M is for Marriage License!
Since the majority of our clients have never been married before, none of them have ever gotten a marriage license. Naturally, we get so many questions about this. For simplicity sake, we’re going to outline the requirements for Tennessee weddings. Each state can make their own rules though, so be sure to visit your county clerk’s office website if you’re tying the knot in a different state.
To obtain the marriage license, you’ll need to head to your local county clerk’s office. During COVID, you need to call and schedule an appointment. Pre-COVID you did not. Check the website if you’re not sure if it’s currently required. Regardless of what county you’re getting married in, you can get your license from any county in Tennessee and it will do the trick. To walk out with your license, you’ll both need to be in attendance with a few specific things. Bring government issued photo IDs, proof of social security numbers, the application and a method of payment. If you don’t print and fill out the application ahead of time, they’ll have some there that you can fill out when you arrive.
Once you have a marriage license, you have 30 days to get it signed, sealed, and delivered! Your officiant must be the one to sign it, and either he/she or your planner will be able to mail it back for you. Don’t forget to provide them with a stamp! Because you already signed when you applied and received the license, there’s no need for you to sign again. So go and enjoy those family portraits and rest assured that your pros will take care of it.
Last little note about the license: consider doing premarital counseling if you’re not already planning on it. If you do this, you can get a hefty discount on the license fee. As of now, it’s $100 without the counseling and $40 with proof of counseling. Once you’ve completed the sessions, have the person who performed them, likely your officiant, sign the specific form (found on the county clerk’s website). This has to be notarized, but he or she will take care of making this happen. Take that form with you when you apply for the marriage license.