How to Get Married in Tennessee
If you are a resident of the state of Tennessee or simply planning on having a long-distance or destination wedding at a Tennessee location such as Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, figuring out how to get married can be an exhaustive process.From locations to venues, caterers, and getting your marriage license, there are many elements to consider. By finding the right professionals to help you pull off this significant big day and getting your marriage license on time, you can have a beautiful wedding in Tennessee.
Getting a Marriage License
Determine if you are eligible to marry in Tennessee.Before you can get your marriage license and married in Tennessee, figure out if you are eligible to marry under the state’s laws in Tennessee, which can vary by county. This will ensure that you don’t encounter any problems or delays in getting your license.
- It is not necessary to be a citizen of Tennessee to get married there.
- Neither you nor your partner may be married to another person when you apply for your license. If you are widowed or divorced, you must provide proof of your former spouse’s death or of your divorce.
- You must be 18 years of age or older to get married in Tennessee.
- Sixteen and seventeen year olds may apply for a marriage license when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Fifteen year olds may apply for a marriage license with court consent and parental approval.
- As of 2015, same sex marriage is allowed in all 50 states.
- Tennessee prohibits marriage between blood, or “lineal,” relatives, but does permit marriage between first cousins.
- Any individual with a developmental disability must obtain consent from the department of mental health or department of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- For questions on specific laws in the county in which you will marry, contact a local clerk. The Tennessee County Clerks offer a search engine at or for a comprehensive list of offices and phone numbers.
Gather proper documentation and payment to apply for your marriage license.When you arrive at the County Clerk’s office, you’ll need to have proper documentation and identification to apply for your marriage license. You will also need to have payment for the license fees in your respective county.
- You will need proof of Social Security number in the form of your Social Security card or driver’s license that contains a Social Security number. In addition, you will need one of the following forms of ID: driver’s licenses, military IDs, passports, or state certified birth certificates.
- If you were previously married, you must provide the date of divorce or death of your spouse.
- You must also know the following information: full name of both parents, including mother’s maiden name; parents’ state of birth and address, if living; applicant’s number of previous marriages and date last marriage ended.
- You must fill out an application for a marriage license, which you can get at the local County Clerk’s office.
- You can expedite the process of applying for a marriage license in Tennessee by filing initial information online at . The service will automatically forward your application to the appropriate county clerk.
- Tennessee doesn’t require blood testing to receive a marriage license.
- Have any documentation that is not in English translated by a certified translator. Although there is no specific provision in the Tennessee law about non-English forms of identification or documentation, it’s nevertheless advisable to have translated versions in case the local authorities ask for them.
Secure the license fees.In addition to your documentation and identification, you’ll need to secure the right fees to pay for your marriage license. You have the option to reduce the general fee by taking a premarital counseling class.
- Marriage license fees in Tennessee vary by county but range from .50 to .50. Contact the County Clerk for where you will marry in Tennessee for specific fees. You can find a list of offices and telephone numbers at .
- You can reduce the marriage license fee by if you complete a premarital preparation course. Note that you must provide proof that you’ve completed the course when you apply for your marriage license.
- Note that some areas only accept cash payment for marriage licenses.
Figure out the appropriate County Clerk.County Clerks issue marriage licenses to couples in Tennessee. Call ahead of your wedding date to confirm hours of operation, verify requirements, and any other questions you may have.
- For a complete list of County Clerks in Tennessee, consult the website .
- Some County Clerks have websites with information on specific laws in their county of jurisdiction. In the event that there is no website for your specific County Clerk, you can call the number listed to verify information.
Obtain your Tennessee marriage license from a County Clerk.You must purchase your license at a County Clerk before you can get married in Tennessee. Make sure to have all of the proper documentation and fees prepare before you arrive at the County Clerk to avoid delays.
- Both parties must appear to apply for a marriage license. You must file an affidavit for any party that cannot appear at the County Clerk to apply. If you have either a disability or are incarcerated and cannot apply for the license in person you can submit a notarized statement.
- You must sign your application in front of the County Clerk.
- You must get a license at a County Clerk before you can get married in Tennessee.
- Tennessee does not have a waiting period for marriage licenses if you are 18 years of age or over. There is a three day waiting period for persons who are between 15-17 years of age to receive a marriage license unless accompanied by both parents of both underage parties.
- A Tennessee marriage license is valid for 30 days after the County Clerk issues it.
- The marriage may be executed outside of Tennessee but you must return the license to the issuing Clerk for recording and filing with the Tennessee Vital Records Office.
