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Getting Married in Illinois

The Land of Lincoln, otherwise known as the state of Illinois, is a very large area of amazing contrasts. From Chicago -- which sits beautifully on the shores of Lake Michigan -- all the way down to the state capital in Springfield, Illinois can be a great place to get married. Most experts, though, recommend that one begins planning on the process of actually getting married in Illinois about three or four weeks ahead of time in order to prevent any unforeseen snags from cropping up.

Also, remember that each county might have a slightly different take on the state's marriage laws and that it will enforce its own law appropriately so take a few minutes to learn a bit more about the state's marriage laws by going to any one of several good websites out there.

Forms, Licenses, and Information for the Land of Lincoln


In order to get married in Illinois, the first thing that must be done is to line up the proper identification, with acceptable documentation being things like a driver's license or a state-issued identification card. Additionally, other forms of ID like a military identification card or a passport or even -- if one is a resident -- and Illinois Department of Public Aid card. There is no residency requirement to get married in Illinois, by the way.

As to a waiting period, the state requires 24 hours from the time when one secures Illinois marriage applications until the ceremony can be performed. If you or your future spouse has been divorced within the past six months, it will be necessary to provide a certified copy of the divorce decree. There are no blood draws or other public health examinations that need to be done, either.

As far as what getting married in Illinois will cost, the issuance of Illinois marriage licenses normally runs around $30, with cash being the only acceptable form of payment. Illinois also does not allow same-sex marriage. The marriage license -- once it has been issued -- is good for a period of 60 days only in the county in which it was issued.

For those persons who desire to get married in Illinois and who are younger than 18 years of age (meaning that they are 16 or 17 years old), a copy of the birth certificate of the person that age will need to be provided along with another form of identification showing date of birth. Additionally, sworn consent from each parent or legal guardian or a judge will need to be provided in person in front of the clerk at the time of application. For a discussion on these sorts of issues, just head over to About.com.

Persons allowed to perform marriage ceremonies in a lonely include ordained ministers of any religious denomination, judges (both active and retired) and any Illinois public officials whose duties include the ability to perform marriages and weddings.