How to Get Legally Married in Connecticut and Plan Your CT Wedding
No matter the season, Connecticut is known for being one of the most beautiful states in New England to host a wedding. In order to successfully plan that day, though, there are a few less glamorous things that need to get done, like obtaining a marriage license in CT.
Each town in CT has different rules for how to obtain your marriage license, so it's crucial to look at your town's website, or ct.gov, for answers on what you'll need and what the process will look like. But, for the most part, the process itself should be relatively painless, so you and your S.O. can get married ASAP. Here's how you can obtain your marriage license in Connecticut.
How to Get Married in Connecticut
Knowing the steps of how to validate your marriage is important, especially in a state like CT, where the guidelines are varied depending on where your wedding will be. Unlike most states, Connecticut enforces obtaining your marriage license in the town where you'll be having your marriage ceremony, so be sure to keep that in mind. Otherwise, you might get into a bit of a headache later, and no one wants that before their special day.
Is there a waiting period to get married in Connecticut?
There is no waiting period, so you're free to get married as quickly as you please! Be aware that there is a 65-day expiry date on the license itself, meaning you'll have to tie the knot within those 65 days of receiving the license.
What are the legal requirements to get married in Connecticut?
You and your future spouse must be at least 18 years of age. If you're a minor and at least 16 years old, that person must have received authorization to marry from the probate court judge of the district where they reside in order to get married. Each party also has to ensure they are not already a party in another marriage or a legal relationship that provides the same rights as a marriage. The only exceptions to this are if each person is joined in a civil union and wants to marry their civil union partner, or someone is in a legal relationship substantially similar to a marriage and marries that partner. You will also need to have a government-issued photo ID.
What's considered a common law marriage in Connecticut?
Connecticut law doesn't recognize common law marriages. But, a common law marriage entered into in a different state that recognizes common law marriages will be recognized in Connecticut if it was valid under the other state's law.
Connecticut Marriage License 101
Once you and your future spouse have ensured you're legally able to marry, it's time to head to your local Vital Records Office in the town in which your marriage will occur. From there, you can fill out your application, and you'll both be eligible to seal the deal in no time.
What do you need to get a marriage license in Connecticut?
Both parties will need a valid photo ID, such as a driver's license, a passport, a military ID card, or a state-issued ID when you arrive at the Vital Records Office in the town you'll be married in. You also will need to know your social security number, which is standard across almost all states. While at the office, you will fill out the application, and then you and your future spouse will make a sworn statement that the information you're providing is true.
And don't worry — CT no longer requires a blood test.
However, Connecticut does have a rule that once your wedding is over, the officiant must submit your license back to the Vital Records Office, where it becomes a permanent record.
And who is legally allowed to officiate your wedding in Connecticut? Connecticut law states that it can be a current or retired judge, or family support magistrates, family support referees, state referees and justices of the peace who are appointed in Connecticut (that part is important). You also are welcome to invite ordained or licensed members of the clergy, including those who have been ordained through online ministries. So yes, your aunt who became an online minister can officiate your wedding.
What does a Connecticut marriage license cost?
Surprisingly, Connecticut's marriage license cost is pretty low at $30, although it may go up depending on the area — for example, it costs $50 in New Haven. This can be paid by credit card or cash at your local Town Clerk's office when you receive your license.
How long does it take to get a marriage license in Connecticut?
There's no waiting period, and the process of actually getting approved for the license doesn't take long either, so essentially you can get married the same day as you receive your license if you wanted to.
Can you apply for a marriage license online in Connecticut?
Unlike most states, you can't fill out an online marriage license application, so you have to show up to the office in person with your spouse.
How do you get a copy of your Connecticut marriage license?
Once you're happily married, your marriage license is filed by the officiant at the Vital Records Office of the town where the marriage occurred. After the document is filed, it is referred to as a marriage certificate. (Yay!)
To obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate, you must submit your request to the Vital Records Office of the town where the marriage occurred, the town where you and your spouse live at the time of the marriage, or the State Vital Records Office.
How to Plan a Connecticut Wedding
Now that you've successfully obtained your marriage license, you can focus on the more exciting parts of your wedding planning process. Although, by that point, you've probably already handled most of the crucial wedding planning aspects. But, if you're reading this prematurely and want to get some general inspiration on how to plan your dream Connecticut wedding, look no further.
The Different Cities and Areas to Consider for a Connecticut Wedding
Connecticut is known for having charming cities, coastal towns, and lush farmland areas. So basically, there's really something for everyone in this gorgeous state. There are lots of historic areas around Connecticut, like New Haven, perfect for those who want to have their celebration somewhere with a little historic charm. More beautiful cities to possibly explore include Fairfield, filled with quaint shops and restaurants and ideal for a romantic weekend wedding, and Bridgeport, which has a lot of culture and beautiful venues sprawled throughout.
If you're more into a rustic wedding, check out areas like Litchfield or Mystic, which are a little quieter, but still have beautiful scenery and incredible venues to offer.
What to Look for in a Connecticut Wedding Venue
The most important thing when searching for a wedding venue is understanding what your must-haves and dealbreakers are. Once you and your S.O. sort out those details, it'll be easier to pick a venue. For example, if you know you want an outdoor wedding, it's good to know that Connecticut has a lot of great farms, country clubs, and other outdoor spaces that are perfect for weddings. There are so many venues in Connecticut that are sure to impress, and we guarantee that you'll find these wedding venues and planners are ready to meet your needs as a couple.
How to Find Connecticut Wedding Venues
With so many options to choose from, especially in a state like Connecticut, it's hard to know where to turn to for help when planning the specifics of your wedding day. The Knot Marketplace is a great place to start if you need help doing some online research for the location(s) of your big day. Or, if you're feeling like you want deeper insight, it's definitely worth it to ask locals in Connecticut to get their input.
The Best Times of Year to Have a Connecticut Wedding for Good Weather
Like much of the northeast, weather in Connecticut can be fickle. But, there are certain times of year when the weather will probably cooperate more with your wedding day than others. Ideal times to get married in CT are late summer to early fall, as this is when the weather is at its mildest. Winter is ideal if you're dreaming of a magical snowy wedding. We recommend not risking early spring weather, as it can still be quite chilly and there's a higher chance of for rainfall.