Marriage records are documentation held by the government or local authorities, churches and other establishments that prove that a couple has been legally wed. These records are used for several purposes. First and foremost, it is used by the government to determine who is eligible for modern benefits such as tax deductions and health insurance. This document can also be used as a proof of identity in some regions. However, these records are also maintained for a long period of time, and can be used for tracking lineage and your family's genealogy.
Marriage records can be obtained from your local government for a fee. Usually, the acquisition of marriage records is limited to blood relatives of those inquiring. However, in the case of genealogy and research, many libraries will be given copies of the records after a certain period of time has passed. Usually, it is not until after the death of both parties, as these records can be used for identity fraud.
Due to the sensitivity of marriage records, it is important that you keep a copy of your record somewhere safe. This is especially true if you live somewhere other than where you were born or wed. In situations like this, you may be called on at anytime by your local government to provide proof of marriage. This is especially common when you first move.
A standard marriage record includes information on the man and the woman to be wed. At a minimum, this information will include the location of both the man and the woman, if they have any relations prior to marriage, and their names. The older the marriage record, the less likely there will be information such as age included. The older the records are, the more simplistic they tend to be.
If you are seeking to request a replacement marriage record, you may have to wait several months for your order to be processed, dependent on the age of the record and where you are ordering it from. The older the record, the longer it will take for the record to be taken from archive and a copy created and sent to you. However, if you recently filed for marriage, you may also run into the same issue of delays, as it takes a set amount of time for a marriage record to be processed into the archives. If you are recently wed, it is suggested that you keep careful track of your marriage license, as there will be delays in acquiring other copies unless they were planned for at the time of marriage.