The Assembly approved A4366, which would eliminate the current 72-hour waiting period and streamline residency requirements for small weddings or civil ceremonies.
It was approved 47-21-7.
In a statement, bill sponsor Assemblyman Lou Greenwald (D-6) of Voorhees, said, “This bill provides New Jersey’s small weddings market with a shot in the arm,” said Greenwald (D-Camden). “By gaining a competitive edge over our neighboring states, we will create jobs and jump-start the small businesses that make up New Jersey’s wedding and tourism industry.”
The bill would eliminate the current mandatory 72-hour waiting period for issuance of a marriage or civil union license after an application is made, giving New Jersey a competitive edge over neighboring states. The current waiting period, established in 1934, makes it cumbersome for out of state residents to plan weddings at New Jersey’s many tourism destinations, depriving local economies of needed tourism dollars.
The bill would replace current law where residents must apply for a marriage or civil union license in the municipality where either applicant resides, making it less convenient for residents to wed at one of the state’s more than 50 destination wedding facilities and other premier accommodations.
The bill allows residents to apply for licenses in the municipality where the wedding ceremony is to be performed as well.
Officials said that by eliminating the waiting period, New Jersey would join Connecticut and Rhode Island as the only states in the Northeast with no waiting period. 27 other states do not require a minimum waiting period for issuing a marriage or civil union license, officials said.
The Senate passed the measure earlier today.