Wisconsin Genealogy Resources:
WI State Vital Statistics office
More On Wisconsin Marriage Records and You
When taking stock of the important days in your life, one of the first days that may come to mind is the day each of your children were born. Closely following those days, however, is your wedding day. While many people spend a fortune to go to things like proms, it is your wedding day that tends to be considerably more memorable, mainly because you are vowing to spend your life loving the one you're marrying and in front of a large gathering.
When you get married, there are a number of things to take care of. You'll need to select a dress and arrange for ushers and attendants. You'll have to select and arrange the ceremony with the person who will officiate the wedding. You'll have to rent a reception hall and get it ready for guests. You'll need entertainment and someone to document the entire occasion photographically. Most importantly, you'll need to obtain a marriage license.
Before the 1200's marriage licenses weren't required. In fact, back then a couple could just decide to be together and say they were married with no means of proving it one way or the other. Laws were enacted, though. First, a couple had to have the banns read before you could be married. Banns were a way of the church making sure that you were not currently married and that there was no one who objected to the marriage. They had to be read in front of the congregation for a number of weeks before the couple could legally be wed. Then, in the 1400's, licenses were created, and deemed legally necessary in order to wed. This statute continues today; without a marriage license, you are not legally allowed to be married. It is important that you make sure to have a marriage license at the outset of your planning and preparation.
Marriage licenses were primarily deemed necessary as a means of proof of marriage, but also as insurance that each member of the couple were of acceptable age and that each was entering into the marriage of their own volition.
Getting Marriage Records
In whatever state you plan to be married in, you must get a marriage license specific to it. For example, if you're married in Wisconsin, you will need to have a marriage license issued by Wisconsin. The license is a form to fill out prior to and after the wedding ceremony. State marriage records are what the license transforms into after you send the record in to the proper authorities. It means that you are legally married.
Documentation like Wisconsin marriage records are vital to people that research their family histories. It's also good to know that you can find Wisconsin marriage records online and for free, as long as you find the right site. These records are the perfect way to fill in the missing branches of your family tree and are also great for finding missing people as well.
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