How to Get Your Marriage License in Hudson County During COVID-19 {+ Still Plan Your Big Day}

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If you’re getting married in Hudson County, we understand how frustrating circumstances might be right now. The current COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a little bit of a curveball to many couples’ marriage plans {and yes, that is definitely putting it lightly}, but fear not, as a local wedding planner is here to help you navigate them. 

Ellen Hockley Harrison, of Greater Good Events, a sustainable event-planning company, is sharing a few ways you can virtually celebrate your wedding day, even during a pandemic, below.

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The Current Situation

On May 1st, NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order allowing for virtual marriages during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. That said, there is still a lot of confusion around how to obtain the proper license to be legally married, and what a virtual wedding entails. 

How to Get a Wedding License, During the Pandemic

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In Hudson County, there are 12 cities and towns, each with their own registrar’s office. Legal requirements mandated by New Jersey are the same, but each town has different procedures for obtaining a marriage license. Per the New Jersey Health Vital Statistics Office, each couple is required to apply for a marriage license in the municipality where they {or at least one party} resides. Beyond that, there are some differences between the townships. 

While the laws are changing rapidly during these unprecedented times, couples should reach out to their town’s registrar as a first step. As of Friday, May 8th, none of the towns we called were accepting virtual marriage license applications. 

The offices we contacted included Jersey City, Bayonne, North Bergen, Secaucus, and Union City. That said, once you’ve obtained your marriage license you can 100% go forward with planning a virtual wedding ceremony or reception. According to the Jersey City Clerk, couples and the officiant must be in New Jersey at the time of the ceremony and the license must be filed in the municipality that the officiant was in at the time of the ceremony. 

Once you’ve obtained your marriage license, it is valid for 30 days. You, your partner, and a witness are required for the application and can leave the same day with a license in hand. 

Read More: How to Get Your Marriage License in Hoboken 

Your Wedding Day

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Once you’ve picked up your license, now you can get virtually married via video conference. 

Then it’s relatively simple — gather all of your loved ones, set up a video conference link via Zoom or Google Hangouts, and tie the knot! Sounds simple of course, but there are several nuances  — be sure to learn how to mute and un-mute microphones before your big day OR hire a wedding planner that can help arrange all the details needed for your big day. This can also serve as a professional platform mediator {for example, the Greater Good Events team runs the back-end of the virtual platform and can host a rehearsal to avoid internet glitches and manage all wedding participants and guests}.

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Couples can create a traditional wedding experience, just in a different format. The to-be married couple can essentially create a wedding day, complete with a dress, suit, wedding cake, florals, hair and make-up, toasts, and even a first dance — just all done at home and on-screen for loved ones to participate in 

There are so many fun aspects that you can incorporate into a virtual wedding to make it unforgettable. Plus, think about loved ones, who may not have been able to attend due to travel or health restrictions; they can now join in the celebration.

Of course, if a virtual wedding isn’t for you, there’s no harm in postponing your big day. Trust us, everyone will understand.

See More: Bridal Directory

If you and your partner do decide to postpone your nuptials, there are many amazing ways to still honor what would have been the original wedding date.

Consider planning a special date night or hosting a virtual dance party with your guests. This is a great way to ensure the virus doesn’t completely dampen your special [original] day. And most importantly, try to remain upbeat! 

We know that moving a wedding is never a part of any couple’s plan, but remember hundreds of thousands of couples are facing the same crisis, and together we will all make it through – perhaps even a bit stronger. Love will always prevail.

Do you have any tips for getting a marriage license in Hoboken or Jersey City? Let us know in the comments! 

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Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.

 

 

 

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