How to Get Your Marriage License in Texas

March 2, 2020


close up of adventure eloping couple snuggling at colorado bend state park waterfall with green moss in the background. bride wearing BHLDN convertible wrap dress with blush tone bouquet. Austin TX

Getting Your Marriage License in Texas

So you’re thinking about eloping or getting married in Texas, yay!

Congratulations!! This is such an exciting time. On top of planning a wedding, making sure your marriage is legal, can be a whole nutha can of worms (depending on the state). When people start thinking about eloping in other states or countries, it can become a logistical nightmare.

When considering eloping or having a destination wedding… Many couples choose to just do the legal paperwork in their hometown to avoid this added stress.

States in the U.S. have different laws and requirements about getting married. Luckily, the state of Texas is pretty straight forward!


eloping couple saying vows on river bed near austin texas


Logistics for eloping or getting married in Texas

So, you want to elope in Texas but aren’t sure where to start?

Well have no fear! Lucky for you, it’s pretty easy and I’ll lay it all out for you here.

Marriage License:

You must obtain your marriage license 72 hours prior to getting married.

The marriage license can be obtained from any County Clerk’s office so long as you’re getting married in Texas. Be sure and bring the proper documents & identification required to fill out your application. You can apply in a different Texas county from where you will be married, but you’ll have to return the completed license to the same county where you applied after your ceremony.

The license is good for 90 days before it expires. So be sure to have it signed and returned (to the correct county) in a timely fashion!

Cost vary from county to county, $72-88

Bride & groom portraits. Southwest boho theme wedding with hats.

Who can marry you?

Texas law has a few regulations on who can marry someone legally.

  • A licensed or ordained minister or priest
  • A Jewish rabbi
  • An officer of a religious organization authorized to conduct marriage ceremonies
  • Justices/judges/magistrates/associate judges (current or retired) of:

Many elopement photographers (myself included) are ordained ministers and can perform ceremonies so that way you can keep your wedding just the two of you (and your photographer), that way you don’t have to have a stranger present at your intimate vow reading.

Getting ordained is pretty simple, this is one great example on how you could include someone during your elopement day if you’re wanting to be sure someone has a special job, without it getting out of hands with all the bridesmaids & grooms men!

Couple running down sand dunes in wedding attire at Monahans sandhill state park in Texas. Bright colored florals and unique wedding gown.

What if you’re not from Texas?

No worries! You can still get married in Texas even if you’re from out of state. A Texas marriage license is valid in any other U.S. state. If you’re from another country, again, no worries. We’ve got you covered, y’all 😉

Generally speaking, the procedure is still the same as if you were a Texas citizen. The safest thing to do would be to call ahead of time to the country clerk and let them know your situation about where you’re coming from and make sure you know your options!

Make sure you bring your marriage certificate back home with you so that your marriage will be recognized in your home state/country.

See, how easy was that 😉

joyful bride and groom at grand texana wedding venue in hempstead texas

A final word before you go…

If you’re reading this, you may be in the beginning stages of planning a wedding, or maybe you’re finalizing all the details and this is the last off your list. If you’re the latter, kudos for making it this far. I mean, can we get a slow clap?? Congrats. Planning a wedding can be crazy making.

If you’re in the beginning stages, and are having concerns about the cost of a traditional wedding (U.S. average is $34k *JAW DROP*), the stress involved in planning an event, the sometimes unavoidable family drama, whose feelings you’re going to hurt, how quickly your guest list is growing out of control, did I mention the cost of feeding 100+ people?

Are you thinking “there has got to be another way”?

Best news: there is

Why Eloping is The Best

I believe 100% that eloping is THE absolute best way to get married. My husband and I had a pretty traditional wedding, so believe me when I say, you should totally consider eloping! We spent way too much time, money, & energy for a celebration that only lasted a few (stressful) hours. I have a whole blog post on that here.

Helping couples like you craft the perfect wedding day is such an honor.  Getting to break free from tradition and really explore what’s important to you can be such a breath of fresh air. Having the freedom to do whatever you want is such a gift. When you give yourself permission to do it how you want, the possibilities are endless & the ideas are as unique as your love story.

The two of you love to drink wine? Great! Go say your vows in a beautiful vineyard and celebrate by corking your own “special blend” to enjoy on your anniversary.

Want to include family or friends? Awesome! Do that, but I’d suggest to only invite a *few* (30 max–to keep things intimate). Take it from me, you cannot visit with as many people as you may think you can AND not be feeling stressed about it. There’s simply not enough time for dat. Orrrrrr, make it a weekend celebration so you have more time to visit with everyone! Now, that’s the dream right there.

Many elopement photographers will happily help with suggestions and help with logistics so that you can create your best day ever!

BONUS: I happen to know one you can get in touch with here 🙂

Happy Planning!!




read similar posts:

Best Places to Elope in Texas

Having a Party Instead of a Wedding Reception


Bride & groom wearing hats sharing first kiss in Big Bend National Park