Whether you are spontaneously eloping or preparing for military deployment, marrying in New Jersey can be a very swift affair. This is particularly true if you wish to hold a simple, private wedding, as you will be able to use one of the public wedding venues, such as a town hall. Though there is a waiting period of 72 hours between applying for a marriage license and receiving one, this can occasionally be hastened on a case-by-case basis.
Apply for a marriage license. If you are New Jersey residents, apply for your license in the hometown of the bride for a license that is valid statewide. If you are not residents, however, apply in the town where you wish to marry for a license that is valid in that area.
Provide the registrar with photo identification, proof of address, a Social Security card, proof of termination of previous marriages and the required cash fee. Remember that a witness at least 18 years old must be present when you sign the application. There is a three-day waiting period between applying for and receiving the marriage license. However, certain concessions can be made, particularly for military personnel.
Contact your local county clerk, town hall or church and arrange to hold your wedding ceremony on the day of or after the marriage license is issued. Keep in mind that some New Jersey town halls prefer that couples make an appointment, and some perform marriages on a walk-in basis. Confirm the arrangements with your local representative.
Hire an officiant whose position correlates with the wedding location. For instance, if you are getting married in a church, the officiant must be a practicing minister of that church. In secular settings, however, judges, magistrates, county clerks and chairmen of any township division may perform marriage ceremonies.
Collect your marriage license after the waiting period ends and bring it, along with a witness, with you to the marriage location. Hold your marriage ceremony and ensure that the officiant and witness sign your marriage license. The officiant will then file the license with the local registrar to ratify your marriage.
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