A Vermont Wedding

Is a Vermont wedding your plan? Here are the basics:

Vermont respects the laws of other states. If the contemplated marriage would not be legal in the state in which you intend to reside, don't come to Vermont to get around it (15 VSA § 6).

If either party is the survivor of an earlier marriage (divorced, widow/widower), a copy of the divorce decree or death certificate must be presented at the time of license application.

If either party is under 18 years of age, written consent of that person's parent or guardian is required (18 VSA § 5142 (1)). If either is under 16 years of age, the Clerk must be provided a certificate of a probate, district or superior judge that the public good requires such license to be issued (18 VSA § 5142 (2)).

You cannot marry anyone more closely related than a second cousin (15 VSA § 1, 2 and 3), nor can you get married if another marriage or civil union is still in effect (15 VSA § 4).

The license: If either the bride or groom resides in Vermont, the license is to be obtained from the Town or City Clerk in which he or she resides; non-residents may obtain a license from any Town or City Clerk (it is preferable that both parties be present). The fee is $23. Once the license is issued, the wedding must take place within 60 days, after which time the license is void.

The ceremony: Once you have a license, you are free to be married anywhere in the state. The ceremony may be performed ("solemnized") by a Supreme Court Justice, a Superior Court Judge, District Judge, Probate Judge, Assistant Judge or Justice of the Peace, or by an ordained or licensed member of the clergy residing in Vermont (or whose parish, church, temple, mosque or other religious organization lies wholly or partly in Vermont).

If the person who is to perform the ceremony resides outside of Vermont, a special authorization must be obtained from the probate court of the district (generally, the county) in which the marriage is to be solemnized.

Those are the basics. Note that we have tried to keep this as concise as possible: we are not responsible for errors or omissions in this explanation. You can review the statutes for yourself if you like at VSA Titles 15 and 18. Any Town or City Clerk can answer any further questions you might have.

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