11 Crazy Marriage Laws You Have to Read to Believe
With all the planning stress, inexplicable rituals, and obligatory invites to estranged relatives, weddings can get weird. But for couples getting married in the 14 states below, the crazy factor is on another level thanks to outdated and just plain absurd laws. We couldn't make these rules up if we tried-they'll have you laughing, eye-rolling, and furrowing your brows, to say the least. Don't say we didn't warn you!
You can marry by proxy in these four states.
In four states, attending your wedding isn't mandatory. But before your jaw drops, the law has a purpose. In California, Colorado, Montana, and Texas, military personnel can send a representative to stand in for them at their weddings. Montana even allows double proxy, where both the bride and groom can be absent.
You can annul your marriage in Delaware if it was a dare.
Delaware should be renamed the Daredevil State, at least according to this wacky law. Apparently, the state has had many prank weddings since "because of jest or dare" is a viable excuse for an annulment.
Sorry Kentuckians, you can't marry the same man four times.
Kentucky knows that mistakes happen, which is why their women can re-marry the same man three times. But they also know that some bad habits are hard to quit-so don't you even try to divorce and marry a fourth time.
Killing birds is a marriage requirement in one Massachusetts town.
Truro, Massachusetts, has some outdated conceptions of manhood, at least according to this ridiculous rule. Grooms-to-be can't get married unless they prove their manliness by killing three crows or six blackbirds-no thanks.
If you're over 16 in South Carolina, your proposal must be serious to count.
South Carolina was fed up with pranksters (we're looking at you, Delaware) who didn't take marriage seriously. That's why they banned anyone over 16 from proposing unless their intent was perfectly honest. The origin of this lie-catching rule? Men used to seduce women by pretending to want to marry them.
No public kissing is allowed on Sundays in Connecticut's capital.
Is that a peck we saw? Better not be in public! If you're roaming through Connecticut's capital, Hartford, keep PDA to a minimum; they take Sundays pretty seriously there.
First cousins can marry in Utah-but there is a catch.
This fact may have your head spinning, but there is a precaution for residents of Utah considering this. Marriages between first cousins are only viable if both parties are 65 or older (and presumably unable to have kids), or 55 and over (and proven infertile).
In Vermont, wearing dentures is a privilege, not a right.
Sorry dentally-challenged ladies, but you'll need to ask your spouse before putting on those dentures-that is, in Vermont, where this is technically still a valid law.
A parental permission slip once granted Arkansas children marriage rights.
In a wording mishap, Arkansas lawmakers forgot to put a minimum age requirement on a ruling that was intended to help teens marry. Between 2007 and 2008, any child-no matter what age-could legally wed if their parents approved.
In Wichita, Kansas, your mother-in-law can't be the reason for your divorce.
Take note: As it turns out, your spouse not getting along with your mom isn't an excuse for divorce, at least for couples in Wichita, Kansas. Men have a right to push back at nagging mothers-in-law without the threat of their marriage ending (well, at least on that premise alone).
In New Orleans, Louisiana, you can't hire a mystic marriage officiant.
New Orleans-based fortune tellers and palm readers can read your future, but they're prohibited from legalizing any love predictions. The city's legislature bans mystics from officiating weddings; the law also prevents them from getting involved in your personal life in a slew of other unusual ways.