10 Crazy Marriage Laws You Have to Read to Believe

No region is safe from these ridiculous rules.

Contributing Writer
Photography by: Burke/Triolo Productions

Between all the fuss, rituals, and obligatory invites to Uncle Strange, weddings can get weird. But for bride- and groom-to-bes in these 13 states, the crazy factor has been officially upped. These rules will have you laughing, eye-rolling, and furrowing your brows. Don't say we didn't warn ya!


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You Can Marry by Proxy in CA, CO, MT, and TX

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 rep to stand in for them at their wedding. Montana even allows double proxy, where both the bride and groom can be absent. 

You Can Annul Your Marriage If It Was a Dare in DE

Delaware should be renamed the dare devil state, at least according to this wacky law. Apparently the state has had so many joke weddings that "because of jest or dare" is a viable excuse for annulling.  

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 MA 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Truro, Massachusetts has some outdated conceptions of manhood, at least according to this ridiculous rule.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 SC, Your Proposal Better Be Serious

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 liar-catching rule? Men used to seduce women by pretending to want to marry them. 

No Kissing on Sundays (in Public) in CT's Capital

Is that a peck we saw? Better not be in public! At least if you're roaming through Connecticut's capital of Hartford, where, at least technically, Sundays are still taken pretty seriously.

First Cousins Can Marry in Utah—With a Catch

The headline may have your head spinning, but there is a precaution. Marriages between first cousins are only viable if both parties are 65 or older (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 husband 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, 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 gave approval. 

In Wichita, Kansas, Mistreatment of MIL Isn't Grounds For Divorce

Take note: 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). 


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