- The officiant must endorse the marriage license and return it to the County Clerk within three days of the wedding.
Planning the Ceremony
Decide on a location.Before you can begin planning the actual ceremony, you and your fiancé(e) should decide on a location for your Tennessee wedding. From Nashville to Knoxville and Memphis to Gatlinburg, there are many places in Tennessee perfectly suited for a wedding.
- Knowing the location will also help you apply for your marriage license in a timely manner.
- Consider indoor and outdoor locations. Tennessee has a pleasant climate and offers a wide variety of state parks and historic sites that can host your wedding.
- The National Park Service has a list of state parks and historic sites that you can consider at
- You may also want to think about a destination wedding at one of Tennessee’s many famous sites such as Elvis Presley’s Graceland, the famous Peabody Hotel in Memphis, or the Smoky Mountains.
Send guests save the date cards.Six to eight months before your actual wedding, and before you send formal invitations, send your guests “save the date” cards for your wedding. This will allow guests to schedule time and save money for travel and gifts if need be.
- Your save the date card doesn’t have to be formal as the invitation. It should just let people know the date and location of your wedding.
- If you have engagement photos or simply a picture of you and your fiancé(e) that you like, you can use this on the card.
- Send save the date only to the people who you want to attend. Even if some people already know and have said they will come, make sure to send them save the date cards as well.
Hire a wedding planner.If you can afford it or just want some extra help, consider hiring a wedding planner. She can help you coordinate the various elements of planning your wedding from venues to photographers. She may also help decrease stress on your wedding day.
- The costs of hiring a wedding planner varies greatly according to how they bill, where they are located, and the types of services you want. A good rule of thumb is to estimate about 15% of your total wedding budget for a wedding planner.
- Some wedding planners may have special deals with several venues that you like to help control the costs.
- There are many ways to find a wedding planner in Tennessee. You can ask friends, family, or colleagues for suggestions. You may also want to search for a wedding planner yourself.
- Generally, the easiest way is to search for a wedding planner is online. Some wedding related websites offer search engines for wedding planners by location that can help you find several different options.
- You can also use local wedding magazines, blogs, and city guides to help you find a wedding planner in your location.
Find and book a venue for the ceremony.Finding the perfect venue for your wedding ceremony can be one of the most difficult parts of planning a wedding. If you’re not using a local wedding planner to help you, there are many factors to consider when looking for and booking a ceremony venue.
- Think about the type of ceremony you want. Do you want a religious ceremony in a church? Do you want something simple such as at the justice of the peace? Or maybe you want an outdoor ceremony at the beach.Having a basic idea of what type of ceremony you want can help narrow down potential venues.
- Consider how many guests you have. You’ll need to make sure that your venue can accommodate all of your guests comfortably and within local zoning and fire laws.
- Figure out how much work you are willing or want to do with a location. For example, if you want to get married in a barn, it may require cleaning not only before but also after your ceremony. By contrast, a reception hall, which may not feel as intimate, may provide staff to do the “dirty work” for you.
- There are many ways to find a venue in Tennessee. You can ask friends, family, or colleagues for suggestions. You may also want to search for a wedding planner yourself.
- Generally, the easiest way is to search for a venue is online. Some wedding related websites offer search engines for wedding planners by location that can help you find several different options.
- You can also use local wedding magazines, blogs, and city guides to help you find a venue in your location.
Select an officiant.Who you choose to officiate your wedding can have a significant impact on your wedding, including setting the tone for the day. Select an officiant for your wedding who works with the type of ceremony you want and with you and your fiancé(e)’s personalities.
- Your ceremony may help set the type of officiant you select. For example, if you choose a religious ceremony, you will likely want your officiant to reflect your beliefs.
- If you are not having a religious ceremony, you could have a judge, justice of the peace, or friend who is an ordained minister officiate your ceremony.
- “Ministers of the Gospel, Rabbis, Christian Science practitioners, and various civil officials” may perform a wedding ceremony in Tennessee.
- Your officiant must sign the license and return to the issuing County Clerk within three days after your marriage.
Locate and arrange a reception venue.Just as your officiant can set the tone for the ceremony, your reception site will set the stage for your celebration. If you’re not using a local wedding planner, there are many factors to consider when arranging your reception venue from number of guests to the atmosphere you want to create.
- Think about the type of reception you want and style of your wedding. Do you prefer something formal with a band? Or maybe you want something romantic or hip with a DJ? Knowing the atmosphere you want to create at your reception will help you more effectively locate and book your venue.
