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Connecticut Wedding Laws

While it may be one of the smallest states geographically speaking, Connecticut is a great place to hold your marriage ceremony. It is beautiful and full of plenty of scenic places that would make for an amazing wedding spot. You will need to abide by the state laws concerning marriage if you wish to hold your ceremony here. Not understanding or knowing the law is no excuse, and you could end up with an invalid wedding. To help you avoid that fate, we’ve put together a guide that addresses the important things you should know.

Connecticut Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
First Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

Connecticut welcomes everyone to marry here. It has no residency requirements, which makes it an ideal destination wedding spot. You do need to be both at least 18 years old, but if you are at least the age of 16, you can marry with parental consent. Connecticut does not discriminate and allows all types of couples to marry here, including same-sex couples or those from varying religious or nonreligious beliefs.

How to Get a Connecticut Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Town of Issuance
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
$50.00
Accepted I.D. Types:
Photo ID
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
No
Blood Test Required:
No

You can secure your marriage license from the Town Clerk. It will cost at least $50, which you must pay when you apply. You will not have to provide proof of divorce or undergo a blood test to get your license.

However, you will have to provide photo identification and some additional personal information to get the license from the clerk in the city in which your ceremony will occur. You cannot use the license to marry in another town or city. The clerk will also require you both to be physically present to get the document and swear to the truth of the information you provide.

Applying For a Marriage License in Connecticut

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
65 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
By First Week of Month Following Ceremony

If you use a Universal Life Church minister, you will need to ensure you get a religious ceremony marriage license and not a civil license. ULC ministers are religious actors under the law, so even if your ceremony will not be religious in nature, you still require this type of license.

Your license is valid for up to 65 days, and the state does not require a waiting period after you secure it. You can get the license and marry on the same day if you wish.

There is a deadline for returning the license to the town clerk after the ceremony. It can vary. Usually, it will be the first week of the month following the month in which the marriage ceremony took place. It could, therefore, be as little as seven days after the ceremony.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Connecticut

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
Town Clerk
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
After Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

ULC ministers will need to obtain a letter of good standing after ordination because a person cannot be ordained only to perform weddings in the state. The letter will allow the minister to qualify under state law to perform the wedding. However, he or she will also need to perform some other type of ceremony or act prior to the wedding to ensure the validity of the license.

As a minister, the prior act could be meeting with people to discuss religious topics. Notes and details should go into the record in case the state asks for proof of performance. The law is rather specific and a ULC minister who does not ensure he or she is in good standing could invalidate the wedding ceremony.

The minister does not have to live in the state but must be at least 18 years old. It is essential that couples check to verify the minister has legal standing to perform marriages prior to the ceremony to avoid an invalid wedding.

Getting Married in Connecticut

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
None
Min. Age of Witnesses:
Not Applicable
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

Everyone participating in the wedding must be physically present at the ceremony. By proxy options are not available for the couple or the minister. There is not a witness requirement in Connecticut, though.

You can follow any script or do whatever customs you want in your ceremony. However, state law requires the minister to pronounce you married and that you and your partner must verbally consent to the marriage. Typically, you will do this by saying “I do” during the ceremony.

Finalizing the Marriage

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Minister
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

To ensure a legally binding wedding, the minister must complete the marriage license. He or she must provide his or her personal information, including his or her title, name, and home address. He or she must list Universal Life Church as the church. It is essential the completion is accurate. This will also include the couple and minister signing the document.

If there are errors on the certificate, it could result in fees and additional work. A completed license must go back to the proper town clerk. It must return by the proper date as well based on the date of the wedding ceremony.

The church does not require reporting of the ceremony, but the minister should keep his or her own records of ceremonies performed. This is a good idea regardless of the state, as it serves as recordkeeping for fees collected to perform the weddings.

After turning in the document, the town clerk may contact the minister with questions or to secure additional information. Having proper recordkeeping can help the minister in a situation such as this.

Remember, it is the minister who must ensure the license gets back to the proper town clerk. If he or she fails to properly register the license, it will invalidate the marriage and can lead to additional issues.