Matthew and I got married in Costa Rica last month. To avoid going through any translation/certification paperwork, we went ahead and made it official in Georgia last Wednesday. Here is a summary of our romantic 10 second wedding at the court house plus a couple of additional tips.
Disclaimer: This is specific to Dekalb county (not all counties operate the same).
The Wedding Prep
Before going to the court house we visited the Dekalb Probate Court site, read the marriage license instructions, and completed the marriage license application. With our passports, cash, and three-page application in hand, we were ready to get hitched!
The Court House Adventure
First, we went to the Marriage License Department on the basement floor (room B190). At 11:30am there were no lines and everything was very quick. Someone reviewed our application, we paid for the marriage license and copies at the cashier (in the same room), and we were given an unsigned marriage certificate.
Then, we went back to the first floor, looked for the magistrate court (room 1200), and waited. At 1:30 pm, the judge came out and explained we had 2 options: a short ceremony (10 minutes) or an express ceremony (10 seconds). Of course, we went the express route.
The Express Ceremony
Standing on the hallway surrounded by other love birds, the judge asked us: “[Matthew/Valeria], do you take [Valeria/Matthew] to be your lawfully wedded [wife/husband]?” We responded “I do”… and that was it!
The $96.50 Budget Wedding
- $67.00 – Marriage license
- $10.50 – Certified license copy (for future social security office, name changing stuff)
- $10.00 – License copy (in my case for green card paperwork)
- $6.00 – Cash-only flat fee parking lot right by the court house
- $3.00 – Cash-only snack store inside the court house
- There was a sign at the door that said “only bills lower than $100.”
- No need for an appointment, first come first serve.
- The court house only offers marriage ceremonies Wednesdays (1:30pm-3pm) and Fridays (1:30pm-4pm.)
- Once the ceremony is over, you go home. The judge will keep the marriage certificate, sign it, and give it back to the Marriage License Department. You will receive what you paid for on the mail within a week or two.