How Get Your Marriage License in SC While the Probate Courts are Closed

Get Your SC Marriage License During Court Shutdown

lexington county probate coourt

Its a terrible time right now isn’t it? Social distancing, virus scares, layoffs, even toilet paper shortages. But even so, some couples still want (or need) to get married! Nothing stands in the way of true love I guess. Problem was you had to apply in person at the probate court, but the courts are closed and if they are closed that means no marriage license. Lucky for everyone though that Lexington County Probate Court has found a way to solve this problem, at least for the short term during the coronavirus (COVID-19) scare. Now, you can apply by mail and the court will mail you a license. And no, you DO NOT have to be a resident of Lexington County or even Sout Carolina. You can get your license from them and use it anywhere in South Carolina (but only in SC, not out of state).

How does it work? Go to this link here and download the marriage license application. It is a pdf file. Print it out.

  1.  Complete the application.
  2. Include copies of both applicant’s Social Security cards (if you don’t have a SS card then any official document that has the name and SS number on it).
  3. Include a copy of each applicants government issued picture ID.
  4. Cash, check, or money order for $30.00
  5. Indicate on the application which address you want the marriage license mailed to from the court.
  6. Sign the application in front of a notary.
  7. Mail the completed application, the documents, and the fee to;

LEXINGTON COUNTY PROBATE COURT
205 E. MAIN STREET, SUITE 134
LEXINGTON, SC 29072

And right now, the Marriage Notary is running a special to assist the court. Normally our basic fee for a small, simple ceremony is $75. But during this crisis,

  • We will meet with you and notarize the signatures on the application for you
  • After you receive your marriage license back from the court, we will meet with you again and sign the copies of the license
  • One of the copies you keep as your original certificate of marriage and we will file the other two copies with the court

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 803-446-3405

Good luck!

 

Your Wedding and the Coronavirus

7 Steps to Protect Your Wedding from the COVID-19 Virus

coronavirus and your wedding

A hot topic in the news today is the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In regards to your wedding ceremony, yes, you should be concerned. That doesn’t mean you should cancel your wedding, only that you should take adequate precautions against infection How to go about that? Eric Hunt a wedding officiant in Myrtle Beach, SC has a great post on his blog about this very subject.

“The Coronavirus (COVID-19), has certainly caused a lot of disruption all over the world in recent weeks and for couples whose wedding day is near it can definitely add a new level to pre-wedding stress. While we should all be taking precautions and use good ole’ common sense (WASH YOUR HANDS) when it comes to these types of threats, the Coronavirus does not have to be the end to your perfect wedding day. Below, I have compiled a few thoughts and ideas as this virus relates to the wedding day. ”

Eric follows up with 7 steps you can take to protect you and your guests from contracting COVID-19. You should definitely check out the complete article.

Read and enjoy. You can read his post here.

Inexpensive Wedding Bands

Etsy logo

Many couples are looking to save money on their wedding. One way to do that is to not spend a fortune right away on your wedding bands. Fancy, expensive diamonds might need to wait a couple of years, or, you just might not be into expensive.

A good source for inexpensive wedding bands is Etsy. You can order them online and have them shipped right to you. If you don’t know your size, visit a jewelry store and have them size you as you peruse their selections. Then go home and visit the Etsy site. Not only will you know your exact ring size, but after seeing the prices in the jewelry store you will be super happy at having saved so much money!

Visit Etsy here for wedding bands!

 

Example Budget Wedding for Under $1,000

wedding officiant sumter sc
Photo Courtesy Northern Red Photography

Last year I had the pleasure to perform the wedding ceremony for Georgia and Nathan. Today I came across a blog post about their wedding on the blog Budget Savvy Bride. A great read if you are thinking about organizing a simple wedding. Visit here to read the blog post and take a look at all the pictures.

An added note. I have officiated several weddings where Northern Red was the photographer and I can tell you she does a great job!

