Updated: Mar 16
It is pretty natural to feel worried about your wedding as it may be quite stressful. There are many things to consider, such as the flowers, decorations, or the color of the bridesmaids' gowns. However, couples who get married in prison have more challenging things than a typical wedding.
Getting married in a room with bars, bare walls, and metal detectors is not a typical wedding. Prison weddings in Arizona are likely to be far more stressful than selecting a wedding gown for your wedding or planning your first dance.
All legalities and arrangements for the prison wedding ceremony in Arizona are typically the responsibility of the non-incarcerated prospective spouse. Unlike traditional marriage ceremonies, prison weddings in Arizona necessitate acquiring specific licenses and detailed information on prison rules.
How to Marry a Prisoner
The rules for marrying a prisoner differ from prison to prison, but most require a 'Marriage Permission Request' to obtain authorization to marry the prisoner.
Inmates should obtain the Marriage Application Form and submit it to the prison authorities via the Chaplain after filling in all the details. The Chaplain will review the Marriage Application for any incomplete information before forwarding it to the prison. Once you and your partner complete the paperwork, you must wait for the reply from the prison institution.
Once permission to marry the prisoner has been obtained, your next step will be planning your prison wedding in Arizona.
Planning the Prison Wedding
The most crucial part of any marriage is the officiant. Hire an officiant who can be there on your big day and help you marry the person you love.
The wedding will also necessitate the presence of two witnesses. Bring two people who are on your fiancé's list of permitted visitors and over the age of 18. Finally, you will need a marriage license for your prison wedding in Arizona. This is supplied by the prison Chaplain.
Usually, both couples must be present to get a marriage license, but one person is behind bars and unavailable for a prison wedding. Thus, you must have the Chaplain's assistance in obtaining a marriage license for a prison wedding in Arizona.
Depending on the rules and regulations of the prison facility, you may be granted time together after the ritual for a private visit together. Currently, with COVID-19 regulations in place, no touching is permitted. This means no kiss during or after the wedding.
The bride may wear white if she is not the prisoner. Usually a nice dress or pants suit is worn. No metal can be present in the dress or undergarments, so plan accordingly. The same rule in dress applies to the witnesses and officiant. Additionally, no low-cut necklines or sleeveless items can be worn. A higher neckline and at least short sleeves are required. Many brides wear a light-weight duster over their outfit to create the illusion of a flowing outfit.
For a prison wedding, having all the permissions, an officiant, and documentations with you, will make your wedding successful. Hire an officiant today who understands all the procedures of prison weddings in Arizona.