By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Wedding Planning with Marcy E. Thornton
Are you ready to tie the knot?
Placeholder Image
    When you think about it, a wedding is really just a big party for a piece of paper with a few signatures on it. At its core, a marriage is a legally binding contract between two parties. Keep that in mind when you feel like strangling your caterer/florist/tailor for the seven hundredth time. But are you prepared for your five minutes of face time with the big “I do!”?
    The civil ceremony is to most basic form of the wedding. The fine state of Georgia makes it pretty easy to get married in a hurry, and if simple and quick is what you’re after, a civil ceremony before a Justice of the Peace may be right up your alley. But whether you go super simple or bigger than life, unless you want to be married in theory alone, you have to get the piece of paper.
    - Try this: In order to obtain a marriage license in Statesboro, a prospective couple must pay a visit to the Bulloch County Probate Court. There, both bride and groom must present legal documentation proving that they are (a) at least eighteen years old, and (b) who they say they are. If either person has been married before, then obviously he or she needs to present a valid divorce decree as well.
There’s no blood test, and no mandatory waiting period, only a simple application to fill out. If the newlyweds-to-be can present signed proof that they have completed at least six hours of marriage counseling with an ordained minister, the license costs 27 dollars. Counseling is not required to obtain a license, however, and a couple that does not wish to go through all that can purchase their license for 62 dollars.
The Honorable Judge Lee Deloach, probate judge for Bulloch County, was kind enough to talk with me about the specifics of a civil ceremony.
    “On average, (I perform) four to five ceremonies a week here in the office. It takes approximately twenty to thirty minutes to get the application done and to get the license issued. The ceremony takes five to ten minutes,” Deloach said.
    “I have a script that I go by. I ask (the couple) to repeat after me, and they say the vows, and if they prefer, I’ll say a prayer and read a scripture. Then I’ll pronounce them married, and they will kiss, and that will be that.”
    It may sound simple, but a civil ceremony is every bit as serious and legally binding as a big to-do in a fancy church or expensive hotel. If you’re not ready for the commitment (not that now, as you’re planning your wedding, would be the time to decide this), then simply don’t get hitched.
    “I chose to (get married) personally, because I think it’s the thing to do when you’re in love, and you want to have a family. It’s the conventional way of life here in our country. I chose to be conventional, I guess, but I can only speak from a personal standpoint,” Deloach said.
    “I think that good judgment plays a big part. Are you mature enough? Are you ready to accept the responsibilities of marriage? What do you want out of marriage? Do you have the same goals in life (as your partner)? My advice would be to search your own soul and make sure that this is what you want, because, after all, this is a life commitment.”
    Marcy E. Thornton is a senior English major at GSU, and is engaged to become Mrs. Carl W. Bonebright in September of 2008.  She welcomes any tips, comments or questions via e-mail at SobriquetF1@yahoo.
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter