How to Get Legally Married in Georgia and Plan Your GA Wedding

You'll want to make sure you've got all of your legal paperwork ready to go before saying "I do."
Melanie Haid
by Melanie Haid
Updated Jul 23, 2021

From industrial modern cities to orchards and farms to beaches and everything in between, Georgia has just about everything you could want in a wedding location and offers warm weather throughout most of the year. There's something for everyone, but no wedding is complete without an official marriage license to go along with it. If you or your spouse is a resident of the state, you can get your marriage license here regardless of where your wedding ceremony is taking place.

The marriage license process itself is pretty easy in Georgia: essentially you can apply and get your license within the same day; just make sure you come prepared with the documents you need, and read below to get an overview of what you can expect.

Don't forget, if you or your spouse is changing your last name, there is a process for that too that varies state-to-state. The steps for this also differ depending on when you do it, so make sure you talk it over with your soon-to-be spouse and decide on your full names before getting your marriage license.

How to Get Married in Georgia

Is there a waiting period to get married in Georgia?

There is no waiting period to get married in Georgia! You can apply for your marriage certificate at the County Probate Court; there are different courts in each county whose rules slightly vary, but are overall the same for the whole state. In Georgia, you can receive your license the same day!

What are the legal requirements to get married in Georgia?

In Georgia, you must be over the age of 18 to get married; 17 years of age if you are an emancipated minor, but in this case, you cannot marry someone over four years your senior. With parental consent, you can get married at 16 as well, but proof of age is extremely important especially in these cases. You need proof that you or your spouse are a resident of Georgia, as well as documents, including birth certificate, valid driver's license, valid passport, visa, etc. If any of these are in a language other than English, you will need a notary to translate and notarize your documents beforehand. Blood tests are not required.

What's considered a common law marriage in Georgia?

Georgia stopped recognizing Common Law Marriage in 1997, but any Common Law marriages before this period, or Common Law marriages that occurred out-of-state for couples who move to Georgia are still recognized. If you have a prior marriage, even a Common Law one, you must first officially separate.

Georgia Marriage License 101

What do you need to get a marriage license in Georgia?

Both you and your spouse need to be present, both need to sign and pay the license fee. If you or your spouse have had a previous marriage, you will also need to need to bring a copy of the final divorce decree, or death certificate if that was the cause of the previous marriage ending. You'll need two forms of identification as well to prove your identities, and they must be valid and translated by a notary if they are in another language.

How much does a Georgia marriage license Cost?

Marriage licenses in the state of Georgia have varying prices depending on what county you're in, but generally, it costs around $50-60. You can decrease the cost of the marriage license application by taking the premarital education program, a six-hour course that goes over the basics of marriage like finances, compromising, etc. It's long, but worth it if you want to save money! In Georgia, you can pay with debit, credit, personal checks, money orders - almost all forms of payment are accepted.

How long does it take to get a marriage license in Georgia?

Getting a marriage license in Georgia can be a pretty painless process if you come prepared: in most cases, couples will receive their license the same day after applying, usually within a few hours. It may take longer if you opt to take a premarital education program, which takes roughly six hours, but can also lower the cost. Plus, premarital counseling is a great way to start off on the right foot and learn something new.

Can you apply for a marriage license online in Georgia?

In certain counties, you can apply for your marriage license online. If you're unsure, make sure you check on the website of the county that you are planning on getting your marriage license. It might work quicker in person, so if you are planning on getting your marriage license the same day of your wedding, consider going in person instead.

How do you get a copy of your Georgia marriage license?

To get a copy of your marriage license, you can go to the State Office of Vital Records' website and order a copy from there, as well as old marriage certificates. It costs $10 to find the certified copy and deliver a single copy, and costs an additional $5 for each additional certified copy that you would like.

How to Plan a Georgia Wedding

The Different Cities and Areas to Consider for a Georgia Wedding

Of course, when you think of the state of Georgia, cities like Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, etc., but this state is also more than just big cities. With a beautiful 100 miles of coastline and warm, Southern weather almost year-round, it's a great place to experience the beauty of the state. Whether you'll looking for an indoor ceremony, a beach wedding, or want to get married among one of Georgia's beautiful orchards and vineyards, there is something for any marriage ceremony and reception.

What to Look For in a Georgia Wedding Venue

If you don't know exactly what kind of venue you want, you're in luck: Georgia has a little bit of everything. You can find all kinds of venues for your reception, ceremony, rehearsal dinners and more at The Knot Marketplace, as well as ratings, capacity, contact information, photos and any other details you might want to help make your choice.

How to Find a Georgia Wedding Vendor

If you are from the area, think about some of the places that you love to visit and spend time in, or ask around; there are so many options, there is really something for everyone. If you're looking to find the best vendors in specific areas, The Knot Marketplace makes it easy to search and find wedding vendors that embody exactly what you're looking for for your big day. You can find anything in your price range in Georgia, so you don't have to break the bank on any specific vendor - figure out what's most important to you, whether it's the cake, decor or music and splurge a little on that!

The Best Times of Year to Have a Georgia Wedding for Good Weather

Depending on how well you can withstand the heat, you might want to be aware of the season that you're planning you're wedding. Of course, if your wedding is indoors, it's not as much of a concern, but you'll still want good weather for pictures outside. In the summer months, it's usually around 80 degrees, and winters are cold but pretty short. However, you'll want to be aware of different seasonal weather, like hurricane season that often impacts the state in the August and September months.

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