A civil or court wedding is perfectly legal in Minnesota and confers
all the same rights to the married couple as that of a church wedding.
"Marriage is a civil contract requiring the consent of both parties.
It is necessary to obtain a marriage license and have the marriage
"No particular form of ceremony is required to solemnize a marriage.
The law requires that the woman and man declare that they take each
other as wife and husband. This declaration must take place in the
presence of a person authorized to solemnize a marriage and two
attending witnesses. There are alternative provisions for
solemnization for certain faiths."
Common Law Marriages
"Minnesota does not recognize marriages which do not comply with the
requirements of Minnesota Law. Minnesota does recognize marriages
which were legal in the place they were contracted except in cases
where the marriage is between two persons of the same sex."
What is a civil or court wedding?
A civil marriage ceremony is a legal marriage ceremony outside of any
religion performed by a Minnesota Court Administrator or a Minnesota
What do I need to obtain a marriage license?
Contact the county where you wish to purchase your license to
determine the requirements. The requirements are similar in all
How to apply for a marriage license in Hennepin County:
Contact (includes map)
Hennepin County Government Center (Downtown)
300 South 6th Street - Public Service Level
Minneapolis, MN 55487
Open Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
517.01 Marriage a civil contract.
"Marriage, so far as its validity in law is concerned, is a civil
contract between a man and a woman, to which the consent of the
parties, capable in law of contracting, is essential. Lawful marriage
may be contracted only between persons of the opposite sex and only
when a license has been obtained as provided by law and when the
marriage is contracted in the presence of two witnesses and solemnized
by one authorized, or whom one or both of the parties in good faith
believe to be authorized, so to do."
Minnesota Statutes Marriage Law Links:
Can a couple become legally married by living together as man and wife
under minnesota?s laws?
[Note: a couple legally married at common law in another state is
regarded as married in all states.]
"In order for a marriage to be valid in Minnesota, the parties must
obtain a license and certificate, and the marriage must be contracted
in the presence of two witnesses and someone authorized to solemnize
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