Post # 1
We are eloping to Paris but will legally need to have the ceremony in the States before we leave. I’m a bit concerned about the courthouse ceremony beforehand making the spiritual ceremony in Paris feel less “real.” Does anyone know if you can approach the legal ceremony like it’s just paperwork? Or do they make you recite vows,etc?
Post # 3
- 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
- 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 # 5
I’m sorry about that! I may not know the difference either! We need the marriage to be legal in our home state before I leave. To me, I thought that meant I’d need to go to the courthouse and have the paperwork completed before we leave.
The spiritual bit, just means we are reciting vows that are not technically legal in the country where we are getting married but that we still consider it our wedding.
Post # 6
- 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
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
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 # 10
Thanks for the info! I was looking at the website for my county and I believe you have the option to waive the 3 day waiting fee and get it all done there. What I’m not sure of is if 1) I need two witnesses there if I’m wrapping it all up onsite 2) Whether or not they would make me do vows if I waived the waiting period or if we could just sign the paperwork.
I’m aware that typically you take the marriage license and then return it after you have it signed by your witnesses and your officiant.
Post # 11
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
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
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
- 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
- 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
@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.