There’s so much exciting planning to go into a wedding that many people neglect the important legal tasks. Fail to consider these and your wedding may not even go ahead or could have costly implications later. Here are some of the major legal considerations you may want to set time aside for before your wedding.
Have you considered a prenup?
A prenuptial agreement isn’t compulsory, but many couples feel that it can offer trust and security before going into a marriage. This agreement ensures that if the marriage fails, you still have ownership over your property. You can hire a prenuptial agreement lawyer to guide you through this process. Give yourself enough time before the wedding to arrange this – most couples get these contracts sorted long before any wedding plans are made.
Have you got all the necessary paperwork?
You’ll need a form of ID to prove your name, age, nationality and address when getting married – most couples use a passport and a utility bill of some kind. If you haven’t got a passport, you may be able to use another form of ID such as drivers license. Those that have previously been married and are now divorced should also bring a document known as a decree absolute (this gives proof of the divorce – don’t bring your decree nisi, which only gives proof that you applied for a divorce).
Is your venue fully licensed?
Most people don’t realise that in order for a wedding to be official, the venue has to be licensed to hold weddings. You can hold a ceremony anywhere (i.e. in a forest, at home, on the beach), but you’ll then have to hold a separate official ceremony afterwards at licensed wedding venue. There was an old rule that stated you had to get married in your local church, but this has long been scrapped and you can get married anywhere in the country. It’s worth also looking into other licensing such as a food license, alcohol license and music license, especially when it comes to your reception party.
Are you getting married abroad?
Getting married abroad could mean all kinds of other legal rules – it could be worth talking to a wedding planner or legal advisor within that country. Obviously, you’ll need a passport – this is something you don’t want to leave until the last minute as the passport application process can be lengthy, especially if there are errors on your form. Some weddings abroad may require you to be in the country for several days beforehand, which could be anything from a day to several weeks depending on the country. You may even need to apply to a special wedding visa in some cases. Do you research so that you’re not travelling half way across the world to get married only to be turned away!