Published: Wednesday, Nov. 10th, 2021
From snowy peaks to pristine lakes, stunning seasonal color and a vibrant urban arts scene, Vermont offers romantic backdrops of every kind. It’s easy to see why this New England paradise is a top destination for weddings!
Applying for a marriage license in The Green Mountain State will look different in each county, so it’s important to get a head start on the planning process to avoid unnecessary stress. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a short guide to help you begin.
(If you’ve been asked to officiate a wedding in Vermont, scroll down for helpful links.)
Got one? Whew! There will be a few more boxes to check, but the hardest part’s over.
A wedding officiant is the person who conducts your ceremony and signs the marriage license, making things legal. In Vermont, a friend or relative can perform your wedding ceremony, if they’ve been ordained. (Get ordained online for free with AMM.)
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 Vermont:
Various judges, justices, and magistrates; individuals registered officiants with the Vermont secretary of state; ordained members of the clergy living in this state or whose parish, church, temple, mosque, or other religious organization is located wholly or in part in the state; or by out-of-state clergy members if they’ve secured the correct special authorization; and marriage among the Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia, and the Baha'i Faith may be solemnized in the manner heretofore used in such societies.
(Find a detailed list of authorized officiants and more Vermont marriage laws here.)
Planning a destination wedding? Vermont is home to maple farms and picturesque covered bridges, ski resorts and stunning views, and the free-spirited modern offerings of Burlington and Montpelier... not to mention America’s all time icecream favorite, Ben & Jerry’s. Whether you’re dreaming of a big to-do or a romantic elopement for two -- there’s something for everyone here!
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.
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:
You’ll apply for your marriage license through a Vermont Town or City Clerk by completing an Application for Vermont License of Civil Marriage. If you live in the state, you must buy your license in the town where you live. If you’re visiting from out of state, you can purchase your license from any town clerk. You don’t need to be a Vermont resident to marry there.
Requirements to apply:
If you’re planning a wedding anywhere in Vermont, we recommend contacting the town clerk in your town (if you’re a resident), or closest to your venue (if visiting from out of state), to learn more.
Your license will cost $60 to $70. There’s no fee to register your marriage after the ceremony.
There’s no waiting period between the time an application is filed and when a marriage license is released and can be used.
A Vermont marriage license can be used in any county in the state, and is valid for 60 days. Vermont does not allow marriage by proxy.
The license must be signed by each party to the marriage and the marriage officiant following the ceremony.
Once it’s signed, it's called a ‘marriage certificate,’ and must be returned by your officiant to the town clerk’s office where it was issued within 10 days after the wedding. (We’ll cover this more below.)
For a Chittenden County marriage license,
make an appointment to visit the Town Clerk/Treasurer's Office in Burlington.
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 tagged for couples on our American Weddings blog, or browse general articles by category or keyword.
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. Once it’s signed, your wedding officiant must return it to the town clerk who issued it, within 10 days after the ceremony. Check with your town clerk for details.
Once it’s been recorded, you’re officially married!
Montpelier, located in beautiful Washington County, is a popular destination for weddings.
It's easy to see why!
We’ve got everything you need to understand the state’s licensing and registration requirements, any ministry credentials and paperwork you might need.
Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!