Chicago Weddings: Making it Legal

There are so many fun aspects to planning your fabulous wedding, that sometimes the process of actually getting your marriage license gets overshadowed. But definitely don’t forget about this important step! Below is a map of Chicago area counties… get your license in the county where your wedding is taking place, and NOT where you live! For example, if you live in downtown Chicago (Cook County), but are getting married in the suburb of Oak Brook, be sure to go to the DuPage County Clerk’s office to obtain your license. And yes, this means you will probably need to take a day off to go there since the DuPage County Clerk’s office does not have evening or weekend hours…

Map of the vPlants Chicago Region showing counties included


Since many of my clients are getting married in the City of Chicago, here are some Cook County tips:

Eligibility: - be 18 years of age or older - be of opposite sex - not be blood relatives

Application Process: - Couples must appear together at one of the Cook County Clerk's six locations - Fill out and sign a marriage license application - Present valid identification with proof of age - The marriage license fee is $60 (in 2013), to be paid at the time of application

Additional Information: - License is issued while you wait - License is effective the following calendar day after they are issued - License is valid for 60 days - License is effective only in Chicago and suburban Cook County - And lastly, no medical or blood tests are needed

After the Ceremony: The officiant performing the ceremony must complete the bottom portion of the marriage license and mail or deliver it to the Clerk's office.

Please be sure to visit the official Cook County Clerk’s Office website for complete details on applying for your marriage license. (I didn’t cover the info on underage marriages or recently divorced applicants!),

Here are additional links with information on where/how to obtain your marriage license in other Chicago-area counties: - DuPage County - Lake County - McHenry County - Kane County - Will County

Have a fabulous weekend!