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Inspiration Detail | How To Get Hitched

How To Get Hitched

A license to legally marry is required by every state in the country and obtaining a marriage license is the responsibility of the bride and groom. In Nebraska, both parties about to marry need to sign the application in person at the local county clerk's office. Identification is necessary and proper proof can be fulfilled by a driver's license, military identification, passport or birth certificate. Social security numbers must be included on the application and the marriage certificate. A validly contracted marriage under the laws of another state or another country is effective in Nebraska.


In Nebraska, if you or your groom have been divorced or have widowed, the date of divorce or date of the previous spouse’s death must be provided. A divorce decree dissolving marriage becomes final six months after the decree was rendered or upon the death of one of the parties. A new license will not be issued and you cannot remarry until at least six (6) months and one (1) day have passed from the date the divorce decree was signed by the judge and filed with the district court clerk. The applicants will be required to submit the date the previous marriage ended. A divorce obtained in another jurisdiction is not effective if both parties are Nebraska residents at the time the divorce proceedings were begun.


The fee for a marriage license is $25.00 with an additional $9.00 fee for a certified copy of the license, payable at the time of application. The certified copy is required to execute any legal name changes and will be mailed to you after receiving the completed marriage license. Additional certified copies may be purchased at a cost of $9.00 per copy. Nebraska no longer has a requirement for a blood test. Also, Nebraska no longer has a waiting period. So if all required information is provided, you will leave with the license when you apply. The license is valid anywhere in the State of Nebraska for a period of one year.


You have your license and so now you can get married. No particular elements are required in the marriage ceremony, although each party must solemnly declare in the presence of the officiant and witnesses that they take each other as husband and wife. The ceremony may follow the rites and customs of the religious society to which the parties belong, with the moderator or officiant completing and returning the certificate of marriage to the appropriate county clerk. Every judge, retired judge and clerk magistrate, as well as every preacher authorized by the church to solemnize marriage, may perform marriage ceremonies in Nebraska. 

After the ceremony, spouses, witnesses and your officiant sign the marriage license. The officiant then files for a certified copy of the marriage license and a marriage certificate. The difference between the marriage license and marriage certificate is that the marriage certificate is more of a keepsake. You will receive an original of both the certified license and the marriage certificate.


Changing your name is a very personal decision. You may certainly choose to keep your name. However, if you decide to change your name legally, you should complete the paperwork as soon as possible after you are married or after returning from your honeymoon. Below is a list of items that may need to be updated with a name change. 

Social security card 
Bank, credit union, investment accounts
Vehicle registration 
Drivers license 
Medical and dental records 
Health, life, auto and homeowners insurance 
Credit cards
Deeds and property titles 
Voter registration 
IRS forms 

Many entities will require you to present a certified copy of your marriage license as proof of legal status to make your name change. We recommend that you request a few extra copies of the marriage license ($5.00 per copy) because when changing your name, many of these entities require you to provide an original copy. Please call your local county clerk’s office well in advance of your wedding date to confirm details about requirements. Check out FROM OUR NOTEBOOK in the back of this issue to find our handy “Ms. to Mrs. Guide” |NWD|