- Depending on where your ceremony is, you may want you reception to be at the same place. Some locations, such as hotels, will offer package deals for hosting a ceremony and reception, especially if you’ve chosen a destination wedding.
- Make sure your venue can accommodate all of your guests comfortably and within local zoning and fire laws.
- Find out if the venue is full service, which may help decrease stress and how much you have to arrange, including a caterer.
- There are many ways to find a reception venue in Tennessee. You can ask friends, family, or colleagues for suggestions. You may also want to search for a wedding planner yourself.
- One of the easiest ways is to search for a reception venue is online. Some wedding related websites offer search engines for wedding planners by location that can help you find several different options.
- You can also use local wedding magazines, blogs, and city guides to help you find a venue in your location.
Find and book caterer.Food at your wedding will comprise the largest aspect of your reception costs, so you’ll want to find a caterer that provides you the highest quality food for the best price. If you can, meeting with several different caterers can help you find the right one for you and your wedding.
- If you’ve hired a wedding planner, she can help you find the right caterer and may have special arrangements with specific caterers.
- Your reception venue may include the cost of food and service in its price. Often, booking the reception venue with an on-site caterer can spare you time and stress.
- You’ll want to ask potential caterers lots of questions including if they specialize in any types of food and whether they provide tables, chairs, linens and utensils.Schedule a tasting to ensure that the food meets your standards.
- There are many ways to find a licensed caterer in Tennessee. You can ask friends, family, or colleagues for suggestions. You may also want to search for a caterer yourself. You can look online or consult wedding magazines, blogs, and city guides to help you find the right caterer.
Choose a wedding cake designer and design.You can either use your caterer or hire a separate wedding cake designer to make the cake for your big day. Choose a design that reflects the style of your wedding and taste that you and your guests will enjoy.
- You can get many different types of cakes from simple sheet cakes to more elaborate tiered designs. The benefit of having a tiered design is that you can have different flavors to reflect the different tastes of you and your guests.
Meet with several different cake designers and test several flavors of cakes and frostings to find the best one for your wedding.
- Depending on if you cake designer is in the same city as your wedding, arrange for shipping of the cake on your wedding day.
- There are many ways to find a wedding cake designer in Tennessee. You can ask friends, family, or colleagues for suggestions. You may also want to search for a caterer yourself. You can look online or consult wedding magazines, blogs, and city guides to help you find the right caterer.
Send the formal wedding invitations.When you’ve made all of the arrangements for your wedding, you’re ready to send invitations for your wedding in Tennessee Make sure to include all of the information on your various locations in Tennessee so that your guests will know where to go.
- Send the formal wedding invitations six to eight weeks before your wedding. If you’re having a destination wedding in Tennessee, consider sending them three months or more in advance to give your guests time to schedule vacation and travel.
- Make sure to include a deadline for RSVPs of two to three weeks so that your respective venues can have a final head count and accommodate for it.
- If your guests aren’t from Tennessee, you may want to include a list of local hotels, inns, or B&Bs where your guests can stay.
Confirm any reservations and take care of last minute details in Tennessee.As the date of your wedding approaches, make sure to confirm all of your reservations with Tennessee businesses. You’ll also want to take care of last minute details within the state, including getting your marriage license if you haven’t done so already.
QuestionCan I get a marriage license in Texas but have the ceremony in Tennessee?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou need a license issued from the state in which you are married. Each state has its own laws and requirements.Thanks!
QuestionIf I have a marriage license in a different state, is it valid in Tennessee?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYour marriage would be valid in any state, but you need a valid license from the state in which you get married.Thanks!
QuestionWe are both non-US citizens, can we get married in Memphis? If we can do so, what are the requirements?Top AnswererMost countries require people who get married to at least be long-term residents. The officials of one country cannot perform a marriage in a different country. Marriages are performed by the local officials, so they need proof that you can get married. Legal age, marital status (death certificate, divorce certificate, etc.), parental consent, blood tests, affidavits, all translated into the country's language. Finally, recognition of a marriage depends on the local laws of the place where you want the marriage to be recognized.Thanks!
QuestionWhat does a courthouse wedding cost in Tennessee?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe fee is .50. The fee is reduced to .50 if the couple completes a Premarital Preparation Course. There is no waiting period, the marriage license is valid for thirty (30) days from issuance, and is good for ceremonies performed anywhere in Tennessee.Thanks!
Where can I find same day marriage in Morristown, TN?
Video: Getting a Tennessee Marriage License
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