How to Get Legally Married in Kentucky and Plan Your KY Wedding

This may be the most important part of wedding planning.
Melanie Haid
by Melanie Haid
Updated Aug 05, 2021

Kentucky is home to iconic horse racing, bluegrass music and historic buildings around every corner. With mild temperatures year-round, it is a great place to host your wedding in or outdoors and you're sure to find a wedding venue that suits your taste, from romantic to classic to rustic.

Perhaps the most important part of your wedding is legally obtaining a marriage license; luckily, this process is extremely straightforward in Kentucky. You can even get your license and have your wedding on the same day, and there is no blood test requirement. If you're planning to shed your maiden name and take on a new moniker, it's also good to also know how to go about changing your name in Kentucky.

The marriage application process itself is extremely straightforward, so essentially you could get your license and have your marriage ceremony on the same day. Whether you're more spontaneous or want to plan things out, here's the Kentucky marriage license to help you get started.

How to Get Married in Kentucky

Is there a waiting period to get married in Kentucky?

There is no waiting period to get married in Kentucky. You can receive your marriage license and get married on the same day, but the license is only valid for 30 days after issuance.

What are the legal requirements to get married in Kentucky?

To apply for a marriage license in Kentucky, you'll need to go to the County Clerk's Office in the county that one or both of you reside in, or, if neither of you is a Kentucky resident, you will need to get the marriage license from the Kentucky county that you are to be married in.

You must be 18 years of age or older to get married in Kentucky without written notice of parental consent. If you are 17 years old, you will need written approval or to appear in front of a judge with both parents or legal guardians; in rare cases, only one parent or guardian is necessary.

Kentucky age requirements also allow marriage if you are 15 or 16 years of age, however, only if consent is written and verified from all legal guardians, there is a court order and the one party is expecting or has given birth to a child.

There is no blood test requirement.

What's considered a common law marriage in Kentucky?

The state of Kentucky does not consider any common law marriages, regardless of how long the couple has been together or if the common law marriage had been created in another state.

Kentucky Marriage License 101

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

To get a marriage license in Kentucky, you'll need a few different things. Both parties must be there to sign and present all paperwork and supporting documents. These documents vary depending on the county, but generally include some or all of the following: driver's license, picture ID, social security card, passport, your original birth certificate, proof of residency and a way to pay the fee. Usually, personal checks are not accepted, so it's better to use debit or credit cards if possible.

You will also need to provide information on the marriage application itself, including your full name, your place of birth, where you currently reside, your age, the names of any dependents that you have, as well as any information that would prohibit you from marrying. If you were previously married, you will need to provide the end date of marriage in some form, whether it be the divorce decree, death certificate, etc.

How much does a Kentucky marriage license cost?

The license fee in Kentucky for a marriage ranges from $32 to $35, varying slightly from county to county. It's one of the more affordable states to apply for a marriage license in!

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

As long as you bring all the necessary documentation, getting a marriage license in Kentucky is a pretty straightforward experience overall; you can even get your license and have your wedding on the same day if you'd like!

Can you apply for a marriage license online in Kentucky?

Both parties must be present in the County Clerk's Office in order to apply for a marriage license. Some of the paperwork can be found online depending on the county, but generally you must apply in person.

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

You can get a copy of a marriage license online through the Commonwealth of Kentucky State Registrar of Vital Statistics. it costs $6 to order the certified copy, and another $6 for every additional copy requested.

How to Plan a Kentucky Wedding

The Different Cities and Areas to Consider for a Kentucky Wedding

Whether you're looking for the rolling hills of the romantic countryside or the bustling hub of cities like Louisville, Kentucky has a perfect amount of natural and urban areas for you to choose from. Most times of year are great for Kentucky weddings, so choosing where you want to host may be the hardest part. Schedule your wedding ceremony in Renfro Valley, the state's country music capital, or head northwest to the bourbon capital of the world in Bardstown. There are unique locations throughout the state, so there is sure to be something that perfectly suits your dream wedding.

What to Look For in a Kentucky Wedding Venue

In the state of Kentucky, there are beautiful buildings and grand mansions galore, making it the perfect place to host a romantic wedding with southern charm details. Properties like these are often large with beautiful gardens, so they are perfect for outdoor photos with a dreamy, natural feel to them. Whether you're looking for something in or outdoors, there's something for everyone in Kentucky.

How to Find a Kentucky Wedding Vendor

Many of the vendors in Kentucky are surprisingly affordable - perfect for couples looking to save money without sacrificing quality. From DJs who can play an eclectic mix of tunes or that photographer that's able to capture all of the rustic, natural beauty of your ceremony, there are hundreds of options on The Knot Marketplace.

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

Kentucky is known for very mild temperatures year-round, despite recognizing all four seasons distinctly. It is never too hot or too cold on average, so choosing a time of year to host your wedding in this state is based mostly on your preferences. If you can, avoid the months of April and May; Kentucky is part of Hoosier Valley, and during this period they often see tornados.

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