From Miss to Mrs. - Changing Your Last Name Blog Series 2 of 3
June marks the arrival of the beloved wedding season! The bliss of a beautiful ceremony, coupled with the stress that likely follows, can leave brides-to-be swimming in a sea of questions. The Mazaheri Law Firm's fast guide to obtaining a marriage license can save any bride from drowning in the details.
Let's start with some basics - in order to obtain a marriage license in the state of Oklahoma, both the bride and the groom must be at least eighteen (18) years of age and not presently married to any other individual. If the bride or the groom has ever divorced from any previous spouse, they must wait at least six (6) months after the divorce decree is filed before marrying again. The state of Oklahoma does not require the bride or the groom to be a permanent resident of Oklahoma, and the bride and groom are no longer required to take a premarital blood test. There is a fifty dollar ($50.00) license fee, unless the bride and the groom participate in a state-approved premarital counseling program, which reduces the license fee to five dollars ($5.00).
Weddings should be heavenly, and no bride wants to focus on the tedious task of making her marriage legal. Allow the Mazaheri Law Firm to help you avoid some hellish disasters by applying the checklist below:
Before you hire just any minister to officiate the wedding, be sure the official has the appropriate credentials. A minister must be registered and certified with the state of Oklahoma before they are legally allowed to officiate a wedding, so you can now, politely, decline your long-lost relative's offer to officiate.
In the midst of the pre-wedding chaos, be sure to plan a trip to the local county courthouse. In order to obtain your marriage license, you and your soon-to-be-spouse must present to the county clerk:
A form of identification (driver's license, birth certificate, passport, etc.)
A certified copy of your divorce decree (if you or your soon-to-be-spouse has ever filed for divorce)
An original certificate of successful completion of a premarital counseling program (if you and your soon-to-be-spouse attended one), and
Fifty dollars ($50.00) for the license fee (or five dollars ($5.00) if you and your soon-to-be-spouse attended a premarital counseling program).
The marriage license may only be signed within ten (10) days of its issuance, so plan accordingly! This means that once the county clerk hands you the marriage license, the wedding official has only ten (10) days to sign it. There is no point in applying for a marriage license prior to ten (10) days before your wedding because the license will quickly expire, so procrastinating brides rejoice!
You must absolutely remember to bring the marriage license to the ceremony. The maid-of-honor can walk down the aisle barefoot, the groom can "forget" to shave, and the caterer can show up an hour late, but remember that no signed marriage license means no legal marriage. You and your soon-to-be-spouse should take a moment, after the ceremony, to have a signing party; you'll sign the marriage license, your soon-to-be-spouse will sign the marriage license, two witnesses (of your choosing) will sign the marriage license, and finally the wedding official will sign the marriage license, making your marriage official. It's also an adorable photo op.
Return the marriage license, I repeat, return the marriage license! The newly-signed marriage license must be returned to the county clerk within thirty (30) days of its signing. You can return the marriage license in person, or by mail, but probably not from the hotel on your honeymoon, so send it off early. The county clerk will process and file the marriage license once it has been returned, and you can request certified copies any time after it is filed.
On behalf of the Mazaheri Law Firm, welcome to marriage! We hope this checklist is helpful, but should you need further assistance, please call 405-414-2222 and schedule an appointment.
 See 43 O.S. § 3 (parties ages sixteen or seventeen may marry with parental consent).
 See http://www.okmarriage.org/services/PreMaritalCounseling.asp