Many couples have important reasons to get married during the Coronavirus pandemic, even though a traditional wedding and reception may be impossible due to social distancing guidelines. So what is a marrying couple to do?
While it may be completely unlike any wedding you ever imagined, it is possible to go ahead with your scheduled wedding during Coronavirus.
If you and your sweetie have decided to get legally married on your original wedding date and/or during the shutdown, here are some options.
First and Foremost: The Marriage License
If you already have your license, great! Skip to the next section. If you don’t already have your marriage license in hand, you’ll need to contact your local county marriage clerk and find out if the office is open and issuing marriage certificates.
- Call the county clerk where your ceremony will take place and ask how to apply for a marriage license. You’ll typically need identification, an application form and a small fee.
- Pickup your marriage license or ask for it to be mailed if you appeared in person to apply.
- There is sometimes a waiting period, depending on your state.
It’s Easy to Get Married During the Coronavirus Pandemic
With a marriage license, you can easily go ahead with a wedding ceremony and make your nuptials official! Here are the basic steps:
- Find an officiant authorized to perform weddings in your state. If you can’t find an officiant, a close friend or family member can be ordained online to perform the ceremony.
- With a laptop, cell phone or digital video camera and an internet connection, stream your ceremony to family and friends watching from home. (Try these breathtaking libraries or classic cathedrals as Zoom backgrounds!) Or, call a local wedding videographer for a more professional streaming experience. Make sure they’re equipped to do the job according to CDC guidelines for social distancing and sanitation.
- After the ceremony, have your officiant and two witnesses sign the marriage license. Your witnesses can be members of your household or neighbors who watch from outside. You two may also be required to sign, depending on your county’s rules.
- The officiant will then return the signed license to the county clerk’s office. Congratulations, you’re legally married!
- About a week later, purchase copies of the certified marriage certificate from the clerk’s office. Call to find out about current wait times.
- If you’re changing your name, take your marriage certificate to the Social Security Administration office to record the change. You’ll also need an original copy to go to the DMV, the bank, and other places where you plan to officially change your name. Call each office before you go to get up to date guidance on office hours and remote services.
Wow, is it really that easy to get married? Yes! Think of this rare moment in time as an unexpected advantage. The expensive and time-consuming parts of your wedding, venues, flowers, catering and other event logistics, really aren’t necessary to marry the one you love.
The big party can wait — your wedding guests will happily watch your nuptials online and celebrate your union with joy, without the stress of travel or the threat of illness. See our 2020 Wedding Rescue post for more ideas.
Finally, make sure your online wedding registry is ready, so those who want to give can do so easily.
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