When you remove the nonessential items away from a wedding day, the only essential piece left of a wedding is the ceremony. If you were scheduled to have a wedding during a stay-at-home order, should you still attempt to have a legal ceremony even if your date has been postponed? Is it even possible? Or should you wait?
There are plenty of factors to consider when deciding if you should legally marry right now or wait until later.
Do you need to marry for legal reasons? bsites
Of course, marriage is about commitment and love, but it’s also a legally binding contract that holds you two together for life. If one of you doesn’t have health insurance or you need to switch plans during this time, consider making the wedding legal to help ease any stress on future health bills. If your marriage will provide a significant tax break or you’re giving birth soon, absolutely place your legal marriage at the top of the list of things to do.
Do you already have a marriage license? If not, can you obtain one?
If you already have your marriage license, wahoo! You’re all set. Because most marriage licenses have expiration dates, legalizing the marriage now will avoid paying for another license in the future when governmental offices open again.
If you don’t already have a license, many states have restrictions on who can obtain one. In Illinois, only those in emergency health situations or were already scheduled to have a wedding within 10 days are able to obtain the license. Wait times will vary for obtaining both the license and the certificate. If you don’t need to legalize your marriage right now, wait until it’s easier to obtain the documentation to do so.
How important is that specific day for you?
Whether you’ve been planning a wedding for one month or three years, it’s heartbreaking to think of the day you were supposed to marry as a regular day. But are you attached to your wedding day simply because of the planning process or does your original wedding date carry a significant meaning behind it? Was it the day you began dating? Was it a birthday or anniversary? If so, legally marry this day to keep that date close to your heart and host your larger wedding later.
Will it cost you more or less to have a legal ceremony during COVID-19?
I’m always a big supporter of celebrating your relationship as often as you can because it’s rare for us to celebrate our time together outside of anniversaries. If it isn’t going to cost you anything extra, why not legalize your marriage on the original date? You can also host a larger ceremony later to be able to share this special moment with your friends and family. For couples working with us, we’re offering to write two separate ceremonies free of charge to legalize the marriage and later celebrate with family and friends.
Do you have someone who can legally and willingly marry you right now?
If you’re using a friend to marry you, are they willing to leave any stay-at-home orders to officiate your wedding? Are they legally appointed to marry you? If they haven’t completed their ordination or submitted paperwork with the state if required, they cannot officiate your wedding.
Weddings officiated online are still not legal. If you do not have someone willing to leave their house to legalize your marriage, understand it is for their safety or break the law to legalize your marriage. If you haven’t hired a pro, consider hosting your legal wedding later to allow your loved ones to stay protected during this time.
Hopefully this helps the grand decision of what the heck you should do about the legalities of your wedding day! Still not sure how to legalize your marriage or need someone to help? I’m still alive and well! Contact me over here to get some advice on your day.
Curious for more? Check out our other posts below for more ceremony and writing inspiration.
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