How to Get Legally Married in Tennessee and Plan Your TN Wedding

Tie the knot in the Volunteer State.
Alyssa Towns
by Alyssa Towns
Updated Aug 23, 2021

Tennessee is known for good music, Southern eats and stunning rolling hills outside of the city. From Nashville to Knoxville and everywhere in between, it's a great state to get married in. and lucky for you, it's pretty easy to obtain a Tennessee marriage license, making this to-do item sweet and simple when planning your big day. We've rounded up everything you need to know about getting a marriage license in Tennessee, and have you covered when it comes to figuring out how to change your name after your big day. Get ready to start planning your big day in the Volunteer State.

How to Get Married in Tennessee

Compared to most states, getting married in Tennessee is pretty straightforward (with a a few slight exceptions). Here's what you need to know when it comes to legally getting married in TN.

Is there a waiting period to get married in Tennessee?

If you're over 18 years of age, there's no waiting period to get married in Tennessee, but you'll need to use your marriage license within 30 days of issuance.

What are the legal requirements to get married in Tennessee?

In the state of Tennessee, the minimum age to get married is 17 years old, so long as you have parental consent or judicial consent in the absence of a parent under the circumstances such as estrangement or death. Additionally, anyone under 18 years of age can marry a partner no more than four years older than they are. You will need to provide a birth certificate to prove proof of age.

If you're over 18 years of age, you can get married to another adult of legal age with proper proof of identification (which is different depending on your age, but more on that later!).

What's considered a common law marriage in Tennessee?

Tennessee is not a common law marriage state and doesn't recognize these marriages.

Tennessee Marriage License 101

So, you're ready to tie the knot. If you and your future spouse are ready to make things official in Tennessee and have confirmed you can legally get married in the state; you'll need to apply for your marriage license. Here's what you need to know about the marriage license application process in TN.

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

You and your future spouse will need to get your marriage license from a local County Clerk's office. Both parties must appear together in person during the marriage license application process and need to bring proof of your date of birth (i.e., your certified birth certificate if you're between 17 and 21 years of age, or a government-issued photo ID such as a driver's license if you're over 21), as well as your Social Security Number for the application.

If you're a 17-year-old applicant, you'll need your parents, legal guardian, next of kin or an authorized representative to join you during the application process. You should reach out to the County Clerk's Office for additional requirements and information if you're planning to apply as a minor.

If you or your spouse have been married before, you'll need to know the month and year of your divorce. If your former spouse is deceased, you'll need to know the date of your former spouse's death.

The state of Tennessee allows you to obtain your marriage license anywhere in the state, whether you're a resident or nonresident. It doesn't matter where you plan to hold your wedding ceremony either. And if you're wondering whether or not you'll have to do a blood test when you apply, no blood tests are required.

What does a Tennessee marriage license cost?

Fees vary across counties, but a Tennessee marriage license generally costs around $100. You may be able to obtain your marriage license at a discounted rate though if you complete a premarital preparation course from a qualified instructor with your future spouse. If you complete the course, keep in mind you'll need to fill out a Certificate of Completion form and the instructor's signature needs to be notarized for you to get the discounted rate.

Additionally, some counties appear to charge less for nonresidents, so be sure to reach out to the County Clerk's Office where you plan to get your license for more information.

You may be able to pay for your marriage license with cash or credit/debit cards such as Mastercard, Discover or Visa with an additional processing fee. Not all counties accept credit/debit cards, so make sure you have an acceptable form of payment with you before you head to your appointment.

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

It doesn't take long to get a marriage license in Tennessee because many counties offer a pre-application online to save you time. If you are able and choose to complete the pre-application process, your appointment should be relatively short and sweet.

Can you apply for a marriage license online in Tennessee?

You can complete a pre-application for your marriage license online in many counties in Tennessee. You and your future spouse will still need to head to the County Clerk's Office in person to finalize and pick up your marriage license though.

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

You'll obtain a copy of your Tennessee marriage license from the County Clerk's Office in which you applied. In some counties, you can request a certified copy of your marriage license online. Plan to pay the fee per certified copy with cash, check or money order. You can also request certified copies via mail with the necessary request information (i.e., the full names of both parties and the date of the marriage) and a fee for each copy requested, to be paid via money order.

Tennessee marriage records within the past 50 years can also be requested from Tennessee Vital Records.

How to Plan a Tennessee Wedding

Now that you know how to obtain your Tennessee marriage license, it's time to plan your big day! If you aren't sure where to start, don't worry; we've got you covered.

The Different Cities and Areas to Consider for a Tennessee Wedding

Tennessee is a wonderful option for your wedding day. With plenty of country music, Southern culture and breathtaking surroundings, you're sure to have a beautiful and fun wedding you'll never forget. Plan your special day in the heart of the city or have a Southern Smoky Mountain wedding. Three of the most popular cities to get married include Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville.

Memphis is known for its musical attractions and features different types of venues for every couple. Choose from museums, ballrooms, mansions, indoor event centers, outdoor gardens and more in this city. Similarly, Nashville is a booming location to host your wedding. It's home to many lively venues and tourist attractions for your guests. Knoxville, on the other hand, is near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and has beautiful mountain views that would make the perfect backdrop for your big day.

What to Look for in a Tennessee Wedding Venue

There are so many different types of wedding venues to choose from in Tennessee. No matter what you're theme you're trying to achieve, the state of Tennessee has it all. You can browse your options and start narrowing down your options by looking through The Knot Marketplace.

How to Find Tennessee Wedding Vendors

Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing vendors for your big day? Reduce feelings of overwhelm and anxiety with the help of The Knot Marketplace for all of your wedding day needs. Choose from some of the best wedding vendors out there to help make your day a truly once-in-a-lifetime dream.

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

One thing to keep in mind about Tennessee is that it's known for being the host of many festivals and events throughout the year, so be sure to check the calendar for major happenings. The state has four seasons each with their own varying temperatures and climates. Ultimately, TN is an ideal wedding destination year-round, but many couples choose to marry here in September, October and November for the best weather.

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