Currently, Vermont is the only state in the United States offering a legal civil union. There are currently no states where same-sex marriage is legally recognized. If you are thinking about heading to Vermont for a civil union, here are some steps that might help you get started.
Don't skip this step! Visit the following page at the website of the Vermont Secretary of State and read the entire page. This guide should answer most of your questions about civil unions. Remember that you will be making a legal commitment recognized by the State of Vermont. Vermont allows Non-Residents to obtain civil unions, but those from Out-of-State should pay particular attention to the legal residency requirements for dissolving a civil union.
Decide upon some possible Vermont locations for holding your civil union ceremony.
Contact the Town or City Clerk in the desired location(s) for information. Find out when the office is open. Find out what identification or other documents you'll need to bring with you. Find out what fees are applicable. Currently the fee for a civil union license is $20, but there may be other charges for extra copies, so check this out in advance. This is where you'll apply for and receive your civil union license. Apparently, no medical certificate, blood test, or waiting period is currently required.
Find an officiant to perform the ceremony and to certify your civil union. Under Vermont law, this can be a Justice of the Peace, a member of the Clergy, or a Judge. Coordinate your schedules. The certification must be done within sixty days of the issuance of the civil union license by the Clerk. Some of the officiants may be able to help you find locations for holding your ceremony. Some ceremonies have been held at the homes of the officiants, others have been held in public areas such as parks, and others at the many Vermont Inns that welcome civil unions. One thing is certain, Vermont can provide a beautiful setting for your ceremony!
Make any necessary travel and lodging arrangements. If you intend to hold your ceremony at the place where you're staying, be sure to check out all those details in advance. Consider how many guests you may be inviting. Some inns are small and may not be able to accommodate large groups, but they may be helpful in referring you to other accommodations. (We have some links to Vermont Inns on the right column of this page.)
Remember to make advance arrangements for anything you might wish to have as part of your ceremony. Some couples go for a simple ceremony, others have more elaborate ceremonies with full wedding attire, wedding cakes, flowers, catering, etc. If you're traveling from out-of-state, the more advance planning you do, the better. Remember items like rings and cameras, etc. Consider whether you want a professional photographer or what type of invitations you might want to send. Like any wedding ceremony, it can be as simple or as elaborate as you desire. You may want to write your own vows. If you'd like to post an announcement and picture on our website, contact us with the details.
Above all, HAVE FUN! Couples have written many praises of their trips to Vermont, and of the many Clerks and JP's who have been friendly and helpful in making the civil union a positive and meaningful experience! Thanks, Vermont!
Are you planning to go to Vermont for a Civil Union? Contact us with the details.
Would you like to have your union recognized on our website?
|Any information or guidelines provided on this website about the status of state or federal laws are for information only. DO NOT rely on this information for determining your legal rights or status. Instead, seek legal advice from a qualified attorney.|