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Getting Married in Alabama

When it comes to matrimony, no two states in the Union are alike. When getting married in Alabama, it's important to understand that this great Southern state has guidelines that must be followed. In the first place, the state has specific age requirements, and these requirements are broken down county by county, in fact, in many instances. For that reason it's usually a good idea to start planning at least 30 days in advance when it comes to the matrimonial act, in order to avoid any surprises come wedding day.

Always remember that when applying for any and all Alabama marriage applications, a valid driver's license or certificate of live birth or birth certificate will be needed in order to get the ball rolling. Additionally, be prepared to provide a social security number if expecting to obtain a license to marry in the state.

Generally, Alabama does not have a residency requirement in order to be married in the state but a couple of counties do have waiting periods before the ceremony can be performed by an official license to do such things. Mobile County is one such locality, and anybody looking for Alabama marriage licenses in that region can expect a three day waiting period from the time of license issuance until the ceremony is performed.

Know What Forms and Documents You Need to Get Married in the Heart of Dixie

Marriage can be a great thing, but failing to line up the proper forms or documents for getting married in Alabama can lead to a lot of frustration and tears in the case of the bride or bridegroom who is anxious to marry the love of his or her life. For those who have been previously married, make sure that a copy of the divorce decree is on hand and ready to be presented.

Alabama normally requires a 60-day waiting period in the state between the time a divorce decree has been issued and the time the marriage can be performed. As far as costs go, fees are generally very reasonable with the standard charge throughout the counties usually coming in at around $43 for a marriage license.

If one desires the license plus a ceremony and a certified copy of the marriage certificate, expect to pay about $20 more if a government official is performing the ceremony authorized to perform marriages. Also, if using a credit card there might be an additional charge of a few dollars for the convenience.

At present time, Alabama does not allow same-sex marriages in the state, and the laws normally require people to be at least 18 years of age in order to get married in Alabama, though those under 18 must present a certified copy of a birth certificate and the permission and presence of the parents of the person who is under 18. Under no circumstance may people under the age of 16 wed in Alabama.

In the above circumstance, expect a $200 bond -- that's payable to the state of Alabama -- be executed before the state will allow a marriage involving one or both persons being under 18 years of age. As for who can perform marriages, the state recognizes Alabama judges (either current or retired) and licensed ministers or pastors of recognized religious groups.