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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Self Solemnization in Colorado: Pros and Cons?

We are a Colorado couple getting married in September of this year and are considering self-solemnizing. We are a non-religious couple (so religious ceremony is no issue for us), and would like for my uncle to "officiate" our ceremony. I also don't want to ask my Uncle to become ordained so as not to infringe on his personal religious beliefs . We have no qualms about completing the entire form right there at the courthouse and then bringing a framed copy to display at the wedding (Being married before the "marriage" is not an issue either.) I learned that if we were to move to another state our marriage would still be valid.

All good, right? Well, I am concerned that we may run into insurance complications if we ever moved out of state. I am also wary of any other unforseen issues. 

Has anyone run into any problems having a self solemnized license in Colorado, particularly if you've then moved out of state? Would a certified copy be all we would need in case problems arise?

Thanks!

Re: Self Solemnization in Colorado: Pros and Cons?

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    As long as CO gives you a marriage license it doesn't matter.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited April 2014
    "Couples themselves may solemnize their own marriage (C.R.S 14-2-109) in Colorado. They must apply for paper work from the County Courthouse in order to do this. However, friends or relatives cannot solemnize their marriage."

    This is taken from a website on Colorado marriage law.  If you complete your paperwork at the courthouse, you have just had your wedding..  A ceremony with your uncle officiating is a PPD, and has no validity.  You can pick up the paperwork and declare your marriage in front of your guests, and THEN turn in the paperwork, and this would be your wedding.  Your uncle may not officiate, though.  He can witness.

    Once your paperwork is filed with the county clerk, your marriage is valid in any state.
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  • We had a self-uniting marriage in PA (that's what we call it here) and it was AWESOME. We didn't have anyone lead our ceremony, but you can think of your uncle as an MC instead of an officiant. We signed our license after our ceremony, just like we would have if we'd had an officiant.

    While PA and CO are the only states that allow marriages without an officiant, those marriages are valid in all 50 states.
  • If you're going to self-solemnize, you need to do that at your ceremony. Putting on a play of a wedding when you're already married is lame.
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  • I'm not sure if what you want to do is similar to common law spouse. I know many states are getting rid of recognizing common law marriages. My question is, when you file your Federal taxes will you be able to file as "married". My bigger concern is this type of union legally recognized in other states, say in the event your spouse ends up in the hospital and it's one of those situations where only a spouse can see the patient or talk to the doctor, would this be an issue. Or when the time comes, and one of you passes (not trying to be morbid, but we all will eventually die) would this type of union be recognized in any state so that you would be recognized as the surviving spouse to be able to collect any death benefits? If there are questions about that, then you may want to consider a non religious Justice of the Peace ceremony.

  • I had a self-united marriage in PA as well-and we live in NY. There haven't been any legal issues in any other state. We had various friends/family members "lead" our ceremony, we just pronounced ourselves married at the end. You can have your uncle MC the ceremony without him being the officiant. 

    BUT I would do your self-solemnization at your wedding, not at the courthouse. Your wedding guests deserve to see you actually get married. 

    And @Erikan73 this is not the same as a common law spouse. I have a marriage license, just like any couple who had an officiant. 
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  • @Erikan73, self-solemnized or self-united marriages are simply regular marriages where the couple marries themselves without an officiant. They aren't related to common law marriages and they are legally valid (although only available in Colorado and Pennsylvania).
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    emmyg65 said:
    @Erikan73, self-solemnized or self-united marriages are simply regular marriages where the couple marries themselves without an officiant. They aren't related to common law marriages and they are legally valid (although only available in Colorado and Pennsylvania).

    Thank you for the explanation @emmyg65
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