While the ceremony and celebration are the most memorable parts of a wedding, if you want it to be legal, the most important part is the signing of the marriage license. This document legally binds the two of you together — and plays a big role if you're planning on changing your name! But it takes more than just the happy couple to get the job done! Here are the people you need to have present when it's time to sign the marriage license.
While the requirements for signing a marriage license (as well as applying for one in the first place) vary from state to state, most follow the same general outline:
Of course, you must both be present — and preferably not drunk — when it's time to sign. Most marriage bureaus will provide you with a handout specifying how and where to sign, especially if you're planning on changing one or both of your names, so make sure you have those handy.
Whoever legally performed your ceremony, whether it was a judge, a religious leader, or a friend ordained for the day, must also sign the license. There will be a line for them to sign their name, as well as specify their title or ordination. But note: There are a few states (Colorado, Wisconsin, the District of Columbia, and parts of Pennsylvania) where you can self-unite or self-solemnize your marriage, which means that not only does the officiant not need to sign your marriage license, you don't have to have one in the first place!
These could be your parents, your maid of honor and best man, or any other friends you nominate for the honor. They must be physically present and, well, witness the two of you signing the marriage license. In most states, the witnesses must also be over the age of 18.