The Lowdown on Marriage Licenses

Today we’re diving into the thrilling world of marriage licenses! Ok, maybe not thrilling, but it is exciting because this means your wedding is almost here! I’m focusing on marriage licenses in Missouri and Illinois, as that’s where I work most. Requirements may change, so be sure to double-check your county requirements wherever you’re getting married (I’ll include links at the end of the post).


Missouri Marriage License

  • If you’re getting married in Missouri, you may obtain your marriage license from any Missouri county
  • You must both be present to apply
  • You must each show a government-issued id (some counties may require proof of ssn)
  • Your license will cost around $50 (most only take cash or money order, some counties are cash only)
  • Your ceremony must take place within 30 days of receiving your marriage license
  • After your wedding, your officiant has 15 days to return your completed license to the Recorder of Deeds

Illinois Marriage License

  • You must obtain your license from the county where you are getting married
  • You must both be present to apply
  • You must provide proof of age, with either a government-issued id or birth certificate
  • Your license will cost $30-$60, depending on the county (cash only)
  • Your ceremony must take place within 60 days of receiving your marriage license, and only in the county where it was issued
  • There is a 24-hour waiting period between applying for your license and getting married


Both states require that you are both 18, not blood relatives, and have proof of divorce, if applicable. It’s a fairly simple process, and shouldn’t take more than 1-2 hours, depending on the season (our license took about 30 minutes to obtain for our January wedding).

I suggest checking your county’s website one month before your wedding to make sure you have everything you need, check the hours for your license office, and decide the best day to obtain your license. Also, give your officiant an addressed and stamped envelope with the license at your wedding, then they just have to drop it in the mail after everything is signed! Now celebrate, because it’s almost wedding time!

Happy planning!



St. Louis City License Info

St. Louis County License Info

Missouri License Info

Illinois License Info


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