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Marriage License

(My fiance isn't in the military, but we're in a long-distance relationship, so this board was the most relevant. Sorry about that.)

My fiance is Japanese living in Japan, and I live in the US. We're going to have our wedding ceremony next year in California, but we want to sign the marriage license in Japan.

Does anyone know if there are there any laws in the US or California that state that a marriage license has to be signed in order to have a wedding ceremony? My fiance and I don't plan on signing the marriage license until after the wedding when I move to Japan with him.
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Re: Marriage License

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    Beachy730Beachy730 member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_military-brides_marriage-license-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:13Discussion:441b0bc5-b778-4f71-9f9c-18fc7ef8c0d1Post:4b2b1fc6-d6ce-408b-8288-dd3249024ba5">Marriage License</a>:
    [QUOTE](My fiance isn't in the military, but we're in a long-distance relationship, so this board was the most relevant. Sorry about that.) My fiance is Japanese living in Japan, and I live in the US. We're going to have our wedding ceremony next year in California, but we want to sign the marriage license in Japan. Does anyone know if there are there any laws in the US or California that state that a marriage license has to be signed in order to have a wedding ceremony? My fiance and I don't plan on signing the marriage license until after the wedding when I move to Japan with him.
    Posted by herinapotter[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>So, you basically just want to do a fake wedding, where you won't get married until after that?  Can I ask why you want to wait to sign the marriage license in Japan?</div><div>
    </div><div>What kind of ceremony are you trying to have?  If you're planning on doing a church ceremony, I highly doubt you'll find anyone that will marry you without a license.  But you might be able to just find a friend or someone who will perform a committment ceremony or something where you just committ to spending your lives together, without the license.  </div><div>
    </div><div>Are you planning on letting your guests know that they aren't seeing the real marriage?  What about just doing a big going away/we're getting married party, with no ceremony?</div><div>
    </div>
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    IrishcurlsIrishcurls member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_military-brides_marriage-license-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:13Discussion:441b0bc5-b778-4f71-9f9c-18fc7ef8c0d1Post:4b2b1fc6-d6ce-408b-8288-dd3249024ba5">Marriage License</a>:
    [QUOTE](My fiance isn't in the military, but we're in a long-distance relationship, so this board was the most relevant. Sorry about that.) My fiance is Japanese living in Japan, and I live in the US. We're going to have our wedding ceremony next year in California, but we want to sign the marriage license in Japan. Does anyone know if there <strong>are there any laws in the US or California that state that a marriage license has to be signed in order to have a wedding ceremony? </strong>My fiance and I don't plan on signing the marriage license until after the wedding when I move to Japan with him.
    Posted by herinapotter[/QUOTE]
    All of them? There is really no legal wedding without the license. I'm with beach, you could have a friend do a commitment ceremony, but no church or JOP will let you leave without signing the license to be filed and certified. You would have to get a license in Japan (I think?) and exchange vows/consent before someone there to sign it there. Definitely start asking questions before you make any decisions. 
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    LetsHikeTodayLetsHikeToday member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We had a JOP come to marry us and we had to sign the license with her as a witness.

    I highly doubt you will be able to not sign your marriage license.

    I'm with beach- why is it so important to you to sign it in Japan? Is it because Japan is important to him? If so, could you get married in the US and then have just the two of you do a Japanese wedding tradition when you move there?
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    Victoria2013Victoria2013 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Okay H and I are both stationed in Japan.  We got "married" off base, I know saying it like that will make a lot of women angery but in Japan they don't do it like in America.  Off base they do not exchange vows or anything of the sort.  The witnesses signed before you go to city hall, then at city hall they ask for your idenification and then you sign the papers.  Three days later you get your marriage certificate (which by the way is incredible).  But that is it.  I have heard, but haven't had a chance to do the research, that some states will not take this as a legal form of marriage.  But that can all vary state to state.  

    So basically I think you might need two marriage certificates depending on what exactly you are trying to do.  Are you going to do a traditional Japanese wedding as well?  
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    IrishcurlsIrishcurls member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    But Victoria's case doesn't apply here, if you want to get married in the US, take that license to Japan, and have it signed there? That still doesn't make sense to me, but basically you still need to be legally married in the US, or legally married in Japan. 
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