Yes, Your Dog Can Be Your Wedding Witness in Colorado

February 27, 2023
Yes, Your Dog Can Be Your Wedding Witness in Colorado

Photo by Candice Marie Photography

Many of us are constantly looking for fun and cute ways to integrate our furry family members into our big day. In Colorado, it can be taken a step further than just having your best pal at your wedding. Your dog can be your witness and sign your wedding license with a paw print. Yup, you heard that right! A dog’s signature on a marriage license to 100% legal and totally acceptable!

Here’s everything you need to know about incorporating your dog into your wedding or elopement in Colorado:

Photo by Candice Marie Photography

Now, before expanding on this further, I should say this doesn’t just go for dogs. It’s 2023, and there are plenty of adventure cats, birds, and even bunnies who can join in on this ritual, as well!

In Colorado, couples do not need an officiant or witness to get married. Your dog can be your witness at your elopement or wedding because of the self-solemnizing marriage law, which means couples can get married without a third-party officiant or witness. Couples can marry themselves, and the marriage will be legal throughout the United States.

Because there is no required witness signature on the marriage license, some couples see this as the perfect opportunity to allow their furry family to participate in the big day.

To have your dog be a witness at your elopement or wedding ceremony, there are a few crucial things to remember:

  • Your furry friend must be there! In many locations, such as national parks, there are limitations on where dogs and other pets are allowed. Be sure to check the rules and regulations about where you are getting married and that it is pet-friendly.
  • Bring an ink pad – Your dog will have to sign the license, after all! The most common way couples seal their marriage with a dog witness is by pressing the dog’s paw onto an ink pad and then transferring the ‘signature’ onto the marriage license.
  • Check with the county clerk where you are getting married. Clergies, judges, or public officials may request witness signatures in some counties.

Photo By Hennygraphy

Colorado is one of the easiest states to get married in. There is no waiting period when you pick up your marriage license, which means you can get married on the same day! Once you have the license, which can be picked up at the local country clerk, couples have 35 days to sign the license and 63 days to file it with the county. Marriage licenses can be obtained at any county clerk throughout the state, but they must be filed at the exact location it was picked up from.

Also, check with your specific county clerk location before picking up your marriage license to check appointment details. Since the pandemic, some county clerks are no longer accepting walk-ins, and an appointment must be made online before your date.

Photo by Candice Marie Photography

And if you don’t live in Colorado, don’t fret! There are actually 23 states where no witnesses are required. When you pick up your marriage license from the county clerk, ask if a cute little paw print can be accepted. Here is a full list of states that do not require a witness in 2023:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusettes
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

It’s important never to assume that your dog’s print will automatically be accepted onto your marriage license, so it’s crucial you call and talk to your local clerk office to confirm before moving forward to doggy ‘I dos.’ As many more couples have opted for this cute ceremony tradition, it will become easier to find information on whether your dog can be your witness.

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