Baby boomers thinketh not.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
June 26, 2019
Married Couple
Credit: monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

We've all seen the photos on Instagram of a couple perched on the steps or in front of the brick wall at their local city hall, proudly holding their marriage license. While many couples now choose to sign their paperwork before their actual wedding day, could this trend be an etiquette no-no?

One writer on PureWow is convinced that baby boomers, in particular, are not on board with this rising millennial protocol of getting married before your official wedding ceremony. As for why baby boomers are turned off by the trends, Dara Katz writes, "Well, let me first state that, of course, not all baby boomers hate this, but the general consensus scientists* (*me) have gathered is that they are put off by the optical illusion of it." In her piece titled "The Millennial Wedding Trend We Keep Seeing That Baby Boomers Hate," she continues by noting that it feels "misleading" to compel loved ones to go to all the trouble that can accompany attending a wedding — buying a new outfit, traveling long distances, purchasing gifts — when the wedding has already happened.

While some couples opt to beeline straight from ceremony to celebration, having already signed their license in the weeks leading up to their wedding, you can sign it right after the ceremony — or during it — with your officiant and witnesses and then file it within a month or two (the amount of time most states give you to return your signed license after you've picked it up).

"This is a matter of practicality and manners. If they're going to a wedding, then there should be a wedding, not just an emotional performance of vows and love. To put on a show as if the couple isn't already married is rude and deceptive," Katz argues. Of course, as Katz admits, many newlyweds view their trip to city or town hall to sign their marriage license as a legal practicality and not a manners faux pas.

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Ultimately, the decision is up to you and your partner. This essay certainly reminded us that many traditional folks attending weddings may expect the physical signing of paperwork in front of all the guests. But for some, the thrill of heading to city hall to obtain a marriage license can be a rush in and of itself. Indeed, there are merits and drawbacks on both sides of the equation.

Share with us: What's your opinion on this quandary?