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Forum staff reports, Published July 27 2013

Minnesota marriages rest on more than 'I do'

There are no magic phrases, like “I do” or “I now pronounce you,” required to make a marriage legal in Minnesota. A state-recognized marriage hinges on two pieces of paper – the marriage license and the certificate.

A couple may apply for a marriage license in any county. A marriage license costs $115, unless the couple completes at least 12 hours of pre-marital education. There’s a five-day waiting period before marriage licenses become valid. The marriage must take place within the geographical borders of Minnesota.

Parties wishing to be married must declare so in the presence of an authorized officiant and two witnesses. The person performing the marriage prepares a marriage certificate with signatures from their witnesses. The certificate is submitted to the county in which the marriage license was issued to make it official.

The rest of the ceremony is up for the couple to decide based on their beliefs.