We are so excited for Gay and Lesbian couples in our neighboring state of Iowa – who can now enjoy the legal rights and social milestones previously reserved only for heterosexual couples.  We were lucky enough to help Jo and Ellen coordinate their 2007 reception in Oak Park, IL following a heartfelt ceremony that can now also be recognized as legal!  (photo by Peter Pawinski)

For those gay couples looking to make your union legal – hop on over to Iowa to have a Civil Ceremony and then come back to Chicago to party!  Many couples that get married in Illinois may make it legal prior to the ceremony for whatever reason in another state or country.  You can still have a ceremony and reception in IL after managing the legalities over state lines!  Here is how you do it in Iowa…

Residency: Same-sex couples do not have to be residents of Iowa in order to obtain a marriage certificate. Couples should bring a photo ID and their Social Security card with them at the time of registration.

Cost: Expect to pay at least $30

Previous Marriages: Divorce happens. If either of you have been previously married, be prepared to show your divorce papers. If the divorce is fresher than 60 days, bring a signed copy.

Waiting Period: You will have to wait up to three (3) business days for the application to process.

Blood And Other Tests: No tests are required in order to marry in Iowa.

Witnesses: You will need a witness, so plan on bringing a close friend or relative with you when you apply for the license.

Age Requirements: You both need to be at least eighteen (18) years of age.

Wedding Officiant: Even after you apply, your marriage isn’t valid unless an ordained and licensed clergymen or justices of the peace officiates over your ceremony.

Many of these rules are the same in Illinois – but check with your county clerk to check the legalities of the location where you plan to legally tie the knot well in advance of the Big Day!  Here is the info for Cook County:



Events By Category
Our Blog
More Blog Topics