All Women's Talk

8 Wacky Marriage Laws Still on the Books ...

By Lyndsie

It's hard to believe how many strange marriage laws still exist in obscurity in the dawning of 2011. The majority of them aren't necessarily enforced – but they sure are funny! The ability to marry someone by proxy, to get married as a joke – does your state have these laws hidden somewhere in their charters? Take a look at these 8 wacky marriage laws still on the books and see if your state is represented!

1 Marriage by Proxy

In Montana, you can get married without even being there! Someone can stand in for you to say “I do.” Actually, several states allow this law, such as Texas, California, and Colorado. However, it is only in Montana that a double proxy wedding ceremony is allowed – meaning that, yep, neither the bride nor the groom necessarily has to be there! The kicker is, this law is meant for people who are in the military, so they can still marry their sweethearts even if they get sent overseas.

2 The “I do” Prank

You would think that getting married as a joke only existed in Las Vegas, right? Nope! In the state of Delaware, prank marriages are so common that when you try to get your marriage annulled there, one of the options you can choose as a reason for the annulment is “prank.” Well, the wording is more professional – you can dissolve your marriage due to reasons of a dare or a jest – but still!


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3 Remarriage Redux

If you live in Kentucky, you better be sure about the person you're marrying. Why? Because it is officially illegal to remarry the same person more than three times. You know how some couples get divorced and remarry – and then get divorced and remarry, and then get divorced? Well, that fourth remarriage is simply not allowed. Frankly, it's probably a good idea to step into a trainwreck relationship like that anyway. I mean, if you aren't sure by the third time, it's probably time to throw in the towel, don't you think?

4 No-Tell Motel No-Nos

This rule applies to my state – or, more accurately, to a city in my state: Salem. Bearing in mind that this is one of the most popular tourist cities in Massachusetts, consider this: if you are married and visit Salem, you cannot sleep naked if you are renting a room. Even a motel room. Now, I'm pretty sure no one enforces this rule, but if you're ever visiting us, just make sure you throw on some PJs before answering the door for room service!

5 Mother-in-Law Misdemeanors

Mothers-in-law get a bad rap a lot of the time – and to an extent, the city of Wichita, Kansas, is perfectly okay with that. See, there, if a guy mistreats his mother-in-law in any way, his wife isn't allowed to use that as a reason to divorce him. And I don't know about you, but I'd throw down on anyone who mistreated my mom!

6 Sunday PDAs

New England has a lot of archaic laws still on the books, including one that exists in Hartford, Connecticut. There, you can technically get thrown in the clink if you are caught kissing in public on a Sunday. Yep, even if it's a kiss between spouses. Again, I'm pretty sure they don't actually enforce this – but technically they could!

7 Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves

In New Orleans, Louisiana, you are limited in your choice of officiants. See, if you decide to get married down in New Orleans, then you cannot be married by any psychics, fortune tellers, palm readers, or anything like that. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it's a fear that if your officiant told you your future, you'd run from the altar!

8 No Joke Proposals

If you live in South Carolina and a guy who is older than 16 years of age proposes to you, then you can technically hold him to it, even if it's a joke. Otherwise, it's a misdemeanor on his part, thanks to the Offenses Against Morality and Decency Act. This one is a little confusing; laypeople, myself included, aren't sure whether that means the guy would actually be forced to marry the girl he proposed to, or whether it means that he just can't use a marriage proposal as a seduction tactic. Any South Carolina natives know?

I hope y'all got a chuckle out of these! There are so many amazingly antiquated laws still on the books in so many places, it's fun to see which strange ones still exist. Do you have any examples?

Top Photo Credit: Ryan Brenizer

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