How to Get Legally Married in Montana and Plan Your MT Wedding

Get ready for your scenic wedding in Big Sky Country by getting the marriage license process figured out.
Melanie Haid
by Melanie Haid
Updated Aug 02, 2021

Montana features beautiful natural scenery, mountain ranges and vast blue skies all around, so it's no wonder people choose to get married in the Big Sky Country. With gorgeous national parks, sprawling wide-open spaces, Montana is perfect for any outdoorsy, rustic or romantic wedding. You can find everything you need to know about booking and planning a Montana wedding on The Knot—but perhaps the most important detail is how you'll go about getting your Montana marriage license to make the entire process full legal and recognized by the state.

The process itself is largely straightforward in Montana; there is no waiting period to receive your license or to use it once it has been issued to you, and it is valid for six months after the date you've received it. One thing that stands out when compared to other states is that the state of Montana requires a blood test for women under the age of 50. Otherwise, the process is quick and easy!

If you or your spouse want to change your surname upon application for a marriage license, you can also do that; the name change process looks a little different after you have been married, so it's worth thinking about whether or not either of you would like to keep your maiden name beforehand.

How to Get Married in Montana

Is There a Waiting Period to Get Married in Montana?

There is no waiting period to get married in Montana - once you've received your marriage license from the Clerk of District Court, you're good to go! Just note that the license expires 180 days after the date of issuance, so be sure to have your marriage ceremony before then to avoid having to fill out the paperwork again.

What Are the Legal Requirements to Get Married in Montana?

Both spouses must be present at the time of the application so that both can sign, and women under the age of 50 must get a Rubella blood test in order to get married. If you were born in a foreign country, your information must also be translated by a notary to be accepted by the clerk.

Montana residents are able to get a license in any county and use the license to get married in any Montana county.

You must be at least 16 years of age with judicial approval to apply for a marriage application. Those underage (under the age of 18) will need parental consent or consent from their legal guardian, and 15 years of age or younger may get married or apply for a marriage license application in Montana.

What's Considered a Common Law Marriage in Montana?

Montana is one of the few states that recognizes common law marriage. To prove to the district court that you are in a common law marriage, you and your spouse must have the following: you must be competent to marry, you must agree that you are married and live together and present yourselves as married. All of these can be demonstrated to the district court judge in a variety of different ways, so things like filing joint taxes, wearing rings, whether other people believe you are married, etc., will all help courts determined the validity of this kind of marriage.

Montana Marriage License 101

What Do You Need to Get a Marriage License in Montana?

Aside from bringing a means of paying the application fee, you will also need a photo ID and proof of age to receive a marriage license. This can include any of the following information, including a valid driver's license, blood test, full name, a certified copy of your birth certificate; make sure you check with the County Clerk's Office in the county you'll be getting married to see which they specifically require.

If you have been previously married, you must also bring proof of that marriage ending; this can be in the form of a divorce decree, death certificate, or any official paperwork that proves the exact date of that marriage coming to an end.

How Much Does a Montana Marriage License Cost?

The application fee for a marriage license in Montana is $53, but there is no wait time to use the license after the paperwork is filed.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Marriage License in Montana?

In Montana you can get your marriage license right after it has been issued to you; there is no waiting period after issuance, and you have six months to have your marriage ceremony and give your license to the officiant afterward.

Can You Apply for a Marriage License Online in Montana?

Some counties in Montana require you to print and fill out the paperwork before your appointment. That is the extent of how much you can do online though: both you and your partner must be present and sign at the time of your application.

How Do You Get a Copy of Your Montana Marriage License?

You can order a copy of your license and marriage certificate by requesting it from Montana Vital Records. They require that you send a personal check or money order made payable to them, and do not accept cash.
You can also request a copy online through VitalChek, and in this case only debit or credit cards are accepted. This method takes about 2 to 5 days to receive.

How to Plan a Montana Wedding

The Different Cities and Areas to Consider for a Montana Wedding

Whether or not Montana is your state of residence, any person can see the beauty of the state just by being in it once. With Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Bighorn Mountains, the Great Plains and vast wilderness throughout the area, it's a great place for nature lovers. Any place you choose to marry in Montana will come with its own unique backdrop, from plains to mountains to glaciers and everything in between.

If you're looking for something a little less rural, cities like Billings, Missoula and Helena all feature a beautiful mix of rustic and traditional architecture. Outdoor venues are definitely the most popular in Montana (you can see why), but there are plenty of indoor spaces for your ceremony and reception that are just as charming.

What to Look For in a Montana Wedding Venue

If you're looking to get married in Montana, there are lots of options and plenty of views to accommodate your big day. From beautiful forests, wildlife and vast plains, any outdoor backdrop to your wedding are sure to be unforgettable. You can check out The Knot Marketplace for venues in specific cities that are in your price range as well as suit you and your partner's personal style.

How to Find a Montana Wedding Vendor

There are many kinds of vendors to consider for your Montana wedding; from the cake to the caterer to the DJ, there are great choices. Depending on your budget and taste, you can find more specific hometown-style music and food inspired by the town you're getting married in, or find some that have a little bit of something for everyone. The Knot Marketplace is a great place to find all kinds of vendors, so you can get someone for every aspect of your wedding to make the day perfect.

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

The state of Montana is overall pretty dry, but since it's also a large state, the weather tends to vary. There are true four seasons in this state, so you can generally expect winters to be cold, summers to be hot, etc. You don't have to worry about many natural disasters either—Montana is rated one of the safest states to live in that regard. Depending on what kind of wedding you're looking to have in which season, there are so many diverse landscapes across the state that you can get a little taste of everything, no matter where or when you go.

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