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The Essential Guide To Getting Married In Montana [Updated 2024] | How To Plan A Wedding In Montana

Last updated on February 13th, 2024 at 06:59 pm

The Essential Guide To Getting Married In Montana | How To Plan A Wedding In Montana

Introduction – Getting Married in Montana

There’s no place like Montana to get married! As a Montana Wedding photographer, I have had the privilege to photograph weddings all over the state and have seen couples run into some of the same hang-ups. These essential tips will help ensure that your special day goes off without a hitch!

 Whether you are looking for a simple ceremony or an extravagant affair with all the bells and whistles, we’ve got everything you need to plan a wedding in Montana

Couple Kissing With Mountains In The Background | Plan A Wedding In Montana

Montana marriage license requirements – Montana Wedding Laws

It should go without saying, if you are getting married in Montana, you will need a wedding license. This document signifies your marriage as a legal union.

In Montana, marriage license requirements are pretty straightforward. You’ll need to apply in person, be at least 18 years old, and have proof of age, identification, and residency.

In order to get a Montana marriage license, you must apply at the county clerk’s office in the county where either you or your partner resides. 


Feel at peace knowing your most important memories are being captured.


What Do You Need to get married in Montana? – Montana Marriage License Requirements

  • $53 Cash, Visa, or Mastercard (There is a $2.33 processing fee for cards) – ** Not every county will accept a credit card. Check with your county clerk’s office to be sure!**
  • Valid picture identification (driver’s license, passport)
  • Birth Information including City, County, State or Foreign Country
  • Social Security Number
  • Fathers’ first, middle, and last name, current residence, and birth state
  • Mothers’ first, middle, and maiden name, current residence, and birth state.
  • Any information regarding previous marriages including date, county, and state of dissolution or death of a spouse
  • Must be at least 18 years of age OR:
    • Parental Consent–Parents or legal guardians must sign Marriage Application and the signatures must be notarized.
    • Counseling–Proof of two counseling sessions, not less than ten days apart.
    • Judicial Approval–A District Court Judge must approve and sign the Marriage Application. The Judge may require a conference with applicants and guardian(s).
  • You will need Two witnesses, of no specific age present at your marriage ceremony to sign the marriage license thereafter.
  • The license will expire after 180 days, so be sure not to get it too early!
Groom Signing A Marriage License In Montana

The Rubella Blood Test – Do you need it to get married in Montana?

Historically this test was needed to get married in Montana, but it is no longer required. This blood test was outlawed in 2019. The reason is that it was an antiquated test from the ‘40s with no real need in modern times. Up til 2019, you could sign a waiver, but now a waiver is not needed.

Enjoy your wedding day fully immersed in all its joy and beauty.

Officiant laws in Montana – Who can marry you in Montana?

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One little-known fact about getting married in Montana is that a wedding officiant is not required to register with any government office prior to your ceremony. You may be wondering, does this mean that anyone can perform your ceremony? The answer is yes, anyone can marry you. Even you… 

This is known as self-solemnization.  For more info check out the following resource.

https://marriagelicense.io/us/montana

Where to get married in Montana? – Plan a wedding in Montana.

Now that you know the legal requirements around marriage, It’s time to get on to the fun stuff! The next step to planning a wedding in Montana is to figure out where you want to get married. As you begin to look at venues. A big thing you will want to consider is the size of your wedding. There are tons of great options throughout the state, for any size of wedding!

If I were to recommend one location, I would have to recommend Bozeman. It is close to Yellowstone, filled with stunning scenery, and offers a wide array of dining and lodging choices. For more info on planning a wedding in Bozeman, check out our complete Bozeman Wedding Planning Guide.

Favorite Wedding Venues Around Montana – Bozeman

Couple Standing In Front Of The Round Barn At Twin Bridges Wedding Venue In Montana

Firelight Farm

Located minutes from downtown this historic venue exudes rustic charm while offering modern amenities to you and your guests for an authentic Big Sky experience. 

Learn more on our Firelight Farm Page

The Woodlands

As the name suggests, this wooded venue offers you the chance to escape to nature for the day and surround yourself with the beauty that this area is so well known for.

You can Learn more on our Woodlands Page.

The Baxter Hotel

When you think of Bozeman, The Baxter Hotel is one of the first things that comes to mind. This was the first venue I photographed in Bozeman when I was starting out and it is still one of my all-time favorites! Check out the Baxter Page to learn more!

Favorite Wedding Venues Around Montana – Missoula

If you are looking to get married in the Missoula area these are some of our favorite spots! We have also compiled a list of our favorite venues in Missoula. Click the button below to check it out.

The White Raven

Located 25 minutes from downtown Missoula this unforgettable venue is nestled in between stony cliffs and forests. It offers a great mix of modern and rustic. This venue has multiple ceremony locations, so you can be sure your wedding will go off without a hitch no matter the weather, giving you peace of mind as you plan a wedding in Montana.

Ten Spoon Vineyard & Winery

Looking for a unique venue in Montana? Check out Ten Spoon Vineyard & Winery. The lush greenery is the perfect backdrop for any wedding!

