How to Get Married in Kentucky: Marriage Licenses, Requirements, and More

Understanding the process of how to get married in Kentucky can feel like a daunting task. Where does one even start? From eligibility requirements to the application process, and where to marry, we’ve got you covered. As Kentucky Wedding Photographers, we’ve helped countless couples navigate this process and we can’t wait to help put you on the right path to saying “I do” in the Bluegrass State.

your guide to how to get married in Kentucky

How to Get Married in Kentucky: Marriage License Requirements

Getting married in Kentucky involves a few essential steps to ensure your big day is legally recognized. Let’s dive into the key aspects you need to know when obtaining a marriage license and formalizing your marriage union.

Application Process

You and your future spouse must both be present to apply for the license and apply at the county clerk’s office. To process your application, there is a minimal processing fee payable at the time of application, typically around $50. The license is only valid for 30 days from the date of issuance so make sure to plan accordingly.

Required Documentation

When applying, you must provide a few vital documents. In most circumstances, all that is needed is a government-issued photo ID. However, you can also verify your identity other ways such as bringing in your social security card and your original birth certificate. Ensuring you have the necessary paperwork ready can streamline the application process at the county clerk’s office.

Marriage Ceremony and Solemnization

The solemnization of a marriage in Kentucky can be conducted by religious ministers or priests, judges, justices of the peace, or other individuals authorized by law. Anyone can register as a minister or become ordained and serve as your officiant allowing you to have your wedding your way. The officiant must sign your marriage license after the ceremony, and the completed license must be returned to the office for validation typically within a month.

Special Circumstances & Other Possible Requirements

Obtaining a marriage license in Kentucky comes with specific age requirements and eligibility criteria. In KY, both parties must be at least 18 years old to apply without parental consent. Individuals 16 or 17 years of age, can also get a marriage license with parental permission or a court order.

Unlike many other states, Kentucky makes it easy for those who have been divorced as no divorce decree is required to be brought in. There are also no blood test requirements.

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Where to Get Married in KY

After understanding how to marry, the next natural question to ask, which you may need to know during this process, is where to have your wedding. Lexington and Louisville are two of the best cities in the state to have a wedding. If you’re unsure of exactly which venue you’ll pick, you can still apply for a license. However, you may need to know the county where your wedding will take place to ensure your license is valid (this mostly applies to those who do not reside in Kentucky).

Louisville Wedding Venues

Jefferson County

Louisville is known for its vibrant culture and Southern charm. The city offers a variety of wedding venues to suit just about every couple’s style. From historic courthouses to elegant formal venues, you’ll find the ideal setting to say “I do” in Louisville. A few of our favorite wedding venues in Louisville include Whitehall Louisville, Cedar Springs, and Yew Dell Botanical Gardens.

Check out 15 of the Best Louisville Wedding Venues

Lexington Wedding Venues

Lexington County

Lexington is the horse capital of the world. But weddings here are so much more diverse than just ranches and farms. Whether you envision a quaint ceremony at a local courthouse or a grand celebration at a formal venue, Lexington has you covered. A few of our favorite venues include Buffalo Trace Distillery and Talon Winery.

Discover the Best Lexington Wedding Venues

Frequently Asked Questions about Getting Married in Kentucky

What is the Legal Age to Get Married in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, the legal age to obtain a marriage license is 18 years old. Individuals who are 17 years old may marry with parental permission or a court order.

How Do I Apply for a Marriage License in Kentucky?

To apply for a marriage license in Kentucky, both parties must appear in person at the county clerk’s office. You will need to bring a government-issued picture ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, and your social security card.

Is There a Waiting Period After Obtaining a Marriage License?

Once you have obtained your marriage license in Kentucky, there is no waiting period. You can proceed with your marriage ceremony immediately.

How Long is a Kentucky Marriage License Valid For?

A marriage license in Kentucky is valid for 30 days after issuance. It is important to plan your ceremony within this timeframe to ensure the license remains valid.

Love is on of the greatest foundations in our lives. Remember the moment when forever began.

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wedding couple at Richwood on the River in Northern Kentucky

Who Can Solemnize a Marriage in Kentucky?

Marriages in Kentucky can be solemnized by ministers, priests, judges, or other individuals authorized to perform marriage ceremonies. Make sure the person solemnizing your marriage is legally allowed to do so in the state of Kentucky.

What Documents Do I Need to Present When Applying for a Marriage License?

When applying for a marriage license in Kentucky, you must present an acceptable form of ID (original birth certificate, photo ID, or passport), your social security card, and any other required documents which vary by each county clerk’s office. 

Can I Get Married in Kentucky if I Am from Another State?

Yes, individuals from out of state can get married in Kentucky. However, you must apply for your marriage license in the county where the ceremony will take place.

What Happens After the Marriage Ceremony?

After the marriage ceremony, the person solemnizing the marriage is responsible for signing the marriage license. The completed license must be returned to the county clerk’s office for recording and filing.

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