So you’re looking at Chicago for your wedding and wondering what the process is like to apply for your marriage license. First of all CONGRATULATIONS!! Not only are you engaged and planning a wedding, but you’re planning to have it in one of, if not the greatest cities in the US. I may be a little biased, but there’s something so special about having your wedding in Chicago. With all the gorgeous venues and incredible experiences the city has to offer you really can’t beat it for your wedding! But how exactly do you apply for your marriage license and how long is it good for? We’ll cover that today as well as what to do before and after you receive your license.
Applying for a marriage license in the city of Chicago is luckily pretty simple and straightforward. The largest downside is that it has to be done in person, but that’s about it! To apply for your marriage license both you and your honey will have to appear at one of the Cook County Clerk’s locations. You must both present valid forms of ID such as your driver’s license, state issued ID, etc. with proof of age as well as pay the marriage license fee which is $60. And as a special note if you’ve had a divorce in the past you’ll have to provide the date it was finalized in order to apply for your new marriage license.
One of the best things about getting your marriage license in Chicago is that you’ll receive your marriage license that same day while you’re at the Cook County Clerk’s office! You will have to wait until the following day for it to be valid, and then it is valid for the following 60 days. This gives you a good amount of flexibility for your marriage, so whether you plan to elope just the two of you the day after or you have your large wedding in a month you’ll be able to get your marriage license with ease. The marriage license is only valid in Chicago and Cook County’s suburbs, so if you plan to have your wedding in a different county you’ll need to apply for their marriage license instead. Every county’s rules and requirements are different so be sure to do your research before applying!
Before you start the application process for your marriage license there’s a few things you’re going to want to plan out and prepare for. First You need to decide on the wedding you intend to have. Are you planning an elopement of just the two of you at Chicago’s City Hall? A large traditional wedding? Something in the middle? If you’re not sure you’re in luck as I have a blog that covers this topic as well!
Talk with your honey about what you both envision for your day and get a create a game plan for what you want your wedding day to look like and when your wedding date will be. Once you have an idea as to the size and date of your wedding you’ll be able to start booking vendors, get your timeline in order, figure out all the details, and finally get your marriage license for your Chicago wedding!
Once you receive your marriage license things are pretty straight forward and you can put the final touches on your Chicago wedding! You’ll want to get your marriage license within 2 months of your wedding date so it will be valid at the time of your wedding. At this point in your planning stage you should have all of the larger details ironed out like vendors, venue, and where your guests will be staying. With the time remaining you’ll iron out any smaller details, pack for your wedding day if you’re traveling, get a haircut if you need one, and any other final touches before the day!
Now that you know how to get your marriage license for your Chicago wedding, you should be all set for the legalities of your wedding day. If you’re looking for more wedding planning tips you can head to my blog page to find Chicago wedding venue recommendations, wedding day timeline guides, and so much more!