A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. So besides planning a wedding, you do have to remember the legal part of it as well! You need to go to a courthouse nearby to get a marriage license, especially if you are marrying at a different venue other than a court house. You must schedule an appointment, go to the site and fill out some paperwork, sometimes they have it available through their online website as well. You and your spouse should be the only ones there and you must have important documentation like a form of ID.
Once you obtained your license, you have about 90 days to be married at your wedding! You can either have a professional officiator or you can ask someone that you love dearly that can officiate or be ordained. We just had a friend officiate since we did our marriage ceremony a couple months prior at a courthouse. So pick wisely, I tend to think it is more special when you ask someone you know to marry you, it also allows the ceremony to be even more meaningful.
When you are done obtaining that, for the people that are changing their last name you have some more stuff to do. I changed my ID, passport, social security and all my bank cards. I had to do these things simply cause I got married earlier and wanted to make sure that all my work was done correctly to be entered into the military system. My husband needed to make sure everything was in order so I had to do submit a lot of paperwork.
For my military marriages out there, it is a bit different for us! Not only do you get married at a courthouse, you definitely have other systems you need to be added into for your spouse’s orders. We had to enter my information through the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to a nearby Marine Corps base. There is an office called Pass and ID center where they can enter all this information and it is where you can receive your military spouse ID card to enter all bases. For my spouses out there you will need a marriage certificate, 2 forms of ID, birth certificate and your social security card. Have all paperwork in order, the offices like people that are organized and ready to go, don’t be the person that scrambles around not prepared.
Once you are entered into the system, you must go with your military member to the Installation Personal Administration Center (IPAC) building. You can usually search this up online or the offices can direct you, it’s usually close by on base. Here, you will need a marriage certificate, birth certificate, ID, and your military member’s CAC card (they will know what that is). This is for them to enter you into their system along with updating your military member’s payroll. You will need your military member present otherwise they won’t let a spouse enroll themselves.
Lastly, you want to call the benefits office which is usually Tricare. Depending on where you are located, they will direct you to the correct office. This is where you can make sure you are signed up and see what plans work for you. There is Tricare Prime and Tricare Select, you must talk with your military member to see what plan works out for you. Make sure you are enrolled online that way you can access any benefits that can help you insurance wise and so that you can establish your primary doctor.
I wish I was able to learn these things prior through research but I honestly had to learn by myself through the many visits to the military base. Just be patient and everything will work out. To get on base, you must have your military spouse present otherwise they won’t let you in. Once you receive your own ID you can go in and out as you please. I hope this helps, you are almost there to the big wedding day!