Many soon-to-be-married couples hear before their wedding day that they will need to get a blood test for their marriage license. Depending on when engaged couples in Atlanta, GA, eventually tied the knot, that rumor would be true.
However, current Georgia state law does not require future spouses to take a blood test before receiving their marriage license. But, while blood tests before weddings are a thing of the past for those engaged in Atlanta, there is still plenty of paperwork to be filed and planning to be done before people can start applying for marriage licenses.
Why Were Blood Tests Required?
The “blood test for marriage license” rule came into existence to slow the spread of syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease that saw spiking rates in the 1930s.
The goal of the blood tests was to check for syphilis within engaged couples and detect it before one party could transmit it to the other. By 1944, over half of the country had adopted laws that required blood testing before couples could get a marriage license.
As the years progressed, blood testing before marriage stuck around, but for a slightly different purpose. States began using premarital blood tests to detect harmful diseases other than syphilis, such as rubella and tuberculosis. However, many people started getting screened of their own accord as awareness of these diseases advanced, and one by one, states began to drop the blood test requirement.
Are Blood Tests Still Required In Other States?
The biggest reason states began removing blood test requirements before allowing couples to receive a marriage license is that the tests were not yielding many results.
However, the screening process is still helpful for those who don’t make regular doctor visits, which has led to a handful of states keeping some versions of the original laws intact.
Should I Get A Blood Test Before My Wedding Anyway?
While Georgia state law no longer requires that you get blood tests before receiving your marriage license, there are still benefits to doing so.
Getting screened for any lingering diseases could preserve the health and safety of you and your partner. However, this is a personal decision entirely up to the engaged couple in Georgia.
What Will I Need To Get My Marriage License?
Even without blood test requirements, there are a handful of steps future spouses will need to take before they get their marriage license.
While your marriage ceremony can be a beautiful day for both you and your partner, you will likely need to make at least one less-glamorous visit to a Georgia probate court to reach that day. You can apply for and receive your marriage license there, as long as at least one party in the engaged couple is a legal resident of Georgia.
If neither you nor your partner lives in Georgia, you can still receive a marriage license in the state. However, you will need to apply for it in the county where you’re holding your wedding ceremony.
In some states, there is an expiration date for how long the license is valid, as well as a waiting period for how long you will need the license in your possession before you can legally get married. That expiration date can be as short as 30 days, and the waiting period as long as three days, depending on your residency. However, Georgia has no such requirements.
What About My Marriage Certificate?
Filing for a marriage certificate is similar to applying for a license. All you will need to do is apply at the county clerk’s office, and your city official will mail you a copy of your certificate a week or two after your wedding.
If you feel overwhelmed by the clerical details of wedding planning, City Hall Weddings offers marriage licensing assistance in Atlanta to help you navigate the paperwork and get straight to the fun part: your marriage ceremony.
What Else Will I Need To Get Married?
There is a reason that most weddings take months, even years, to plan. In addition to organizing the marriage ceremony down to every last detail, there are many steps you will need to take and items you will need to ensure you get the proper paperwork and have your wedding ready for the big day.
The two most essential requirements for receiving a marriage license are the presence of you and your partner along with proper government identification.
A driver’s license, state ID, or any other form of identification that proves you are a citizen of Georgia will allow you to get a wedding license from the state’s probate court.
It’s no secret that extravagant weddings can cost couples a fair deal of money. However, a handful of those fees come from applying for marriage licenses.
There are costs attached to applying for your marriage license and the license itself. However, the price of these fees will depend on whether or not you enroll in premarital education.
Optional premarital education
Premarital education, or premarital counseling, teaches engaged couples the best ways to stay happy throughout their marriage. If future spouses attend premarital counseling together, Georgia will reduce their marriage license fees from $56 to $16.
A worthy venue
The perfect wedding day starts with the perfect venue. While there are many locations to choose from, your local city hall can make for an elegant and tasteful wedding that is more affordable than most other venues.
Make It A Day To Remember With Help From City Hall Wedding
Even without needing a blood test for a marriage license, all of the required steps leading up to a wedding can feel daunting. But your wedding day should be one of your happiest life moments, not one filled with stress in every step.
City Hall Wedding can help you through every bit of the wedding planning process, from the beginner’s guide to getting married to advanced advice on making it a day to remember.
Contact City Hall Wedding to get started planning your marriage today.