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The Paperwork: What Needs to Get Done When You’re Tying the Knot

When it comes to getting married, oftentimes couples are so focused on planning the wedding that all of the legal stuff (you know, the actual marriage part) can mistakenly get tossed on the back burner. Sure, the big, beautiful celebration is a huge part of getting hitched, but it’s just as vital that you tackle all of the necessary paperwork to ensure that once the party is over, you’re actually husband and wife.

It begins with the all-important marriage license. “In Pennsylvania, you can obtain your marriage license in any county, but the fees may vary,” says Phyllis Jablonowski, CEO of Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants and Eventricity. To get your marriage license here in Philly, you and your to-be must make a trip to Room 413 at City Hall. You’ll both need to arrive with a valid photo I.D. and social security card, plus the $80 processing fee (if you’re divorced or widowed, you’ll need proof of that as well). Your license will be issued three days later and is valid for 60 days.

For New Jersey dwellers and non-residents, the rules are a bit different. “In New Jersey, you must apply in the municipality in which you live, and for non-residents, in the municipality in which you are to be married,” says Jablonowski. Non-residents will also face a $28 fee, a 72 hour waiting period and a witness may be required to complete the process (though your license will be valid for six months). Jablonowski suggests checking the state’s website for a up-to-date list of requirements.

Obtaining your marriage license is also the first step in changing your last name. Once that part is all said and done—and you’ve obtained multiple certified versions from the clerk’s office—you can move forward with switching your surname everywhere else. Start with government documents, like your social security card, IRS records and your passport before moving on to your driver’s license and bank accounts. It may be helpful to make a list of everyone you’ll need to notify (your doctor’s office and pharmacy, for example) to make the task less daunting.

If you need a bit of help sorting all of this out, let the experts at Eventricity lend a hand. For more information, visit eventricity.net.