Welcome to the Elope to Connecticut℠ Blog

Call 860-543-2334 for free help or advice.

Posts are listed most recent first.

“How do we get our marriage license in Connecticut?”

There is a lot of misinformation on the Web about the Connecticut marriage license application process.

Blood test are not required in Connecticut to obtain a marriage license.

There is no waiting period between getting your license and having your ceremony. You can get your license and have your wedding immediately.

Your cost of your marriage license is $30.00.

You must get your license in the Vital Records Office (usually part of the Town or City Clerk's Office) in the town or city where you will have your wedding ceremony.

You two are the only people who can obtain your marriage license. Neither an attorney nor an officiant can get it for you.

Both of you must have photo identification (passport, driver's license, or non-driver's photo ID).

Foreign passports (that is, not issued by the United States) are acceptable.

Most couples go together to apply for their marriage license. You could go separately. You each must fill out your application, swear to the truthfulness of your information, and then sign the completed license, all in person.

You must have your wedding within 65 days of your marriage license being issued. After 65 days, you would have to get a new license.

Please keep in mind the hours that your Town Hall and Vital Records Office are open. If you go a half-hour before closing time, do not expect to be get what you need that day.

Your wedding officiant must have your marriage license in his or her possession before your wedding begins. No license means no wedding.

Your officiant must fill in the date of your wedding, et cetera, sign your license, and return it to the place where it was issued. Your officiant is forbidden by law from giving your license back to you.

When your officiant has returned your license to the Vital Records Office, the Vital Records Officer (or her assistant) will fill in the municipality's information and your Social Security Numbers. Your marriage license then becomes a Marriage Certificate, a Vital Record (a legal public record), and is permanently recorded both locally and with the State of Connecticut.

You may receive a certified copy of your Marriage Certificate by paying $20.00 to the Vital Records Office where you obtained it. Your certified copy is your proof that you are legally married.

Because your Marriage Certificate is a Vital Record, by law only the Vital Records Office is allowed to make a copy.


“How can we include more of our relatives in our wedding?”

Good question! Thank you!

One of the easiest ways to include more people in your wedding is to ignore age-based and gender-based role expectations. One example: Grandmothers as flower girls. (I can hear you chuckling.) Your grandmothers and your guests are sure to be delighted. Keeping quiet about who the flower girls are going to be will enhance the surprise.

Ring Bearers are probably not surprising at a wedding. How about grandfathers as “Ring Security”? Picture two straight-faced adult men, dressed in black suits and ties with white shirts, wearing sunglasses, with big “Ring Security” badges, obviously keeping an eye out for suspicious characters among the guests. The more serious-looking the “Ring Security Agents” are, the bigger your guests' reactions will be.

Of course, there are the more-or-less customary jobs for your relatives to fill: Ushers, guestbook attendant (“Would you sign the guestbook, please?”), distributor of programs as guests enter the ceremony area, someone to offer bottled water to guests (important for weddings in warm / hot weather), bubbles helper (distributes bubble bottles and wands), and people to direct guests to ladies' and gentlemen's rooms.

Lesser-known helpers are guards to keep late-arriving guests from interrupting the processional (alas, yes, they are needed).

(Shhh. Here's a secret:) Wedding guests are unsure whether to applaud when they like something, such as a reading. When directors of stage performances want to ensure the audience will clap or laugh at the right places, they plant a claque in the audience to start things off. You can ask a relative or friend to clap at times that you'd like your guests to applaud.


“Would you show us some more romantic places for our wedding? We want to have a dinner there, too.”

Thank you! When I put together the list of places on the Places to elope Page, I was thinking mostly of outdoor elopements. Of course, I’m very happy to officiate at your wedding anywhere!

Your question prompted me to make The Most Romantic Places to Get Married in Connecticut Page.

What kinds of places do you find romantic? You and your intended are in charge, and your taste should determine where you get married.

If you like a wedding location that doesn’t have the capability of serving a formal dinner, such as the Schooner Argia, please call me and I will have suggestions! Connecticut has plenty of quality caterers and fine restaurants, such as the S & P Oyster Company, about a block from the Argia.

Please call me at 860-543-2334 for help choosing your wedding location.


“How can we use our vows after our wedding?”

There are many ways to repurpose the vows you've worked so hard to create.

This blog post was inspired by a Pinterest Pin. Sending a “Thank you!” to the original author. The original vows were

I take you to be my best friend,
my faithful partner,
and my one true love.

I promise to encourage you and inspire you
and to love you truly
through good times and bad.

I will forever be there to laugh with you,
to lift you up when you are down
and to love you unconditionally
through all of our adventures in life together.

Diane Parsons, my favorite wedding photographer, has used several couples' printed wedding vows to create outstanding photos. You can see some inspiration from Diane on her Pinterest Wedding Details Board. Diane has several Pins that may inspire you to print several copies of your vows and use them to cover vases, jars, et cetera. For example, you could punch a heart-shaped hole to let the light out from a candle, similar to Diane's Pinterest Pin.

You could write your wedding vows on large sheets of paper to use as backdrop for wedding photos. A roll of white paper intended to be cut and used as inexpensive tablecloths is ideal; a Google or Bing search for “paper tablecloth rolls” will help you. Thanks again to Diane Parsons for another inspiring wedding Pinterest Pin.

Of course, you will want to have a copy of your vows in your wedding album! Your wedding photographer will probably have suggestions, and it is important to mention that you'd like photos of your vows. Please use acid-free paper if you decide to print your vows or have someone use calligraphy.

Would you like to have your vows framed to display with your handfasting ribbons or cords? Or near your unity candle? Or sand ceremony containers? If you know someone who has beautiful handwriting or is good at calligraphy, you could have her use paper the color of one of your wedding colors and ink of another of your colors. Usually, lighter paper with darker ink looks better, or you could use white ink on dark paper.

For a striking look, have your calligrapher paint your vows on the glass of a picture frame! (Reflections on a mirror with vows can be distracting from the text.) Imagine a photo of you and your beloved with your vows (or just a portion of your vows) floating in front of your image. (Be careful not to have your vows interfere with the view of your faces!)

A shadow box could be used to display your vows, invitation, bouquet, boutonniere, and one or more photos spectacularly. You can see one example at Pinterest Pin of vows in a shadow box.

Looking for other ideas for how to show that you're happy with your vows? A Google or Bing search for “Wedding Vow Keepsakes” or “How to display your wedding vows” will give you lots of hints. Please share your favorites on my Elope to Connecticut Facebook Page or Twitter at Elope to Connecticut's Twitter Page.

If you'd like free help with your vows, please call me at 860-543-2334 or visit my Vows Page.


“Can we elope privately now and have a bigger wedding with our friends and family later?”

The short answer is “Sure!”

There are a lot of reasons why people elope now and have a more traditional wedding later. Your reasons for keeping your marriage private for now are your own, and not important to me. Call it “Getting legally married now and having a social ceremony later.”, and I'll know exactly what you mean.

Some people elope so that their spouses can be covered by their health insurance. Members of the military sometimes elope before going on deployment. Other couples elope so that they can save their money until they can have the wedding of their dreams. There are as many reasons to elope as there are couples who choose to elope.

If you choose me to help you elope now and to officiate at your social ceremony later, nobody needs to know that your social wedding isn't your “real” wedding. None of your guests will suspect that you've already been legally married. It's nobody's business, as far as I'm concerned. Every year I help many couples have legal then social weddings.


Call 860-543-2334 for free help or advice.