The Barn on Mullan

The Barn on Mullan is a rustic, chich venue located in Missoula. This venue is perfect for any ceremony, reception, or rehearsal dinner. If you are looking for a barn venue, then look no further.

See Some of the Best Venues throughout Montana

Best Wedding Vendors to Help Plan a Wedding in Montana

Want to know the secret to a stress-free, awesome wedding? Get the right vendor team! This is one of the most important parts of planning a wedding in Montana. The following are some of my favorite vendors in some of Montana’s major cities.

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The Best Wedding Vendors in Bozeman

WEDDING FLORAL DESIGN – Bozeman

WEDDING PLANNERS – Bozeman

WEDDING RENTALS – Bozeman

Montana Party Rental

Gallatin Event Rental

Hair and Make-up Artist – Bozeman

Catering -Bozeman

DJ’s – Bozeman

Videography – Bozeman

Best Wedding Vendors in Missoula

WEDDING FLORAL DESIGN

WEDDING PLANNERS

WEDDING RENTALS

HAIR AND MAKEUP ARTISTS – Missoula

Catering – Missoula

DJ’s – Missoula

Videography

Traveling for your Montana Wedding

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Being such a beautiful location, Montana is often a destination wedding spot. According to the Wedding Report, in my hometown of Bozeman, 47% of weddings are destination weddings. Here is what you need to know when planning travel for your wedding.

Montana is a Big state. For example, if you wanted to see both Yellowstone and Glacier National park, you would be subject to an 8-hour drive (441 miles). This is why it is essential to nail down the places you want to see during your trip, especially if you have a limited amount of time I have broken this next section into some of the best cities to have a wedding in Montana, fun things to do while you are there, and some great options for lodging.

Traveling for your Wedding – Bozeman

Bozeman is one of the fastest-growing micropolitan areas in the country and it is no wonder why. This town is full of great food, and easy access to the mountains, and is only 1.5 hours from Yellowstone. 

  • Lodging
    • The Armory Hotel 
      • This trendy hotel built on an old army building is a great place to stay in the heart of Bozeman and doubles as a wedding venue.
    • The Lark
      • The LARK is one of the first buildings you see when you drive downtown. This hotel boasts a distinctly Montana feel. From oversized sitting areas to our outdoor wood-burning fireplace and is within walking distance of some of the best restaurants in town.
    • Buck’s T4 
      • While this is located in Big Sky (about 45 minutes from Bozeman) this can be a great place to stay especially if you are wanting to have a wedding up in Big Sky. Learn more on our Buck’s T-4 Venue page.
  • Restaurants
  • Ale Works
    • Ale Works features your “classic” American cuisine, plenty of beer (both local and otherwise) on tap, and a full bar
  • South 9th Bistro
    • This is where my wife and I went to celebrate our engagement. South 9th features French and American-inspired cuisine. The food is absolutely UNREAL. There is a reason they are so highly rated on Trip Advisor
  • Open Range
    • Located in downtown Bozeman, this high-end Steak house features the highest quality ingredients and a memorable dining experience.
  • Things to do
    • Bozeman offers a range of activities no matter the season. During the summer spend your time hiking one of the iconic trails or spend the day on the river rafting or fishing on some of the best rivers in the state. When the winter months come around, you can spend the day skiing at either, Bridger Bowl or Big Sky Ski Resort. If skiing isn’t for you or you are looking to get away from the crowds, Bozeman offers great snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails.

Traveling for your Wedding – Missoula

For those of you who want to see as much of Montana as possible, Missoula is a great option! This fun, artsy town, is home to a great music scene and sits right in the middle of Glacier (2.5 hour’s drive) & Yellowstone (4 hour drive), for those of you who want to try and see both National Parks, though it is still a long drive.

  • Lodging
    • Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown
      • This beautiful hotel in the heart of Missoula offers easy access to the Clarks Fork River and everything downtown Missoula has to offer.
    • The C’mon Inn
      • The C’mon Inn is a cleverly named beautiful Montana-themed hotel with indoor pools, five hot tubs, a waterfall, an exercise room, a game room, a continental breakfast, 24 suites, three meeting rooms, and a business center.
  • Restaurants
    • 1889 Steakhouse
      • This modern steak house features locally sourced ingredients and an awesome atmosphere perfect for you and your loved ones to gather together before the big day!
    • Scotty’s Table
      • Scotty’s is located in downtown Missoula in the lower level of the Wilma Theatre. This American bistro offers local and sustainably sourced products. 
    • The Notorious P.I.G. BBQ
      • Looking for something a little less fancy but just as good? Then look no further. This BBQ is phenomenal and a sure crowd-pleaser!

Remember how you felt. Not how you were posed

Conclusion

To plan a wedding in Montana there is a lot to consider, especially if it is a destination wedding. This is why it is essential to have a great location, know the marriage licensing laws (if you will file you marriage license in Montana), and have a great team of vendors. As a wedding photographer, I am passionate about authentically capturing your love’s and natural beauty so that you can be yourself and fully present on your wedding day. You can see some of my best work here.

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