The Green Chapel

Serving God by serving all of God's creation.

Frequently-Asked Questions About Weddings in Connecticut

Whether you would like help planning a wedding in southeastern Connecticut or would like to elope, we are here to help you. You can reach Pastor Ernest at 860-543-2334.

The most frequently-asked question: "How can we get married in Connecticut?"

You must get a marriage license to be legally married in Connecticut. The process is described under "How do we get a marriage license?", below.
You and your sweetheart must apply in person at the town hall or city hall in the town or city in which you will be married.
"Can we get married in Connecticut if we are not from the United States?"
Absolutely! As long as you are of legal age, have identification with a photograph, and have a marriage license, you can get married in Connecticut.
"How old do we have to be to get married?"
Both partners in marriage must be 18 years old or older. People 16 or 17 years old can get married with their parents' permission. A person under 16 may get married if written consent is given by the Judge of Probate in the district where the minor lives.

"How do we get a marriage license?"

You must get your marriage license in the town or city where you will get married.
You both must go to the town hall or city hall in the town or city where you will have your wedding ceremony.
"What kind of identification do we need to get our marriage license?"
Both of you will need photo ID. Most people use their drivers' licenses or passports.
"Do we need blood tests to get married in Connecticut?"
No. Blood tests are not required in Connecticut.
"How much does it cost to get a Connecticut marriage license?"
The fee for a marriage license in Connecticut is $30.00. Some couples decide to split the marriage license cost and pay $15.00 each, symbolizing their partnership in marriage.
"Can somebody else get our marriage license for us?" "Can you or a lawyer get our license?"
No. You both must appear in person.
"Are we legally married when we get our marriage license?"
No. You must have a wedding ceremony, no matter how brief, officiated by a legally-authorized wedding officiant.
The Town Clerk (or City Clerk or Registrar of Vital Statistics) or her assistant who issued your marriage license is not allowed to conduct your wedding ceremony.

"How soon can we get married after we get our marriage license?" "Is there a waiting period for a wedding in Connecticut?"

You can get married just as soon as you have your license.
You can get married the same day that you get your license. This makes it easy to elope in Connecticut!
There is no longer a waiting period to get married in Connecticut.

"When are we legally married in Connecticut?"

You are legally married just as soon as your wedding officiant finishes the sentence "I now pronounce you ....".
Please see "What proof will we have that we are legally married?".

"Does out marriage license expire if we don't use it in time?"

Yes. You must have your wedding ceremony within 65 days of getting your marriage license.
If you do not have a wedding ceremony within 65 days, you will have to get a new wedding license. You will not receive a refund for your unused license.

"Who can legally marry us in Connecticut?"

People who are legally authorized to marry people in Connecticut are ministers, priests, rabbis, imams, and other leaders of established congregations. Other legally-authorized wedding officiants in Connecticut include Justices of the Peace, judges and retired judges, family support magistrates, and state referees.
There is no such things as a "wedding minister" in Connecticut. Only ordained or licensed clergy who have an active ministry in addition to performing marriages are allowed to marry people in Connecticut.
So-called Internet ordinations are not valid in Connecticut.

"What proof will we have that we are legally married?"

A certified copy of your marriage license is your legal proof that you are married.
After your officiant has conducted your wedding ceremony, your officiant must sign and return your marriage license to the town hall (or city hall) where it was issued.
When the office that issued your marriage license has received it and recorded it, that office will be able to make one or more certified copies for you.
Certified copies of your marriage license cost $20.00 each in Connecticut. Legally, only the Office of the Town Clerk (or City Clerk) is allowed to make a certified copy.

"Can we get marriage licenses in two towns? We want to get married at Harkness State Park in Waterford and have our reception at the Norwich Inn, but we're afraid it will rain and we'll have to get married in Norwich instead."

Yes, you can get marriage licenses in both towns.
You will have to pay for both marriage licenses. You will not get a refund for the marriage license you don't use. (Congratulations on your great planning!)
You should either destroy the marriage license that you did not use or return it to the town hall where it came from. (I will be happy to return it for you.)

"Who cannot be legally married in Connecticut?"

Connecticut law is very specific. According to Connecticut Statute:
"No man may marry his mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt, niece, stepmother or stepdaughter, and no woman may marry her father, grandfather, son, grandson, brother, uncle, nephew, stepfather or stepson."
For same-sex couples, the same laws that formerly applied to civil unions apply to marriages: "[No woman may marry her] mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, brother's daughter, sister's daughter, father's sister or mother's sister. [No man may marry his] father, grandfather, son, grandson, brother, brother's son, sister's son, father's brother or mother's brother."

"Do you marry gay couples?" "Will you marry same-sex couples?"

Yes! It is an honor to marry any loving couple!
There is, at least for me, no such thing as "gay marriage" or "straight marriage". There is just marriage, plain and simple.
Every couple deserves the wedding that they want.
When you call, you will not be asked whether you want to marry someone of the same sex or opposite sex. Never. It simply does not matter to me. You are in love. That's enough for me.

"Does a wedding have to be public?" "Can we have a private wedding?"

You can have a private wedding. Weddings do not have to be public.
You can elope, with no witnesses, if that's what you'd like.

"Can we have a home wedding?" "Can we get married at home?"

Yes! Home weddings can be very special!
You can have family and friends present, or have no witnesses. It's your wedding, so it's your call!

"Does a marriage license have a notarized seal in Connecticut?"

A Connecticut marriage license will have the embossed seal of the issuing town or city.
Also, your certified copy of your completed marriage license will have an embossed seal. (Your certified copy is your proof that you're legally married.)
The longer answer is, a Connecticut marriage license has an seal but is not notarized.

You can reach Pastor Ernest at 860-543-2334.

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