How to Get Legally Married in Idaho and Plan Your ID Wedding
Idaho is one of the Rocky Mountain States, making it an ideal location for a scenic marriage ceremony overlooking the Sawtooth Range (even if the name doesn't scream romantic). Have no fear, ID is also home to Lake Coeur d'Alene, French for the "Heart of Alene's Lake," which just screams wedding bells. The venue possibilities in Idaho are endless and promise to delight whether you opt for an outdoor wedding in Eagle or the capital city, Boise.
Amidst your wedding planning, you and your partner will need to acquire an Idaho state marriage license. When acquiring your Idaho marriage license, it's important to visit their official website to familiarize yourself with their application process. Take time to scroll through the FAQs you and your SO may have been pondering.
Each partner must have the following three items when appearing at the County Recorder's Office: a $30 filing fee, a Social Security Number, and a government-issued document proving your identity and age. There are a few more additional details to iron out before your plan your Idaho wedding.
How to Get Married in Idaho
Is there a waiting period to get married in Idaho?
There is no waiting period or expiration date for an Idaho marriage certificate. You also don't need to be a resident of ID to obtain a certificate, but the license can only be used for marriage ceremonies in Idaho.
Who can marry you in the state of Idaho?
A judge, an authorized clergy member, or an approved officiant must marry you and your significant other to be officially married. Unfortunately, you cannot be married in the Clerk's office.
What are the legal requirements to get married in Idaho?
Idaho legalized same-sex marriage on October 15, 2014, not long before the Supreme Court banned marriage discrimination nationwide on June 26, 2015. However, under the state of Idaho's Constitution, marriage is still defined as the union between an unmarried man of 18 years of age and an unmarried woman of 18 years of age. Although ID's Constitution must be updated for the state to truly recognize LGBTQIA+ rights, any couple regardless of sexual orientation can still legally acquire an Idaho marriage certificate.
There are also additional laws set in place for younger parties. Individuals under 18 must be accompanied by their legal guardian at the Clerk's office, or have a notarized statement signed by their parent or guardian. Note: legal guardians will need to have documentation on hand to prove their guardianship. For those under 16 years of age, the couple will need parental consent in the form of an affidavit of consent. The court can also grant permission if the former is not available.
What's considered a common law marriage in Idaho?
Since 1996, the state of Idaho no longer recognizes common-law marriages as legal.
Idaho Marriage License 101
What Do You Need to Get a Marriage License in Idaho?
To begin the process, complete the marriage license application form online. Every marriage license is issued by the County Clerk, so the next step will be visiting your local town office. You don't have to make an appointment beforehand and you and your SO won't have to complete a blood test either. However, the state of Idaho does require that both parties read an AIDS information sheet and sign a Marriage License Affidavit.
The next requirement is bringing a Social Security Number. If you don't have a social security card, you can acquire one from the Social Security Office. Non-U.S. residents can provide other documentation to show citizenship of their home country. In addition to these documents, both parties will need one of the following documents to prove your identity and age: a current driver's license, state-issued identification card, passport, original birth certificate, or a certified copy of your birth certificate.
This may seem like a lot of documents, but on the bright side, you won't need to write a large check to cover ID's marriage license fee.
What Does an Idaho Marriage License Cost?
The typical cost is $30, but be aware that the price can vary by county and may even increase by $20 on Saturdays. Regardless of price, bring the necessary amount in cash as many clerk offices do not accept debit cards.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Marriage License in Idaho?
You can obtain your marriage certificate (and be married) the same day as you apply for the license.
Can You Apply for a Marriage License Online in Idaho?
The only step of the marriage license process which can be completed online is the application form. Unfortunately, you and your partner must go to your local town clerk's office to complete the other steps.
How Do You Get a Copy of Your Idaho Marriage License?
You will receive a non-recorded copy of your marriage certificate at no cost, although it is not considered a legal document. A certified copy of your marriage license costs $2.00.
How Do You Change Your Name in Idaho?
After your wedding ceremony, you will need to go through some extra hoops to have your name changed. This will require bringing your marriage certificate to the local Social Security Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), both less than ideal honeymoon pit stops.
How to Plan an Idaho Wedding
The stress of dealing with the SSA, DMV, and clerk's office is now over! Time to plan for your marriage ceremony and reception.
The Different Cities and Areas to Consider for an Idaho Wedding
Once you have a time and general region in mind, it's time to narrow down the options to find your perfect venue. Boise, Coeur d'Alene, Nampa, Sun Valley, and Lava Hot Springs are popular areas whether you are grooving in the city or saying "I do" by a mountain range. Don't rule out Longhorn Guest Ranch in Cascade for a countryside wedding, or the Chateau des Fleurs in Eagle for a black-tie option. For something more niche, consider booking the Mint Barrel Barn Event Center in Nampa for a secluded spot surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, and foliage.
Where there are mountains and trails, national parks often follow. Ponderosa State Park provides the perfect camping meets wedding experience, as does Old Morrison Park located in Coeur d'Alene. If this sounds like your party's vibe, make sure to contact the park of interest to check in about their rules and regulations.
What to Look For in an Idaho Wedding Venue
Okay, so you have your heart set on the Coeur d'Alene (or any other location in Idaho, the pun was just too good to ignore). Now it's time to choose your venue. As mentioned, an outdoor wedding overlooking a mountain range, nearby lake, or on a farm rented for the occasion may be the way to go for an Idaho wedding. If partying the night away at a ranch or lodge isn't your forte, fear not, there are plenty of picturesque chateaus and luxurious hotels available that can accommodate any party size.
How to Find Idaho Wedding Vendors
Match your venue with the right vendor to suit your food, drink, and celebratory needs. The state of Idaho has an immense amount of catering companies, wineries, and breweries to choose from when planning the dinner menu for your big day.
Even though Idaho is considered the Potato State, its additional vegetable and fruit offerings are quite delicious. You really must include morel mushrooms somewhere on your menu as well, as these fungi are a specialty of Idaho. A cheesy meatloaf sandwich may not scream "wedding reception," but we guarantee the Idahoan will not disappoint your guests as a late-night snack before boarding their bus to the after-party. Then again, ice cream shaped like a potato may just be the way to go.
When it comes to decorating your venue of choice, consider hiring a local florist or decor company to bring your outdoorsy wedding to life with blooming flowers and fresh greenery, as well as rustic must-haves such as a wooden plaque for your guests to sign off with a special note.
The Best Times of Year to Have an Idaho Wedding for Good Weather
As mentioned, Idaho has a breadth of venue options to choose from, but it is paramount to consider the time of the year and weather as ID can have hot summers and rather cold winters. If you are leaning more towards a spring or summer wedding, consider a northern city near Coeur d'Alene to avoid high temps. For a fall or winter wedding, the reverse is true as northern towns and cities see multiple inches of snow and frigid temperatures.
Obtaining a marriage license in Idaho can be rocky, but following the steps outlined above will help speed you through the process in no time.