Post # 1
Ok bees, I’m confused. Help me understand this.
When my FI and I go to the courthouse and sign the paperwork for our marriage license, aren’t we officially legally married? If not, what still needs to be done? I know a real officiant needs to be ordained. How does that come into play if the paperwork is already completed?
This might be an obvious question but I just realized I had no idea.
Post # 3
they have to sign the marriage license
Post # 5
You obtain a marriage license and then give it to the officiant to sign once the ceremony has been completed. Simply obtaining the marriage license does not mean you are married. It just means you are now allowed to get married.
Post # 6
@MrsFutureG: It has to be signed by the person that marries you. Then you send it back to the court house, and they send you your marriage license.
Post # 7
- Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World
You need an officiant to perform a ceremony and sign off on the license and then file it at the city clerk’s office, who will then send you certified copies of the completed license. When you get it from the courthouse there will be another space for the officiant and witnesses to sign on the wedding day. You can have your ceremony at the courthouse but that is separate from just getting your license from them.
Post # 8
@MrsWBS: bingo. Getting the marriage license is only Step 1. A ceremony MUST be performed and certain parts of it are legally required (like the saying “I do”). Then you, your officiant and your witnesses have to sign it. Only then are you married.
Post # 9
Wen you get the paper from the courthouse you need to find a person who can sign it for you. I don’t know about other states but in MI they don’t sign it when you pick up the paper. Most people get the license signed by the officient at the wedding. I got mine signed before the wedding so I could pick whoever I wanted to stand up at my wedding.
Post # 10
Apologies for my ignorance but just who can officiate at a US wedding? Only I’m always impressed by what seems to be an amazingly wide choice of people unlike in England!
My son gets married to his American FI (in England) in September and one of their friends from the US had hoped to officiate until he discovered how restrictive our laws were in this respect.
Post # 11
Hare, a licence is only valid for 3 months and just says you’re able to get married. The Regisration of Marriage was signed during the cermony. Ie. The Signing of the Registry part of the ceremony.
Post # 12
@Steampunkbride: It varies by state who can legally perform a marriage ceremony. Some states recognize people ordained online, others don’t. My friend was married by a friend ordained online and the day before they found out their state doesn’t recognize that as a legal marriage, so they went to the courthouse the day before and got legally married there.
Post # 13
anyone ordained through the state can marry people. justice of the peace, pastors/ministers
Post # 14
@MrsFutureG: Marriage license means you are licensed to get married. You’re confusing a marriage license with a marriage certificate (meaning that you are legally married). Your officiant signs the marriage license then sends it off, and then you get your marriage certificate (well, that’s the short of the long of it).
@Steampunkbride: I know that in Alaska anyone can preform the ceremony, legally, ONCE in their lifetime (a friend just got married up there and had her cousin do it). However, where I am from, the person must be an ordained minister or a county judge/JOP. I guess technically a ship captain would work too… but we’re not close enough to the sea for that to be a viable option. (However, I’ve heard rumors that you can become “ordained” relatively quickly and cheaply via online sources… not sure how true that is though.)
Post # 15
I feel like I should close this thread. Thank you everyone! See, I knew it was a simple question!
So is the certificate automatic? Get a completed license, have the officiant and some witnesses sign it and wham bam, thank you ma’am, check your mailbox in 6-8 weeks?
Post # 16
For anyone interested, here is an interesting tool that allows you to see the various laws/rules that go in to marrying a couple for each state in the US.