Groomsmen Gifts

Marriage License

“Love is a decision, not an emotion.”


Your state/county will fall somewhere between each of the ranges listed below.

Minimum Age:
18 (younger with parental consent)

Commemorative Marriage Certificate:
$4 to $88.50 (some states offer discounts (download in right column on link page) for doing some premarital counseling)

Forms of Payment Accepted:
Cash or certified check

Waiting Period:
None to 5 days

Valid Prior to Wedding:
30 days to 1 year

Blood Test:
Most don’t require this

Most don’t require this

Applicants apply in person:
Most don’t require this

Most don’t require this

Necessary Identification:
Varies (visit the National Center for Health Statistics if you need extra copies of your birth, death, marriage or divorce certificate)

  1. Pick up the packet of official paperwork.
    This is located at the county recorder’s office (make sure it’s the actual county you’re getting married in).
  2. Fill out the forms.
    Some of them are to be completed after the wedding. Remember to have: maiden names of both mothers, as well as the middle names and birth places of both sets of parents.
  3. Turn in the completed forms.
    Bring them back to the county recorder’s office (or send them back by mail if that option is available), and then you’ll receive your commemorative marriage certificate.

PLEASE NOTE: Each state/county’s requirements are different and subject to change, so contact your county’s recorder for state/county specific details.

What To Do With It

  1. Before your wedding.
    Give the commemorative marriage certificate and the official paperwork to your Officiant (you may want to ask the best man if he would add this to his list of responsibilities).
  2. Directly after your ceremony.
    The commemorative marriage certificate is to be signed by the Officiant, bride, groom, best man and maid/matron of honor.
  3. After it’s signed.
    The Officiant will send in the official paperwork to make your marriage license legal.
  4. A few weeks after your wedding.
    Order a certified copy of the marriage certificate. An order form or information on how to order a certified copy should be in the original packet from your county recorder’s office. Include a check covering the number of copies you want (amount per copy varies by state/county). This certificate serves as the official proof of your marriage, and will be needed for your wife to change her name. Get at least two copies so that one can remain in your bank’s safety deposit box (she will need to be with you to either open a safety deposit box, or be added to your existing one).