Can you have a wedding ceremony and reception without getting a marraige license?

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Can you have a wedding ceremony and reception without getting a marraige license?

My boyfriend and I want to have a wedding ceremony before anything happens to either of our parents who are very ill but we don’t want to get a marrige license.

Asked on April 14, 2012 under Family Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, for a marriage to be legally recognized then you have to follow the laws in the state in which you are getting married.  So if your state requires that you obtain a marriage license in order to be legally married then you have to do so. The laws do not generally require that you obtain one license for a civil ceremony and one for a religious ceremony.  The officiant at the religious ceremony can sign the license.  Good luck.


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