Although your wedding will be one of the most incredible days of your life, not every aspect leading up to the it will be as glamorous (seating charts, anyone?). Among those tasks is obtaining a marriage license, which, you know, is essential to the whole getting married thing. You can’t get one overnight, so don’t wait until you’re just about to walk down the aisle.

First off, marriage license requirements vary by state, so be sure to confirms yours. “Start doing your research about three or four months before the wedding so you can get all the requirements in order and get the timing right,” said Mindy Weiss, celebrity event planner, wedding expert, and best-selling author. “Ideally, submit the application in time to have the license a week or two before the wedding.”

The good news is that most states will process your application right away once you provide all of your documentation. But applying for a marriage license too late isn’t the only concern; there’s such a thing as applying too early. The license is typically valid for 30 to 90 days, so be conscious of your wedding date so that it’s not expired when the big day arrives.

Many couples will get their license a couple of weeks beforehand, which is a good timeline to go off of. “Keep in mind that some states require a ‘cooling off’ period (usually a couple days) between the time you apply for the license and when the marriage can take place,” Weiss said, “so don’t wait until the day before!”

Image Source: StockSnap / Andrew Itaga

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