We did it! We got our marriage certificate!
We are now officially certified to marry! / Personal photo
This turned out to be, hands down, one of the easiest parts of wedding preparation! I did a little online research to find out Texas’s marriage requirements, to make sure that we weren’t forgetting anything. (Every single time I go to a government office for an ID-related issue—driver’s license, passport, etc.—I wait in a two hour long line, then realize I forgot something vital like my Social Security card. Not happening this time!)
If you’re interested, here are the rules of engagement (ha ha!) in the great state of Texas:
- You and your significant other each need one valid form of ID: a driver’s license, a certified copy of your birth certificate, a US passport, a military ID card, a Social Security number, etc.
- There is no residency requirement; neither person getting married needs to be a resident Texan to be wed here. According to my research, “Texas is a great locale for a destination wedding!”
- The state encourages couples to attend a premarital preparation class. Mr. Wallaby and I did the “Looking Toward Marriage” class at my church, so we were able to check off this box—and save $60 on our marriage certificate! Cha-ching! Just kidding…
- There’s a 72-hour waiting period between when you receive your marriage certificate and when you’re allowed to get married. Hence, why we decided to pick up the certificate early rather than the day before the wedding. If my darling procrastinator had it his way, we would probably swing by the courthouse on the way to the wedding to pick up the certificate.
- Blood tests and medical examinations are not required in Texas. My parents told us they were subjected to blood tests when they got married in New Jersey in the early ’80s, but from what I’ve read, only eight states carry on this tradition.
- If you’ve been divorced within 30 days, Texas mandates that you bring a certified copy of your divorce decree with a waiver of the 30-day waiting period. Neither of us has been previously married, so we didn’t read too much about this requirement.
- You can’t pick up your marriage certificate any sooner than 30 days before your nuptials. Mr. W and I had passed the one-month mark, so we were (finally!) eligible to get our own certificate.
So Mr. W and I headed to the Harris County Clerk’s office in downtown Houston, where there wasn’t even a waiting line! We were out of there, marriage certificate in hand, in less than 10 minutes. We took a couple “We just got our marriage license!!” photos, and this is Mr. W’s favorite:
I was worried I would have recurrent nightmares that we forget to bring this to the wedding venue, or that we get too busy and forget to ask our officiant to sign it. The day of the wedding, Officiant J was responsible for signing the certificate, and we knew we’d have 30 days to return it to the clerk’s office. (We aren’t supposed to sign it ourselves, which was a surprise to me.) I’m planning on purchasing four or five certified copies of the certificate, because my married friends have advised me that I’ll need several copies when I change my name.
Does your state have any unique marriage license requirements? Did picking up your certificate make the wedding seem more “real”?