@LaTortuga: Use GOOGLE and you’ll be able to find all the answers you need for your State / County / City (costing can differ from place to place).
Personally, we are planning to marry in Myrtle Beach, SC… there is $ 100 Charge for the Marriage License (State / County). BUT in SC there is no additional Application Fee, Blood Tests, Additional Paperwork (just swear an Affadavit that there is NO CAUSE why you cannot legally marry), nor are there Residency Requirements (long waiting period), and Witnesses are not needed either. You can apply on one day, and 24 Hours pick up your License and be able to marry immediately if you like (and have made reservations to do so)
WHERE you marry though can be another ordeal. In the City of Myrtle Beach, you cannot marry on the beach itself, has to be either on Private Property or a State / City Park. So permission, or a fee may have to be paid to do that. Other cities in SC, don’t necessarily have this as a requirement. Also, Officiants (be they a JoP at the Courthouse or other legal officiant) has to be booked, and they too charge a fee. The Officiant Fee can be flat rate, OR based on the Ceremony that you choose / book (ie Outdoor Wedding may cost more than an indoor one)… OR Evenings, Weekends & Holidays more than a Weekday. All things to take into consideration.
In the end, having been married before, I don’t honestly think that Religious Ceremonies cost any more or less than going the Civilian Route (for the actual Wedding… especially if one is an “active” member of a particular Church / Congregation and gets married there). In the end it is the EXTRAS that add up, whichever Wedding you choose. A Church Wedding typically means more expenses, because you want to invite more Guests, add Candles, Flowers, Music etc.
That is WHY Weddings in the US are so outrageously expensive… Brides nowadays have gone over the top with what it is they want to do / spend on these affairs. 10, 20, 30, 50+ Thousand Dollars is not unheard of !!
If read thru the various postings here on WBee it is all the extras that add up to the cost and the stresses of planning / holding a wedding… not really “the ceremony” itself
We’ve both had big weddings before… and are soooo happy to not be doing that this time round…
It will just be the two of us, and our gorgeous Destination in MB… so more of an Elopement… us and our Officiant on a lawn overlooking the ocean. Then on with the Honeymoon. Easy-Peasy… cannot wait !!