Colorado Marriage License 101: Your Guide to Tying the Knot

Planning on tying the knot in Colorado? One of – if not the most important step – before your big day is getting your marriage license. It may feel daunting and confusing, but I promise, it’s simpler than you think – and I’m here to guide you through the Colorado marriage license process, so you can get back to focusing on planning your epic celebration.

Here’s how to navigate this process with ease:

1. Find a County Clerk’s Office. Start by visiting any County Clerk’s office in Colorado. It doesn’t matter which county – any will do. Denver’s Office of the Clerk and Recorder is a popular choice, but if you’re elsewhere, just Google your nearest one. Some counties offer the convenience of starting the application process online, which can save time.

2. What You Need for the Application. Both you and your partner will need to appear in person and bring valid forms of identification, such as a state ID or passport. If you or your partner were previously married, you’ll need to provide documents related to the divorce or spouse’s death. The application typically requires a fee of around $30.

3. Your Wedding Day. This may be obvious, but bring your marriage license to the ceremony! In Colorado, if you don’t have an officiant, no worries! The state allows self-solemnization, meaning you and your partner can legally marry by officiating your own wedding. How freaking cool. In this case, you both will sign the marriage license as the officiant as well as the parties getting married. Just remember, even with self-solemnization, make sure all other legal requirements for the marriage license are met.

4. After the Ceremony. Post-wedding, the signed license needs to be returned to the Clerk’s office where it was issued, ideally within 65 days, to avoid late filing fees. If you choose to mail the license back, using certified mail is recommended for tracking and security.

Bonus Tips:

  • Outdoor Ceremonies: Colorado’s landscapes are perfect for outdoor weddings, offering countless stunning backdrops. However, it’s important to plan for Colorado’s everchanging weather, which can change quickly, especially in the mountains. Also, many outdoor public spaces require permits for events, including weddings. Check with local authorities or the specific venue for permit requirements and any rules regarding capacity, decor, and noise. Your photographer can and should also help with permit information (like me!)
  • Choosing an Officiant: Colorado allows anyone to officiate, be it a friend, family member, or a professional. The key is that they understand their legal responsibility in the process. They must ensure the marriage license is correctly filled out, signed, and returned to the County Clerk’s office within the stipulated timeframe. This responsibility is crucial for the marriage to be legally recognized.

By following these steps and preparing the necessary documents, obtaining your marriage license in Colorado will be a seamless part of your wedding planning. And if you’re looking for a photographer to capture your special day against one of Colorado’s many majestic backdrops, feel free to reach out! I’d love to help make your wedding memories last a lifetime.

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