About one week ago, I headed to Town Hall with my fiancé to apply for our marriage license. While I’m used to renewing my driver’s license and updating my passport, I was completely clueless about the process. To make matters worse, the lady executing our paperwork did not share my wedding jitters and casual humor. When she asked whether or not the groom was also my cousin, I could hardly keep it together.
A Polish bride and Pennsylvania Dutch groom? We were surely far from family.
Rule 1: however ridiculous, answer each question with composure. Brides, bring your serious, commitment face.
Documents to say “I Do.”
Naturally, out of pure excitement, I failed to bring all of the necessary papers to our appointment. Although hard to admit, I just may need my wedding planner for everything bridal (mom knows best)!
I advise brides to read all rules specific to their Town Hall/City Hall before skipping through the doors. The bride and groom will most likely need to gather birth certificates, passports and proof of residency, among other obscure papers. These are the types of documents usually buried deep in safekeeping.
Timing is essential.
Pay close attention to the timeline for applying and obtaining a marriage license. For example, my town requires registering no more than thirty days before the wedding date and no less than seven.
A basic bridal equation:
No marriage license= no marriage.
Bring a buddy- AKA the witness.
Pick a witness to oversee the process, initial several forms and take an oath. I suggest choosing someone of significance. After all, acknowledging a marriage is an honor. We asked my grandmother, Gladys, to sign our papers and act as the witness. While I laughed over a few of the questions, she cried tears of joy. We struck the perfect balance.
a necessary selfie.
Brides, don’t forget to snap a quick picture with your memorable marriage receipt. It’s certainly the best $28 I have ever spent!