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New Hampshire Wedding Planning Advice

Getting Married in New Hampshire? Whether you are a long time resident of NH or your parents live here or you just love the state, congratulations on your choice to have your wedding in NH! There are many great services here in the state that can assist you with your NH wedding. There are also beautiful places both inside and outside to have your wedding and your wedding reception.

Weather & Your NH Wedding

The first things you need to know about NH is the weather.  If you have lived here in NH for any length of time then you probably have heard the old saying “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”  If you don’t have a clue what that means, let me explain it.  NH weather changes fast and unexpectedly sometimes.  You can wake up one morning with warm sunny skies and by lunchtime it is cold and raining.  Or one day it is cloudy and in the 40’s and when you wake up the next morning there is a foot of snow on the ground. So you want to take NH weather into consideration when making your plans.

If you insist on an outdoor wedding, don’t let NH’s unpredictable weather foil your plans.  It is crucial that you rent a tent in case of rain or even snow.  If you are having a winter wedding and you have guests coming from out of town, you may suggest to them that they come in a day or 2 early to avoid any delays or cancellations.

For an idea on average temperatures see our list of New Hampshire's average temperatures by each month.

NH Wedding Requirements

Requirements for getting married in the state of NH can be confusing for some. New Hampshire doesn’t have many requirements to get married but there are a few things you need to know. First, you will need a NH marriage license.  You will give that to the person who is performing your marriage so you will want to get that right away and keep it in a safe place. You cannot get married without it. You must purchase the license within 90 days of your wedding from your local town hall.

If both the bride and groom live in the state, you may go to any NH town clerk’s office.  Most of the time you will apply at the town clerk’s office in either the town the bride or groom lives in.  If only one of you is a NH resident, you must buy the NH marriage license in the town the NH resident lives.  If nether the bride or groom is a resident of New Hampshire, they must apply in the town they are getting married in. The cost is $45 to get a NH marriage license. You and your partner both must go to the town clerk’s office with either a driver’s license or birth certificate and fill out a NH marriage license application.  If one or both of you has been married before, you must provide a certified copy of the final divorce decree.  If you or both of you are a widow or widower, you will need your spouse’s certified death record. There is a 3 day waiting period between the time you apply for your marriage license and the time you get married.  As a rule of thumb, you should apply for a NH marriage license at least three weeks before your wedding date.

You must be at least 18 years of age to get married in the state of NH. In the state of NH, you can legally get married by a judge, Supreme Court justice, assistant judge, justice of the peace, rabbi, minister or priest if they reside in the state of NH as well. You can have a priest, rabbi or minister from another state officiate at your wedding but only of they apply for a special license from the Secretary of State in Concord. NH Law does not require any witnesses to be present in order for your wedding to take place.

After you get your NH marriage license, you only have 90 days in which to use it or it will expire. A blood test is not needed in the state of NH.


NH Marriage License

Before you wedding starts, you must present the person marrying you with your NH marriage license.  After the wedding ceremony is complete, the person who performed the ceremony will complete the sections concerning the date, place, officiator info and then they will sign the license.  The officiator will then take the license to the same NH town clerk’s office where it was issued. They have 6 days to do this.  The town clerk will then register the NH marriage license and it will be ready for you to pickup within seven days of the wedding date. The registered version of the Marriage license will be embossed with the town or state seal.  The cost is $12.


NH Civil Unions

Beginning on 12-01-09, civil unions were available to same sex couples. A civil union does not have any residency requirements. Civil union couples will need a NH marriage license but there is no waiting period. Both parties must be present to get a license and the cost is $45. Both parties must provide info such as names, town of residence, place and dates of birth, social security numbers, and name and parents place of birth.  If previously married, you will also need to provide the dates of divorce or spouses death. The marriage can be performed by the same list of people performing a wedding.


Wedding Guests

If you're having out of town guests coming in for your NH wedding, you need to plan ahead.  The state has a wonderful selection of NH B&B’s, inns, resorts and NH hotels.  Make sure you have a list printed out for your out of town guests with places to stay. There are lots of things to do in NH for your guests to do in between wedding events such as fishing, hiking, biking, fairs, festivals, boating, antiquing, whale watching, water-skiing, skiing, shopping and sleigh rides.  Give your guests a list of things they can do in the area along with directions.  Or you can head to your local chamber of commerce and pick up some brochures of local attractions.


Good luck with your New Hampshire wedding planning and your marriage! Life is a journey....


But if Things Don't Work Out...

Unfortunately not all marriages work out. If you find your marriage starting to fail its always best to do what you can to re-light the fire you once had. Try different things like a "Date Night" and be committed to fixing your marriage. You can also try marriage counseling to see if a couneling canidentify the issues in your marriage and offer advice for you and your spouse.

Worst case you marriage ends in divorce. If you find yourself in this position try to keep things calm but also seek the advice of a divorce attorney like Ian Reardon. Ian has offices in Portsmouth and Jackson NH. Its always best to seek the advice of a lawyer just to keep yourself out of trouble. Divorce attorneys can assist you with negotiations or provide full services if your case ends up in court. But wehatever you do, don't go it alone!






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