What You Need to Do Before You Run Away to Make Your Marriage Really Legal

Escaping might seem like a great idea, especially if wedding planning is stressing you out or the whole thing costs a hell of a lot . Whether it’s because of family pressure, financial issues, or wanting to marry the love of your life as soon as possible, you can make a quick decision before you stop to consider if everything is okay. Escape is legal, but there are things to keep in mind.

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Check the law where you live

Get your marriage certificate before you fly somewhere . Marriage laws vary from place to place at home and abroad, and nothing sucks more than pissing off family and friends by running away only to have it really mean nothing.

You will most likely need a witness and an official representative, so check with your local laws. According to Rocket Lawyer , in particular, rules regarding witnesses vary from state to state. Find out directly, not only in your state, but also in your county , who must testify to your union and what they must do to verify it. Also, keep in mind if there is a waiting period required to get a marriage license. Have you ever wondered why Las Vegas is so popular with escapists? Because the laws there do not require a waiting period between applying for a license and receiving it. Heck, you can pre-register online and get your license by showing your ID there. This isn’t the case everywhere, so plan your escape after you’ve sorted everything out, not before.

Check the legitimacy where you’re going, too

A variety of people can act as an official, but it also depends on the legality and restrictions. Whether you want a friend to be ordained, or you want the captain of the ship to do so, you need to think ahead and select someone who can carry out this duty on site with you wherever you go.

Note that in California, for example, anyone hosting a wedding is required by law to complete a marriage certificate and return it to the country’s registrar within 10 days of the event for registration. Each state is unique, so in addition to finding out if it’s legal to get a license where you’ll be living, make sure someone is willing to marry you where you’re going.

Other countries may also have different residency requirements for you to be legally married. A formal “marriage” abroad can be enjoyable, but you’ll have to decide if it’s worth it if it’s not official. (Or maybe so — you just need to do legal things at home.)

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