Legally Wed

At the end of the day, marriage is a legal institution. Here are the things you need to know:

Insuring your engagement ring:

You'll need to provide your receipts, as well as an appraisal (which costs a small fee; you can get an appraisal from a certified gemologist). And remember: If you move after the wedding, make sure your "ring rider" follows you. Some couples have the ring insured at the bride's house (or her parents') before the wedding, but forget to add it to the policy for their new home when they move in together.

If you don't have a renters' or homeowners' policy, there is an alternative way to insure your ring: Certain insurance companies offer policies through jewelers on individual pieces -- ask your jeweler if they work with an insurance company to offer ring insurance. These kinds of policies can vary widely company by company (usually a jeweler will offer a policy that's underwritten by smaller company), so ask specific questions about the level of coverage provided.

Questions To Ask Before You Choose a Policy:
* Do I need an appraisal? Will you only accept reports from a certain list of appraisers?
* Does this policy cover theft AND loss? What about damage?
* If the ring is damaged, are there circumstances that could affect how much I receive (i.e., the bride was kitesurfing at the time)?
* How will the company replace the ring -- with a check? Or will they require you to purchase a replacement through a specified jeweler?
* What if it's a vintage ring or other unique piece? How will the quality and size of your diamond -- and that of a replacement if needed -- be documented? How will it be replaced?
* Is the ring insured to full cost or a fraction of it?
* How will you need to prove the ring vanished if you make a claim?
* Are there any circumstances that aren't covered? (What if your ring flies off at the circus and gets trampled by elephants, for example?)
* If my ring is lost or stolen, how will my rates change?
* Is there a deductible? If so, how much is it? How is my deductible related to my rates? (i.e., If I am willing to pay a higher deductible, will that lower my rates?)
* What are the repair policies? Must I go to a certain jeweler? How do I proceed with a repair request?

Average Cost:
The yearly cost to insure your ring is $1 to $2 for every $100 that it would cost to replace. In plain English, if your ring is valued at $10,000, you would pay between $100 and $200 per year to insure it. -- or slightly more in cities where the risk of theft is higher.

Keep in mind: A good policy will cover every potentially ring-threatening situation from theft to damage to accidentally dropping it in the garbage disposal.

Marriage License

First you need to apply for a marriage license. After your wedding, once the license is recorded with the county where you were married, you will receive your marriage certificate.
Time Frame
Don't wait until the last minute to apply for your marriage license. We recommend that you get your marriage license about a month before your scheduled wedding date.
Marriage License Validity
Most marriage licenses are valid for between 30 and 60 days. This means you have a short window of time in which to get married. If you don't have your wedding within the required time frame, you will have to apply for another marriage license.
ID Requirements
If you have a valid driver's license and know your Social Security number, you should be okay.
If you are not a citizen of the country where you want to get married, you should have your birth certificate translated and certified. You should also be able to show your passport.
Residency Requirement
In most locales you don't have to be a resident.
Waiting Period
More and more states in the United States are not requiring a waiting period between obtaining your marriage license and being able to have your wedding ceremony. However, this requirement still exists in some areas.
Fees for a Marriage License
The cost for obtaining a marriage license varies considerably from locale to locale. One thing many areas have in common is that they only accept cash. Some areas will give a discount if you can show evidence that you had premarital education or counseling.


Who is authorized to perform your wedding ceremony varies widely from country to country. Officiants should check the state and country laws before conducting a wedding ceremony.

State and country marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans.

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