How to Get Married Out of State : Complete Guide

Getting married is an exciting milestone in one's life, and sometimes, the ideal location for exchanging vows may be in a different state. However, planning a wedding out of state can seem like a daunting task, with logistical challenges and legal requirements to consider.

How to Get Married Out of State : Complete Guide

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential steps and provide valuable tips on how to get married out of state.

Research Marriage Laws and Requirements

The first step in planning a wedding out of state is to familiarize yourself with the marriage laws and requirements of the destination state. Each state has its own set of rules regarding marriage licenses, waiting periods, and documentation. Start by visiting the official website of the destination state's vital records or marriage bureau to gather all the necessary information.

Check Residency Requirements

Some states have residency requirements that may affect your ability to get married. These requirements may vary, but they typically involve residing in the state for a specific period before obtaining a marriage license. Ensure you understand these residency requirements and plan accordingly. If necessary, consult an attorney or a local wedding planner for guidance.

Plan a Visit to the Destination State

To ensure a smooth wedding planning process, it is highly recommended to visit the destination state in person. This will allow you to scout potential venues, meet with vendors, and make arrangements with greater ease. Schedule appointments with local wedding planners, photographers, caterers, and other vendors well in advance to make the most of your trip.

Hire a Local Wedding Planner

If coordinating a wedding out of state seems overwhelming, consider hiring a local wedding planner. A professional with experience in the area can provide invaluable assistance, recommend reputable vendors, and handle the logistics on your behalf. A local wedding planner will be familiar with the state's requirements and can guide you through the necessary paperwork.

Obtain a Marriage License

Securing a marriage license is a crucial step in getting married out of state. Begin the process by contacting the destination state's vital records office or marriage bureau for specific instructions. Determine if there is a waiting period between obtaining the license and the wedding ceremony, and make sure you bring all the required documentation, such as identification, proof of residency, and divorce or death certificates if applicable.

Inform Your Home State

While planning your out-of-state wedding, it is important to notify your home state regarding your intention to marry elsewhere. This is particularly crucial if you plan to change your name after the wedding. Understanding your home state's rules and procedures for recognizing marriages performed in other states will help ensure that your marriage is legally valid when you return home.

Coordinate with Vendors and Service Providers

When planning a wedding out of state, it is crucial to communicate effectively with your chosen vendors and service providers. Clearly articulate your expectations and ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the wedding date, logistics, and any specific requirements. Regularly keep in touch via phone calls, emails, or video conferences to address any concerns or changes in plans.

Plan for Travel and Accommodations

Remember to plan your travel and accommodations for both you and your guests. Research flights, hotels, and transportation options in advance to secure the best rates and availability. If possible, negotiate group rates with hotels and consider providing transportation options for your guests to ensure their comfort and convenience.

Understand Local Customs and Traditions

Each state has its own unique customs and traditions when it comes to weddings. Take the time to understand and respect the local traditions of your chosen destination. Incorporating local elements into your ceremony or reception can make your wedding more memorable and provide an authentic experience for you and your guests.

Enjoy the Journey

Finally, remember that getting married out of state is an adventure and an opportunity to create lifelong memories. Embrace the process, enjoy the journey, and focus on the love and joy of your special day. Surround yourself with loved ones, embrace the new location, and celebrate the beginning of your married life together. 


Planning a wedding out of state requires careful preparation, research, and attention to detail. By understanding the legal requirements, enlisting the help of professionals, and staying organized, you can successfully navigate the process and have the destination wedding of your dreams. Remember to enjoy the journey and cherish the moments leading up to your special day. Happy wedding planning!