After the Marriage Ceremony

Completed Marriage License

So, your wedding ceremony is over, you have signed your marriage license. What happens next?

completed south carolina marriage license
Completed South Carolina Marriage License

South Carolina is different from every other state in the US. In every other state, the license is signed and returned to the court. The court then issues a certificate of marriage. In South Carolina, your marriage license becomes your Certificate of Marriage. There are 3 copies of the license, all of which you signed, and one of them is yours to keep and take with you. It already has the court seal imprinted on it, the judges signature, and the officiants signature and information.

You will not receive anything else from the court.

Your marriage officiant is responsible for returning the other two completed copies to the probate court. He or she has 15 days to do so, but in my case I send them in immediately.

If you need a certified copy of your marriage certificate (like the one pictured above) for whatever reason, you can get one from the court that issued the license for a small fee.

 

Wedding Unity Candle Ceremony

The Unity Candle

unity candle ceremony bride and groom

One question I often get asked by people planning their marriage ceremony, is how can they “make their wedding ceremony special”?

One way to do that is by having a unity candle ceremony as part of your wedding. The unity candle ceremony is a very simple way to reinforce the meanings of your vows. It can also be  away to involve your family members, by having a different family member each light their own small candle and contribute to the group lighting of the larger unity candle. I have seen where its just the groom and bride light the candle, the mothers of the groom and bride light the unity candle, or the parents of the bride and groom light the candle.

If there are children from a previous marriage in by either of both of the bride and groom, then having the children join with the bride and groom in the lighting of the candle is a great way to enhance family unity and show everyone’s love.

unity candle ceremony family

The only drawback to the unity candle ceremony is that it can be difficult to perform in an out of doors setting. Often the wind does not cooperate and the candles get blown out.

Here is a sample Unity Candle Ceremony. If it is a secular wedding then the religious references can be removed.

Unity Candle Ceremony

Now we shall celebrate this union as it is symbolized through the lighting of the unity candle.

______and ________ please light the two taper candles. These candles represent your individual spirits, your individual connections with God, all that you are and, all that you have been, and all that you will become. ​

The center candle represents your relationship. It is the symbol of your marriage, the symbol of the joining of 2 spirits, 2 lives, 2 souls. Now you will take the tapers and light the center candle. As you do so, keep in mind the pledge you made to each other today. It is the pledge of the truth and purity of your every breath. The constant friendship of your hearts. The passion and fire of your spirits and the deepest love your souls have to give. It is the pledge of all that is within you. The only true pledge that one heart can offer to another.

You are now as husband/wife/spouse and husband/wife/spouse offering yourselves, and all that has come to pass unto each other, towards the creation of your future, and to all that is yet to come. The candle of your marriage shall burn brightly, but the 2 tapers of yourselves are not diminished. You do not disappear in marriage. You remain you. But in joining, both lights are brighter, each supports the other and miracles can happen. True Love shines brightly and today is but a beautiful beginning of the miracles to come.

What to do before you agree to participate in a wedding

So, you have been asked to be in a wedding?

Being asked to participate in a friends or relatives wedding can be a great honor. It can be fun. But it can also be very expensive. Here are some questions to ask BEFORE you agree to participate…

  • Do not say yes about the tux or dress until you talk costs
  • Do NOT go into debt
  • If the costs are getting out of hand, SPEAK UP!
  • Don’t agree to be in the wedding if it will be too much for you. Remember, it is also an honor to just be a guest.

The Washington Post has a recent article on this very subject. Go here to check it out.

Christmas is the Season to: Get Engaged

So you are going to get married

Christmas Day is usually the number one day of the year for couples to get engaged (followed by Valentine’s Day and Christmas Eve) according to Wedding Wire. The next big step after getting engaged is planning the wedding and the first step in that regard is when and how much?

marriage engagement

The Knot does an annual wedding-cost survey and  last year, the average cost of a wedding was $33,391. And that does NOT include the honeymoon.

How much should YOU spend on your wedding? The Washington Post just today published a great article on just this subject. Their advice? Do what you can afford.

Check out the article at the Washington Post for some great advice on how much to spend on your wedding.

My advice? Do not spend more than $5000. You can have a memorable wedding on that budget and I have officiated many wonderful weddings that cost even less than that.