Once you exchange rings, vows and a kiss, you can celebrate being newlyweds! But in the eyes of the law, you’re going to need a few other things, namely legal documents, that solidify your marriage status. Take a break from coordinating wedding reception decorations and make sure to track down these items to make it official:

A marriage license is needed in order to wed and Invitations by Dawn offers advice on how to obtain one.

Marriage license

A marriage license or wedding license must be presented to your officiant during your nuptials. This document is proof of your new obligation to one another. You’ll want to refrain from procrastinating getting a marriage license, because applying for one and getting one can take anywhere from 10 days to six months. Once you get the license, you, your spouse and your officiant will sign it on the day of your nuptials. The officiant will then mail it in to the license bureau, and after a few weeks, you’ll get a marriage certificate in the mail. This is legal proof of your union and assures that your marriage license has been officially processed. In order to obtain this document, you must do a few things:

Find a marriage license office: You’ll need to pick up your license from your local city hall or town clerk’s office. You can hop online and search the Internet for the nearest office, or search your city’s phone book.

Ask questions: Before heading to the office, call and ask if the application needs to be made in the town or county where you’re planning on marrying. Also ask the office if both you and your future spouse need to be present when obtaining the license.

If you’re planning a wedding from afar, ask the office if you need to apply in person or not. Some may let you do so through the mail or allow a relative or a friend apply for you.

Bring identification: While the requirements for getting a marriage license differ in each state, you must always bring a form of identification with you to the office, such as a driver’s license or a Social Security card. You’ll also need to bring your birth certificate, proof of citizenship and if your state requires it, blood test results.

Carry cash: Some marriage license bureaus require you to pay for the document in cash, so be sure to come prepared. You can check with your state in order to know how much money you need.

Have you gotten your marriage license yet? Share your thoughts with us!