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How to Coordinate Marriage Licenses. When do you sign the Marriage Certificate. Wedding Planning DIY Bride. How to Guide.Wedding Coordinating. Marriage License.

Applying for your Marriage License will be a bit different for every couple. The most important thing to do is look up the website for your County’s requirements on what to bring in with you. All states are going to be a little bit different so you‘ll want to do your own research. Some states required that you obtain a marriage license from within the same county where the wedding will take place, others will accept them from anywhere in the state.   Most assuredly, You will both need to appear in person at the County Clerks office to sign the license when you apply. You will also need to provide Birth Certificates for both of you.   You may also require additional documentation if were previously married or born in another country. Again, consult your State’s County website for guidance on the materials you need to take in with you.   We are based in Oregon, so below I am linking to our top County Official sites to help you reference. If you’re in a different State you can certainly visit the links to see their format and then find your own State’s website. For more information on applying for Marriage License in Oregon Counties:   Lane County here is their LINK
Multnomah County here is their LINK
Washington County
Clackamas County

Most licenses are valid anywhere in the State, but CHECK! Also, most Marriage Licenses are only valid for 60 days, so I recommend getting it 50 days {or less} from your wedding. This way you have at least 10 days to mail it in! Some are required to be mailed in within 5 days of the Marriage date though, so again, CHECK!For this Project Block we’re going to walk through a few details regarding the Marriage License on the Big Day as well as obtaining it. There will be Ingredients you need to collect or obtain {like from your parents} and maybe even some styling elements.

Let’s start at The Clerk’s Office:

You and your soon to be spouse have made your trip to the clerk’s office. You’re there, with all of your proper documentation and you’re ready to sign. You actually SIGN your marriage license right then and there, together, not on your wedding day. You are also asked to fill in, right then and there what your name{s} will be after the marriage is official. So be prepared to choose your new name if you are planning to change it. {You can always change it again later, it just takes more work}  

Your Big Day is finally here!

Remember to BRING your Marriage License to the venue with you! Pack it in your Project Zero Bag. You’ll have it with you in your dressing room, but if you’re getting ready at a hotel, remember o then again bring it with you to the venue.  

After the Ceremony:

You have already signed the marriage license, but now your witnesses have to sign that they saw you get married willingly, and the Officiant has to sign off on it. Did you know that in Oregon the two witnesses don’t actually have to sign it to be official? You only need their names, which are printed anyway. So, if your Officiant takes it and says that the church secretary will fill it all in, don’t be shocked. {This happened to me… and I was shocked… I just learned this after 7 years of mailing in marriage licenses} Do decide if you want pictures of the ceremonies “Marriage License Signing” where the photographer might take pictures of you both signing the “pretty” Certificate {which is meant for your wall at home and is purely decorative} and your witnesses signing their names. If you want these pictures, go for it. Why not?  

Marriage Certificate Signing can happen several ways:

You can do it during your Project Block 6 Couple’s Retreat. Immediately after the ceremony, have your Officiant, witnesses and photographer follow you back to your retreat space, take some time to collect yourselves, let everyone into the room and sign it, then be done with it. Or, you can make a grand presentation and do it in front of everyone in the middle of your dance floor when you are first introduced back into the reception. {Project Block 7} Or, you could end your actual ceremony by having the witnesses come up and sign it right there before you’re pronounced. {Project Block 4} You have options for working it into your actually Big Day Timeline.

  Since you yourselves don’t actually have to sign it again you can have your Officiant, or Coordinator take a clipboard around and be subtle about collecting printed names and Officiant details {especially if he/she is a newly ordained friend}. The signed certificate is then either left in your dressing room {likely in your coordinating binder} or the same person takes it and mails it for you. {I do this as a Coordinator, often}   Your Officiant can be 100% in charge of it, take it back to the church where it is filled in and mailed off. You don’t even have to think about it after you hand it to the Officiant when he/she arrives.   You can also do any combination of the above options. My best suggestion is to talk to your Officiant. Church Officials often have a specific way they like things handled, so it is important to respect that. Their names do go on it so they take it very seriously. Just ask how it is normally done and your coordinator will make sure to accommodate.   These are your options for this Project Block. It can be a fun photo opportunity or it can disappear into the sunset with your Officiant. Whichever you decide, here is how you build your worksheet.  

Post Image Credit(s) Kelsea Joann Photography  ~Green-Eyed Girl Event Team

BONUS READ: 30 Signs you Should Marry your Partner | Couples Candy

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