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How to Get Married in Connecticut - Planning a Wedding in the Constitution State

Published Wednesday, Jan. 25th, 2023


Planning a Connecticut wedding? This short guide will help -- from finding an officiant to completing the marriage license. 

 

 


With unrivaled fall foliage and lakefront views, quaint coastal towns and bustling modern cities, Connecticut offers romantic backdrops of every kind… making it easy to see why this New England gem is a top destination for weddings. 

 

You’ll need to apply for your marriage license in the town where your wedding is held, so it’s important to get a head start on the planning process (and choosing a venue!) to avoid unnecessary stress. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a short guide to help you begin. 

 

 

 

Asked to officiate a wedding in Connecticut? 

Read How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Connecticut

 

 

Two newlyweds stand beside a lake in their wedding clothes, surrounded by fall colors and colorful leaves on trees

Fall weddings are a favorite in this beautiful New England state

 

 

How to get married in Connecticut in 6 Steps

 

 

1. Get yourself a sweetheart! 


Got one? Whew! There will be a few more boxes to check, but the hardest part’s over.
 

 

2. Find a wedding officiant in Connecticut.

 

A wedding officiant is the person who conducts your ceremony and signs the marriage license, making things legal.

 

A friend or relative can perform your wedding ceremony if they’ve been ordained.

 

 

If you want to hire a professional, the state has many qualified independent officiants to choose from. The following people are authorized to solemnize marriage in Connecticut:

 

Various judges, magistrates, referees, and justices of the peace who are appointed in Connecticut, and all ordained or licensed members of the clergy, belonging to this state or any other state.

(Summarized from § 46b-22)

 

(See a detailed list of authorized officiants and more Connecticut marriage laws here.)

 

 

 

View of Hartford Connecticut, with water and city buildings against a blue sky

Looking for a civil union or marriage license in Hartford County? Visit the Bureau of Vital Records at Hartford City Hall! 

 

 

3. Choose a date and a venue...


Connecticut is home to rich culture and history, stunning fall colors, a picturesque coastline dotted with lighthouses, and thriving cities like Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and Stamford – making it a favorite for destination weddings. 

 

Whether you’re dreaming of a big to-do or a romantic elopement for two, there’s something for everyone!

 

 

Popular dates, venues, and officiants book up fast, so start early. And remember you’ll need permission (and a permit) to use a public space, such as a city park or recreational area. Permits can take weeks to process, so factor this into your timeline, too. 

 

 

Connecticut Marriage License Quick Facts

♡ No Waiting Period
♡ 65 Day Expiration Period
♡ Return Before Expiration Date

Illustration of a newlywed couple and their wedding officiant signing the marriage license

Did you know? Every state has different laws governing when the marriage license is issued, can be completed, and must be returned. There are called a state's marriage license Waiting Period, Return Deadline, and Expiration. Learn more here. 

 

4. The marriage license. 


Alright, time to make sure your wedding’s legal! We’ll break down each part of the marriage license process, one step at a time: 

 

Applying for your license

 

You’ll apply for your marriage license through the vital records office in the town where the marriage will take place. You don’t need to be a Connecticut resident to marry there.

 

Requirements to Apply: 

 

  • Both parties must appear in person to apply and provide valid ID 
  • Both parties must be at least 18 years old or meet the requirements for minors
  • The name and contact information of your wedding officiant (marriage officiator) must be included in your application 
  • Applicants can’t be closely related, as described in § 46b-21
  • Neither party can be already married or in a civil union with another person
  • Neither party can be under the supervision of a conservator, unless they have the conservator’s written permission to marry

 

If you’re planning a wedding anywhere in Connecticut, we recommend contacting the registrar of the vital records office closest to your venue to learn more. 


Cost 

 

Your license will cost about $50. Some offices will only accept cash, credit, or money orders, so plan ahead! There’s no fee to register your marriage after the ceremony.


Waiting period

 

There is no waiting period between the time you receive your license and when your ceremony can take place.


Using and returning the marriage license

 

A Connecticut marriage license can be used in the town where it was issued, and is valid for 65 days.

 

 

The license must be signed by each party to the marriage and the marriage officiant (officiator) following the ceremony.

 

The license must be returned by the wedding officiant (marriage officiator) before the end of the expiration period (65 days from issuance). The license should be returned to the registrar of vital records of the town where the marriage took place. Once registered, the license is referred to as a ‘marriage certificate.’

 

 

 

Two happy young brides hold up their hands to the camera to show their wedding rings, while they smile lovingly at each other. Behind them is a sunlit scene with green leaves.

Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in Connecticut since 2008, and there are hundreds of welcoming and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding venues in the state. 

 

 

 

5. Meet with your wedding officiant...


Once you’ve chosen a date, a venue, and have your marriage license details worked out, you’ll be ready to meet with your wedding officiant to plan the ceremony! 

 


This is when things start to come into focus. You’ll talk about the tone of your ceremony, the ‘vibe’ you want to create for your guests, and any special elements and unity rituals you want to include. You and your officiant might meet a few more times to exchange more ideas, fine-tune a script, or rehearse the ceremony leading up to the wedding day. 

 

AMM’s website is full of resources to help you decide what kind of ceremony you want, tips on working well with your officiant, and advice on keeping your ceremony authentic and on budget. 

 

Visit Articles for Couples on our American Weddings blog, or browse general articles by category or keyword. 

 


6. The wedding day! 


Aside from yourselves, the most important thing you’ll bring with you on the wedding day is your marriage license -- because no license means no marriage. Your officiant won’t be able to perform the wedding without having a license present (even if you have it at home), so make sure it’s with you. 

 

After the ceremony, you and your officiant will sign the license. 

 

For tips on how to complete the license, head here. 

 

After it’s signed, you must record it with the local county before the end of the 30 day expiration period. Check with your county for details.

 

Once it’s been recorded, you’re officially married! 

 

 

 

 

Newlyweds hold up sparklers outdoors

Congratulations! 

 

 


Asked to officiate a wedding in Connecticut? 

 

Visit Weddings by State: Connecticut  

 

We’ve got everything you need to understand the state’s licensing and registration requirements, any ministry credentials and paperwork you might need, and helpful tips for several cities in the state, including Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford.

 

 

 


 

 

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Newlyweds kiss at the wedding ceremony while their friend officiant watches and smiles

Searching for the perfect marriage officiant? They might be closer than you think... Ask a friend or relative to get ordained online for free with AMM to officiate your wedding! Learn more here. 

 

 

 


 

 

Propose to your wedding officiant ! 

 

Will You Marry Us? Gift Box

 

Asking a friend to officiate your wedding? Why not give them the Will You Marry Us? Wedding Officiant Gift Box and Ministers Credential Package. This gift box contains everything you need to 'propose,' and everything your chosen officiant will need to perform your wedding -- including the most robust minister ordination available and full documentation of credentials.

 

Order the 'Will You Marry Us?' Officiant Gift Box here. 

 

 

 


 


Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves digging into the history and magic of ritual, exploring the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She’s an advocate for marriage equality and individuality. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys easy hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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