Universal Life Church

Connecticut Wedding Laws

This synopsis will help you understand what you need to do to plan your wedding or officiate a ceremony in the great state of Connecticut. It vital to understand all relevant legal requirements for a marriage prior to the big day. Scroll down for insight into the most frequently covered topics related to Connecticut marriage rules.

Getting Married in Connecticut

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
None
Min. Age of Witnesses:
Not Applicable
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

Connecticut does not permit any type of marriage by proxy. Both the couple and the minister must attend the ceremony. It is not necessary that anyone be present to witness the actual ceremony.

A ceremony can be planned according to the wishes of the couple being married. There are only two essential elements to a legally binding marriage ceremony. First, the couple most announce their express intent to be married, which is usually accomplished by each person stating “I do.” Typically, this will follow the recitation of some type of vow, but the content of the vow itself is up to the couple so long as it includes the intent to be wed. Second, the minister or officiant who is performing the ceremony must verbally pronounce that couple is wed.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-24. (Formerly Sec. 46-5a). License. Period of validity. Penalty for solemnization without license. Validity of marriage ceremony.

    (d) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, in order to be valid in this state, a marriage ceremony shall be conducted by and in the physical presence of a person who is authorized to solemnize marriages.

Connecticut Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
First Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

In Connecticut, the legal age of consent to enter into a marriage is 18 years old. A minor who is at least 16 years old may enter into a marriage if he or she obtains written permission from a parent or a legal guardian.

The state grants marriages to same-sex couples; they are entitled to the same form of marriage as a couple that is not the same sex.

It is not necessary that either member of a couple be a resident of the state of Connecticut in order for the couple to be married there. The state permits weddings for residents of another state as well as residents of another country.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 46b-20a. Eligibility to marry. Issuance of license to minor who is sixteen or seventeen, when permitted.

    (a) A person is eligible to marry if such person is:

    (1) Not a party to another marriage, or a relationship that provides substantially the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as a marriage, entered into in this state or another state or jurisdiction, unless the parties to the marriage will be the same as the parties to such other relationship;

    (2) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, at least eighteen years of age;

    (3) Except as provided in section 46b-29, not under the supervision or control of a conservator; and

    (4) Not prohibited from entering into a marriage pursuant to section 46b-21.

    (b) A license may be issued to a minor who is at least sixteen years of age but under eighteen years of age with the approval of the Probate Court as provided in this subsection. A parent or guardian of a minor may, on behalf of the minor, petition the Probate Court for the district in which the minor resides seeking approval for the issuance of a license to such minor. The court shall schedule a hearing on the petition and give notice to the minor, the minor's parents or guardians and to the other party to the intended marriage. The minor and the petitioning parent or guardian shall be present at such hearing. The court may, in its discretion, require the other party to the intended marriage to be present at such hearing. After a hearing on the petition, the court may approve the issuance of a license to the minor if the court finds that: (1) The petitioning parent or guardian consents to the marriage; (2) the minor consents to the marriage and such consent is based upon an understanding of the nature and consequences of marriage; (3) the minor has sufficient capacity to make such a decision; (4) the minor's decision to marry is made voluntarily and free from coercion; and (5) the marriage would not be detrimental to the minor.

    Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 46b-21. (Formerly Sec. 46-1). Marriage of persons related by consanguinity or affinity prohibited. No person may marry such person's parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, parent's sibling, sibling's child, stepparent or stepchild. Any marriage within these degrees is void.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Connecticut

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
Town Clerk
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
After Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

To officiate a wedding in the state of Connecticut, it is required that a minister be at least 18 years old. There are no exceptions to this requirement. It is not necessary that a minister or other person officiating a wedding be a legal resident of Connecticut.

Under Connecticut law, a person may not be ordained for the sole purpose of officiating a wedding ceremony. If you have been ordained by the Universal Life Church, it is advisable to obtain a letter of good standing from the ULC. The letter of good standing acknowledges this condition of Connecticut’s statutory law and indicates compliance. Prior to the wedding, a minister must perform at least one ministerial act, such as meeting with people for study or discussion of religious topics or themes. It is advisable to keep a record of any such meeting that includes who was in attendance and the topics that were discussed.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 46b-22. (Formerly Sec. 46-3). Who may join persons in marriage. Penalty for unauthorized performance. (a) Persons authorized to solemnize marriages in this state include (1) all judges and retired judges, either elected or appointed, including federal judges and judges of other states who may legally join persons in marriage in their jurisdictions, (2) family support magistrates, family support referees, state referees and justices of the peace who are appointed in Connecticut, and (3) all ordained or licensed members of the clergy, belonging to this state or any other state. All marriages solemnized according to the forms and usages of any religious denomination in this state, including marriages witnessed by a duly constituted Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is, are valid. All marriages attempted to be celebrated by any other person are void.

