The marriage license is the first step to take in order to get married; let’s find out together what it is, how much it costs, and how can we successfully obtain it
What is a Promise of Marriage
A Promise of Marriage is a contract mutually entered into by a man and a woman capable of contracting matrimony, that they will marry each other. In the past, this tradition had also a romantic meaning, since it corresponded to the time when the groom-to-be asked the bride-to-be’s father the official permission to marry his daughter. It is the first step in order to obtain a marriage license.
According to tradition, the engagement announcement happened during a party reception hosted by the bride’s family. After the announcement the ring was given to the bride by her soon-to-be husband, and that meant the two fiancés were officially engaged. After that day, the girlfriend usually gave her partner a present of equivalent money amount, such as a golden watch. Of course, this tradition has almost disappeared over the decades, and nowadays families are often already aware of their children’s feelings and willings, so there is no need of a very official announcement anymore.
The promise of marriage is a mutual and free-willing contract:
The validity of a marriage agreement is determined similarly to any other agreement. There must be an offer and an acceptance. An action is founded upon a promise of marriage by a defendant and a subsequent breach of this engagement or promise. The law requires that a plaintiff be willing to marry the defendant. There must be an actual and mutual contract existing between the parties and not a mere offer on the part of the defendant which the plaintiff might be at liberty to accept or reject. The obligation arising under a contract must be mutual. For an agreement to marry to be valid, it must be free of duress or fraud. Moreover, a contract must be supported by lawful consideration. An engagement ring, a gift incidental to an engagement, is the symbol and token of a couple’s agreement to marry. As such, marriage is an implied condition of the transfer of title to the ring and thus the gift does not become absolute until the marriage occurs.
To know what happens if a promise of marriage is broken, click here.
When is the marriage license needed
For most marriages or civil partnerships you must give at least 28 full days’ notice at your local register office. You need to include details of where you intend to get married or form a civil partnership. Your notice will be publicly displayed in the register office for 28 days. There are different rules for religious ceremonies.
A religious wedding can take place at a church, chapel or other registered religious building. Religious blessing can take place after a civil ceremony in a register office. The important thing is that you don’t have to register at your local register office, since the officials performing Anglican marriages will register your marriage.
Also, note that you can’t get married in an Anglican Church as a same sex couple.
To get married in an Anglican church, contact your local church in England or in Wales.
You don’t usually need to give notice with the register office if you’re getting married in an Anglican church and both you and your partner are British citizens or from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
As for the documents needed, some states require birth certificates, proof of citizenship and/or residence; virtually all states require a driver’s license or another type of photo ID. If you have been widowed or divorced, you should also have a copy of the death certificate or divorce decree. Also, even if it’s quite rare, blood tests may be demanded. Here are the documents needed if you are getting married in the United Kingdom.
The rules and requirements for getting a marriage license vary from state to state and from country to country. To make sure that you have all your ducks in a row, contact your city, county, or town clerk’s office which will direct you to the pertinent information. You can also check if your county or city has a website with marriage license requirements spelled out, to fill out the application online and pay fees with a credit card.
There are usually 2 steps to getting married or forming a civil partnership in England and Wales.
- Give notice at your local register office.
- Have a religious ceremony or civil ceremony at least 28 days after giving notice.
How much do marriage licenses cost
You have to pay a fee to register a UK marriage or civil partnership. This is £46 if you have the ceremony at a register office, but may be more at other venues.
The marriage or civil partnership certificate costs £4 on the day of the event or £10 after. You may need a copy to prove your marital status in the future.
Further advice about the promise of marriage
Since both the promise of marriage and the following marriage license are very important steps meaning that both of you are seriously engaged towards the wedding, why don’t you seize the opportunity to celebrate this event? For example, you can plan a small tea party and invite your closest friends and relatives!
Uh, and mind the colour of your party! By tradition, everything related to the promise of marriage has to be green.
Green represents a new life event, and the hope of a long and happy
And now, what about you guys? Have you already got your marriage licenses? Let’s tell us all about it in a comment below!
Psst! Hey, you, are you planning your wedding? Follow our ultimate wedding guide!