This is kind of weird and totally awesome — in Colorado, a bride and groom can solemnize their own marriage. In normal-people-speak, that means you can marry yourselves and don’t need a judge, minister, or any sort of officiant. You also don’t need witnesses.
To solemnize your own marriage, there are a few super-easy things you need to do. Assemble what you need to get a marriage license:
- a driver’s license or similar form of ID
- your parents’ full names and city and state (or country if outside the U.S.) of birth
- if you’ve been married before, the date of dissolution, the court, and the city and state (you don’t need documentation)
- $30 (cash or check)
- $1.25 for each certified copy of your marriage certificate you want (cash or check) — it’s a good idea to get a certified copy when solemnizing your own marriage, especially if you live in or might move to another state (not many states allow self-solemnization).
Go to the local Clerk & Recorder’s Office (in Denver, this is on the first floor of the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave.). We went on a Monday afternoon and there was no wait and the woman helping us was one of the nicest people, ever. You’ll get a marriage license (seen in the photo). The names and city/state of residence of the bride and groom will be filled in for you. Also, they’ll stamp “Bride and Groom” in the “Print Title of Officiating Party” space.
You’ll also get a copy of the statute authorizing you to solemnize your own marriage (CRS § 14.2.109), instructions for completing the marriage license with examples, an envelope for mailing the completed license to the clerk, and a receipt. You have 30 days after getting your marriage license to get married and you must return the completed license to the Clerk & Recorder (by mail in the provided envelope or by dropping it off) within 60 days of getting married.
(Note: If you’re changing your name, you’ll have to do additional paperwork. I don’t know what’s involved in this process because I’m not changing my name and didn’t ask.)
So, you go to an office and pay $30 and get a form, go wherever you want and marry yourselves, and return the form. That’s it! As far as the “marry yourselves” part goes, you can do whatever you want. The only legal requirement is that you complete and return the marriage license.
I think this is just about the coolest thing ever, and this is what Ben and I will be doing, well, soon. It’s a good option if you’re having a non-wedding wedding, also known as getting married without having a wedding or eloping. It’s just about as simple as it gets.