Wedding Legalities

Wedding legalities: usually weddings are in the Bride’s home town. In this case there may already be some familiarity with the legal process. However, as a general rule of thumb an application to marry has to be made, the celebrant should be recognised by law and a marriage certificate – again recognised by law, should be issued.

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Let’s take some examples of wedding legalities: 

In Australia the “Intent To Marry Notice” has to be obtained 1 month and 1 day prior to the wedding day. In America the “Marriage License”usually only needs to be obtained 24 hours prior to the wedding, but the license may be valid for 60 – 90 days depending upon the State in which you are in. In Nevada, where “quickie marriages” can be obtained, there is no waiting period, only the four hour marriage prep seminar. The United Kingdom also differs, application in this case being called the “Legal Notice”. So it is essential that you check the laws applying to the country where you are getting married.

To find the laws applicable to your circumstances you have several sources to choose from: 


– the internet: look up the marriage act pertaining to your country 
– through the yellow pages you may contact your – local marriage license bureau, country clerk’s office, local council, local shire, registered marriage celebrants via attorney general’s office or equivalent, local marriage registrar or superintendent, local minister/vicar/priest/rabbi etc. 
– you may contact the nearest Births, Deaths and Marriages Office 
– you may contact the embassy of the country where you are getting married. 
– finally you may contact a solicitor/legal firm

You will be required in every case to provide some or all of the following documentation: 

– original birth certificates 
– decree absolute/decree nisi if divorced 
– death certificate if former spouse has deceased 
– citizenship 
– passports 
– blood tests

The minimum age in the majority of countries to marry is 18 and over with a minimum of 2 witnesses. If one or both parties are under the age of 18 there are usually rules and regulations covering: written parental consent, court orders, and pre-marital counseling

It is illegal to marry a sibling i.e. your brother or sister. If marrying a blood relative e.g. cousin and intending to have a family, it is advisable to seek medical advice.

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