Marriage License Tips for your Bayfield Wedding

Applying for your marriage license can seem like a complicated and scary process.

But we’ve got some great news for you – it really isn’t!

And to make it even easier, we have put together all of the information you need to know to get your license in Bayfield County, along with tips and recommendations!

Are you planning a wedding on Madeline Island or one of the other Apostle Islands? Read ahead for some very important information.

Photo Taken by Ps 139 Photography

Where are you getting married? 
This might seem like a simple question – the Bayfield area of course! Sometimes the answer is not quite as simple as it seems.

Madeline Island and several of the other Apostle Islands are actually in Ashland County, not Bayfield County. So, the first thing you need to do is determine which county you are actually getting married in. If you plan on getting married on a boat, your captain will be able to advise you about which county from which you should secure your marriage license.

If you are a Wisconsin resident, you must apply for your marriage license in the county in which one you reside (for at least 30 days.) If neither of you reside in Wisconsin, then you apply for your marriage license in the county that your ceremony will be in. Remember, all of this information pertains to where your ceremony will be.

Where to apply?
If you are applying in Bayfield County it means that either: one of you live in Bayfield County or neither of you live in Wisconsin. To apply, you will both go to the County Clerk’s office which is located in Washburn, Wisconsin. Here you can find a map to this location. The office is open Monday- Friday from 8am- 4pm. They recommend you arrive no later than 3:15 pm if applying for a marriage license.

What do you need to apply in Bayfield County?
1. You will need $60 for your marriage license either by check, cash or credit card. You will need an additional $10 if you are waiving the waiting period (see below).
2. If previously married, you must show proof that the marriage has ended. According to the Bayfield County Clerk’s Office, “This document will be either a Judgment of Divorce or an Annulment, it must be signed and stamped by the Judge of that Circuit Court.” If either applicant has a spouse that is deceased, you must provide a certified copy of the death certificate.
3. A valid drivers license or government issued ID card showing each applicant’s (current) address.
4.  A certified copy of each applicant’s birth certificate. The County Clerk says many couples get this confused with a hospital record. Make sure both of your birth certificates are certified  copies from the state (not hospital). There should be a raised seal and photocopies are not acceptable.
5. You will need to provide your wedding information: Date of wedding, location, and officiant name, address and phone number. The County Clerk recommends that you make sure the person marrying you is legit! It is the couple’s responsibility to make sure their officiant has all of the right credentials.

Important Information
When you apply for a marriage license in Bayfield County (and most other places) there is a 5 day waiting period. Your license is not actually issued until 5 days after you go in together and apply for it. Something to note: Upon approval by the County Clerk, this waiting period can sometimes be waived. It is not a guarantee that your waiting period would be waived, but it definitely is a possibility. The waiver fee is $10 on top of the $60 for your marriage license.

You cannot get married in Wisconsin if you have been divorced for less than 6 months from the date of the final divorce. If it has been longer than 6 months, you must bring with a Judgement of Divorce document to show that the marriage has ended.

Your marriage license is only valid for 30 days, which means you cannot apply for your marriage license until less than one month beforehand.

The age requirement is 18 years or older. To find information on consent forms for those who are 16 or 17 years old, go here.

Photo of Bride Lily & Groom Sean

Lily and Sean, the bride and groom shown above, just applied for their marriage license 23 days before their wedding. Lily said, “It was very easy once we had all our documents and information ready to go! We went right to the court house and it took less than 30 minutes! We then celebrated with a local ice cream cone!”

Please Note: This information is to help guide you to applying for your marriage license in Bayfield County. To read the official information for Bayfield County head over here and Ashland County (Includes Madeline Island) head over here.