you request it. Otherwise it’s just ‘I do’ and done.

Post # 11
8739 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Husband and I were married via JoP [Justice of the Peace] with a wedding later. It was just to make everything legal. There is no way your wedding day won’t be magical. Don’t stress about it.

Post # 12
935 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

In our case when we went to get the license they asked if we needed someone to marry us.. we didnt, so it wasnt an issue.. but I know with my sister they got married in Vegas by themselves and had the actual ceremony in mexico with family and friends….

I would think that in order to get married by the justic of the peace you would have to take some type of an oath…..



Post # 13
570 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

All of the courthouse weddings I have seen do a version of vows.  I don’t know the law in OR, but at least in IL and MO you have to complete a set of vows as part of the marriage ceremony.  This is regardless of whom ministers the vows. It doesn’t have to be a full on religious ceremony, but it has to include some version of do you take this man, etc.

Post # 14
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

In our area they two types of courthouse weddings.  One is a cattle call where they have the whole room say their I do’s together.  The other is where individual couples are called up to recite their I do’s separately. Both are pretty quick affairs because the clerks office wants to shuffle people in and out as quickly as possible.  You could also just take the license with you and have a notary public sign the certificate if that would make it seem less formal and more like paperwork than a wedding.

Post # 15
222 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Christmas Tree Farm

@jj0313:  I live in Oregon and my FIL just got married at the courthouse (you don’t just pick up the license and automatically become married, you have to be married by someone who is licensed to officiate marriages, like a judge). They recited brief vows to each other, were given the option to exchange rings, pronounced married, then signed all of the paperwork. It took five minutes, if that. The judge gave them options to make it as formal/informal as they wanted.

Post # 16
2376 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@jj0313:   You both have to verbally consent in front of the witness – it can be as basic as ‘do you take this person as your husband?’ ‘I do’. 

Witnesses can be anyone you want, bring a friend or ask someone at the courthouse. When my parents got married, they witnessed for the couple in front of them, and the couple behind them witnessed for my parents.

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