Applying For a Marriage License in Connecticut

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
65 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
By First Week of Month Following Ceremony

There is no mandatory waiting period after the issue of the marriage license before the ceremony may take place. The license is valid for 65 days from the date of its issuance.

A marriage license will stipulate whether the ceremony to take place shall be religious. Whether a ceremony is religious depends on the accreditation of the person performing it rather than the religious beliefs of the couple or the ceremony’s faith-based element.

A marriage license must be returned within the first week of the month following the marriage. It is important to pay careful attention to this timeframe to ensure that the license is not returned later than the deadline.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-24. (Formerly Sec. 46-5a). License. Period of validity. Penalty for solemnization without license. Validity of marriage ceremony.

    (b) Such license, when certified by the registrar, is sufficient authority for any person authorized to perform a marriage ceremony in this state to join such persons in marriage, provided the ceremony is performed within a period of not more than sixty-five days after the date of application.

    Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 46b-34. (Formerly Sec. 46-7). Marriage certificate. Affidavit in lieu of certificate.

    (a) Each person who joins any person in marriage shall certify upon the license certificate the fact, time and place of the marriage, and return it to the registrar of the town where the marriage took place, before or during the first week of the month following the marriage. Any person who fails to do so shall be fined not more than ten dollars.

    (b) If any person fails to return the certificate to the registrar, as required under subsection (a) of this section, the persons joined in marriage may provide the registrar with a notarized affidavit attesting to the fact that they were joined in marriage and stating the date and place of the marriage. Upon the recording of such affidavit by the registrar, the marriage of the affiants shall be deemed to be valid as of the date of the marriage stated in the affidavit.

How to Get a Connecticut Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Town of Issuance
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
$50.00
Accepted I.D. Types:
Photo ID
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
No
Blood Test Required:
No

To obtain a marriage license, the couple must appear personally at the office of the town or city clerk in the town or city in which they will be wed. A license may be used only for a ceremony only within that city or town. Both members of the couple will be requested to provide photo ID to prove their identities; photo ID must be government-issued and must not be expired.

The cost of a marriage license in Connecticut is $50, and it must be paid at the time that the couple applies for the license.

It is not necessary that a couple have any type of blood test in order to get a marriage license. Likewise, it is not necessary that either member of the couple who has been previously married provide any type of evidence that the prior marriage was effectively dissolved.

  • Show Legal Excerpt+

    Conn. Gen. Stat. § 7-73 Fees for marriage license, burial or removal, transit and burial permit. Marriage license surcharge.

    (a) To any person performing the duties required by the provisions of the general statutes relating to registration of marriages, deaths and fetal deaths, the following fees shall be allowed: (1) For the license to marry, fifteen dollars; and (2) for issuing each burial or removal, transit and burial permit, five dollars.

    (b) A thirty-five-dollar surcharge shall be paid to the registrar for each license to marry in addition to the fee for such license established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section...

    Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-24. (Formerly Sec. 46-5a). License. Period of validity. Penalty for solemnization without license. Validity of marriage ceremony.

    (a) Except as provided in section 46b-28a, no persons may be joined in marriage in this state until both have complied with the provisions of this section, sections 46b-20a, 46b-25 and 46b-29 to 46b-33, inclusive, and have been issued a license by the registrar for the town in which the marriage is to be celebrated, which license shall bear the certification of the registrar that the persons named therein have complied with the provisions of said sections.

    Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-25. (Formerly Sec. 46-5b). Application for license. No license may be issued by the registrar until both persons have appeared before the registrar and made application for a license. The registrar shall issue a license to any two persons eligible to marry under this chapter. The license shall be completed in its entirety, dated, signed and sworn to by each applicant and shall state each applicant's name, age, race, birthplace, residence, whether single, widowed or divorced and whether under the supervision or control of a conservator or guardian. The Social Security numbers of both persons shall be recorded in the “administrative purposes” section of the license. If the license is signed and sworn to by the applicants on different dates, the later date shall be deemed the date of application.

Finalizing the Union

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Minister
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

After a wedding, a minister or other officiant must fill out the officiant’s section of the marriage license. It is imperative that this section is completed fully and accurately.

It is possible that a town clerk will contact a minister with questions about the license, the ceremony, or his or her credentials. It is advisable that a minister maintain complete records as well as a copy of his or her ordination credentials so that he or she will be able to answer any questions fully and immediately.

A completed license shall include an officiant’s full legal name without any title. There will be a separate entry field in which an officiant or minister shall indicate his or her formal title. If you have been ordained as a minister by the Universal Life Church Ministries, then you should write “minister” as your formal title. The address that you provide should be your home address rather than the address of the ULC.

A minister or officiant must ensure that a marriage license is returned to the city or town clerk’s office from which it was obtained.