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Can You Get Married on the Same Day You Get a Marriage License?

Published Monday, Jun. 6th, 2022

Your love can’t wait! Does your wedding have to? 




It should come as no surprise that many engaged couples want to get married in a hurry… like right now, today! Without delay! 


There are a lot of reasons why, that are just as unique as the couple: Military couples sometimes face unexpected deployment; stressful wedding plans make some couples choose to elope; health issues arise; insurance and residency issues can come up; and many more surprise circumstances. 


Related: How to Officiate a Sign & Go Marriage Ceremony


These various circumstances lead many couples to ask whether or not a same day wedding is possible for them – meaning a wedding ceremony held on the same day they apply for and purchase a marriage license. 


Can I have a same day wedding?


Is a same day marriage legal? 



The answer is : Maybe! 

It depends on which state you live in. We've listed all the states that allow same day ceremonies below. 


The answer to this question is that it depends where the couple will be holding their wedding ceremony. Each state makes its own marriage laws. 


Some states allow a marriage license to be used the same day it’s purchased, but other states have a marriage ‘waiting period.’ This is the amount of time a couple is required to wait to marry after applying for their license. 


Couples must also find an authorized wedding officiant to perform the same day marriage, unless the ceremony is in a state that permits self-uniting (self-solemnizing) weddings.


Friends and relatives can officiate weddings if they are ordained and have completed any licensing paperwork required in their state. Online ordination with American Marriage Ministries (AMM) is free and only takes a few minutes. Get ordained with AMM here. 


Related: 3 Reasons Why Couples Choose Friends & Family to Officiate Weddings


Below you’ll find all U.S. states divided into two lists. First, a list of states that do not require a waiting period to marry – these are the states in which couples can have a same day wedding and includes most states. Second, a list of states that do require a waiting period to marry – states where couples cannot have a same day wedding. 



States where same day weddings are legal:


Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 


States where same day weddings are not legal: 


Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Washington, and Wisconsin. 


How long do you have to wait to get married? 


Keep in mind that state waiting periods vary by location. This means that couples may need to wait anywhere from 1 to 8 days after applying for their license to marry, depending on where they plan to wed.  


Related: State-by-state marriage waiting periods should be part of your wedding plan


To learn the marriage waiting period in each of the states above, visit: 



Marriage License Waiting Period, Expiration, and Return


Remember that marriage licenses also expire, and must be filed within a set time after the ceremony.
The Marriage License Waiting Period, Expiration, and Return section of our officiant training pages offers details on using and returning your license on time, to make sure your wedding is legal and valid. 
An Introduction to the Marriage License explores the basics of the license, for couples and new or first time wedding officiants, including what makes a license different from a marriage certificate, how much they cost, and how to fill one out correctly. 




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A stylized illustration of two hands, linked by pinkie fingers.  Illustration by Jessica Levey

Illustration by Jessica Levey


From How to Elope: The Complete Elopement Checklist




Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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