How to Get Married in New Jersey

Three Parts:Planning Your WeddingMaking it PersonalMaking it Legal

Regardless of where you decide to get married, planning a wedding is an exciting and stressful process. And in the beginning, it can seem like an impossible task. But don’t worry – you’re not the first person to go through this and if you plan wisely and take deep breaths, you may find the process to be more enjoyable than you initially expected.

Part 1
Planning Your Wedding

  1. Image titled Get Married in New Jersey Step 01
    Pick a date. Choosing the date of your wedding will be the most important decision you’ll make when getting married. It will affect your venue, your attire and everything in between. Here are some factors to consider when picking a date for a New Jersey wedding.[1]
    • Weather – New Jersey has a moderate climate, with humid summers and cold winters. If you want an outside wedding, choose a date in spring or summer.[2]
    • Holidays – There are pros and cons to getting married around major holidays; your guests have more time off to travel, but the wedding will be much more expensive.
    • Dates that are significant to your relationship – if you and your partner have a special day or lucky number, consider getting married on or around that date.
    • Budget – if you’re working with a smaller budget, consider planning a winter wedding. Sunday and weekday weddings are also much more inexpensive than Friday and Saturday wedding dates.
  2. Image titled Get Married in New Jersey Step 02
    Select an indoor venue. Your venue sets the tone for your big day, so it’s important to select a site that fits your personality, your budget and your needs. Indoor wedding venues are popular because you don’t have to worry about weather, but they book up quickly (often up to a year in advance).[3]
    • If you’re looking for an elegant venue, check out Park Savoy in Morris County.
    • For a unique venue with personality, check out the Liberty Science Center at Liberty State Park.[4]
    • If you’re looking for something inexpensive and intimate, get married by your local county clerk.
  3. Image titled Get Married in New Jersey Step 03
    Select an outdoor venue. Outdoor venues are very popular, especially in the summer, but there are pros and cons to using one. You’ll need to have a backup plan, in case the weather goes sideways, but on the plus side, you’ll be able to save on decorations.
    • For a lakeside ceremony, try Indian Trail Club.[5]
    • For a picturesque outdoor wedding, try the Olde Mill Inn and Grain House in Basking Ridge.[6]
    • For a nautical vibe, check out Mallard Island Yacht Club in Ocean County.
  4. Image titled Get Married in New Jersey Step 04
    Consult a wedding planner. While you can absolutely plan your Jersey wedding yourself, a wedding planner will help connect you with vendors and realize your vision for your wedding day. They’ll also be instrumental in executing your ceremony and reception day-of.[7]
    • Wedding planners cost a lot of money, so check and make sure this expense is important to you before committing to one.
    • Some venues provide their own day-of coordinator, making a wedding planner superfluous.
    • Wedding planners will definitely save you time, but will probably not save you money. Weigh the pros and cons and make a decision that works for you and your partner.
    • The cost of a wedding planner will range, depending on what you are hiring them to do. If you are hiring them to consult, expect to pay between $40-$60 an hour, for a newer planner. For day of coordination, expect to pay around $1,000, depending on the size of your wedding. Full service planning will run you anywhere between $2,000 - $10,000.[8]

Part 2
Making it Personal

  1. Image titled Get Married in New Jersey Step 05
    Choose a caterer. Some venues either provide their own food and beverage or make you choose from a list of pre-approved vendors, but some have no restrictions whatsoever. Narrow down your budget for food and alcohol and then find a vendor that meets your needs.[9]
    • Make sure your caterer has a license and liquor liability insurance (if they’re providing alcohol).
    • Ask for references or get referrals from your friends who have gotten married in New Jersey.
    • If you need to accommodate food allergies and restrictions, make sure your caterer can provide this service.
    • Check out “extra” pricing: will your caterer provide chairs and tables? Cutlery and napkins? Find out exactly what is included in your package and what you are expected to provide independent of your caterer.
  2. Image titled Get Married in New Jersey Step 06
    Plan your wedding décor. If you’re going a more traditional route, you may decide to hire a florist to decorate your venue. If you’re looking to save a little money or infuse your own creativity into the process, you may choose to DIY your décor and spend the cash somewhere else.[10]
    • Substitute white twinkle lights or ribbons for flowers.
    • Use candles and feathers to create your own centerpieces.
    • Choose a theme and use this to inspire your decoration choices. You can base your theme around your location (so if you’re getting married at the Jersey Shore, a nautical theme might be appropriate) or around interests that you and your partner share.
  3. Image titled Get Married in New Jersey Step 07
    Figure out what you’ll wear. Choosing a wedding dress (or suit) is one of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding. You want to pick something you love, that you can afford and that looks and feels great on your body. Look for dresses at local bridal stores in New Jersey, but don’t be afraid to venture outside the state.[11]
    • New York City is easily accessible by New Jersey transit, so if you’re not finding anything locally, hit up the Big Apple for more options.
    • Look online. If you find a dress you love in-state, but it’s too expensive, see if you can locate the same model for cheaper online.
    • Custom order on Etsy. Etsy artisans are incredibly talented and chances are, one of them can build or design you the dress of your dreams.
    • Utilize Pinterest. If you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for, sites like Pinterest make it easy to browse other weddings and get inspired.
    • Don’t rush in to buying a dress. Shop around and wait to find something you absolutely love.

Part 3
Making it Legal

  1. Image titled Get Married in New Jersey Step 08
    Find someone to officiate. In New Jersey, your marriage can be officiated by any of the following people: a judge or magistrate of any kind, a county clerk, a mayor or deputy mayor of a town, a chairman of a township committee, and anyone who has been ordained (including online).[12]
    • If you have a comfortable relationship with a religious figure, consider asking them to marry you.
    • If you have a close friend, ask if they’d like to marry you (after they’ve been ordained online).
    • Ask your already married friends to see if they recommend anyone.
  2. Image titled Get Married in New Jersey Step 09
    Obtain a marriage license. In order for your marriage to be legally recognized, you must first obtain a marriage license from the state of New Jersey. You can get your marriage license by visiting your local registrar and presenting the following documents.[13]
    • A driver’s license, passport or state and/or federal ID.
    • Proof of residency.
    • Your social security card and/or number.
    • A witness who is over the age of 18.
    • Your marriage license application fee, which costs $28.00.
    • There is a 72-hour waiting period in New Jersey, so if you plan to get married on a weekend, you need to get your license by the Tuesday prior.
    • You do not have to be a resident of New Jersey to get married in New Jersey.
  3. Image titled Get Married in New Jersey Step 10
    Change your name (if you want). Not every woman (or man) feels compelled to change their surname after a wedding, but if that’s important to you, you can find the forms online at the New Jersey Judiciary website.[14]
    • Fill out and sign the Verified Complaint form. Make sure to keep a copy of the form for your records.
    • Mail the form, filing fee and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to a New Jersey court. You can also drop the materials off in person.
    • You will receive a hearing date in the mail, along with the name of a local newspaper. Publish your name change hearing date in the newspaper prior to your hearing. Send the court the Affidavit of Publishing to prove you completed the task.
    • Appear in court on your hearing date. Afterwards, publish your final judgment in the newspaper within 20 days and send another Affidavit to the court.
    • Notify the state bureau of vital statistics and treasury department of your name change.


  • Have fun! Planning a wedding is exciting and the process is only as stressful as you allow it to be.

Article Info

Categories: Weddings