How we did it: The details

Photo courtesy Rebecca D’Angelo Photography

Back in the day, getting hitched was as simple as jumping over a broom. These days, there's a bit more too it: Forms to fill out and file, officiants to procure, rings to buy. The good news is that, despite the legalese involved, the actual process in the eyes of the law requires little more than a trip into the Buncombe County Courthouse.

Interesting fact: Buncombe County Marriage records are on file, dating back to 1891, at the Register of Deeds (first floor, room 110). If you're not interested in historical research, you can simply purchase marriage license and certificates of marriage in this office. No appointments are necessary; hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (though both parties must be present by 4 p.m. to complete the paperwork).

Couples where both people are over 21 have it easiest: As long as both are currently single, they simply need their drivers' licenses and social security cards (or a legal document with the social security number). Those under age 21 will need a birth certificate as well; those under 18 must bring parents to sign for them.

Getting the marriage certificate requires filling out a form at a computer in the Register of Deeds office, or online before hand at

Worth noting: If you have been married before, you need to supply the date of a divorce or a spouse's death. No physical or blood test is needed; the only thing administered will be an oath. A marriage license now costs $60 (make your check out to Register of Deeds or Cash) and is valid for 60 days. The ceremony must be performed by a an ordained minister; the minister does not have to be local. If you've not planned for a ceremony, a magistrate is available on the 10th floor of the court house.

To finalize the process, return the signed license to the Register of Deeds where it will be filed. A copy of the Marriage Certificate costs $10. Get extra copies so you can show them to the DMV and Social Security Office should you need to make relevant name changes. Online help is available for Social Security name changes at


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