Wedding Details: Can We Apply for a Marriage License by Mail?

Q:

We live in Massachusetts and we're getting married in New Hampshire, but with our busy prewedding scheduled, it won't be that easy for us to stop into a New Hampshire state office to get a marriage license. Is there any chance they'll issue us a marriage license by mail?

A:

Unfortunately, a marriage license is something you need to get in person. This is because you also have to schlep along a stack of documents, including your birth certificate and blood-test results if the state you're marrying in requires them (New Hampshire doesn't). Also, keep in mind that timing is crucial. Marriage licenses are valid for only a certain amount of time, so you need to find out how soon before your wedding you should apply for one. You'll probably have to apply for your license in the town in which you plan to get married, so your best bet is calling city offices there to find their marriage license bureau. Ask about the office hours (they may be quite specific) and whether you need to make an appointment, as well as when you should apply based on your wedding date. What it comes down to is that you two will need to make a day of it. If it's a long way away, consider overnighting at a bed and breakfast or a small, romantic hotel so it seems more like a treat than a task.

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