Rumor has it that in Colorado, you can have your dog sign your wedding license as an official witness. Is this true? We are here to tell you; yes! You can in fact have your furry friend(s) ink their cute little paw print(s) on your marriage license under the witness line. However, there are a couple caveats that you need to be aware of if this is something you want to add to your Colorado Elopement experience. Let’s go through everything you need to know to make your dog your official witness on your wedding day!
Step 1: Check With Your County Clerk!
This is probably the most important step and one that we make sure to recommend to every couple who mentions wanting their dog as their witness, so don’t skip it! Every couple hoping to elope in Colorado has to first acquire their wedding license from any of the Colorado County Clerks offices. Most of these county clerks are perfectly happy to have you put your dog’s paw print on your wedding license, BUT NOT ALL. Because of this, it is vital that you make sure to check with the specific county clerk’s office where you will be picking up your wedding license that they will accept a license with a paw print under the witness line.
If having your dog sign your wedding license is important to you and your partner, we suggest calling the county clerk before you go in to make sure that they allow this. If not, you can always pick up from a different county. It does not matter which county clerk office you pick up your wedding license from. Any Colorado county will be valid, so make sure you go to one that accepts dog signatures.
Step 2: Purchase an “Inkless Paw Print Kit”
There are a couple ways you can ink your dog’s paw, but we always recommend using one of these inkless paw print kits. What’s great about these kits is that they offer a way to get your dog’s paw print on the license without getting ink all over your dog’s paw. Once you have your paw print kit, don’t forget to pack it!
Step 3: Sign the Wedding License!
After your ceremony is complete, you and your partner can sign your marriage license making your wedding official! Once you have both signed your names, you are technically done with the paperwork, since in Colorado you don’t need an officiant or witnesses to sign your license. It’s because of this law that most Colorado county clerks are ok with having a dog signature under the witness line.
If you picked up one of the inkless paw print kits we suggested, the steps are quite simple.
- Clean your dog’s paw
- Open the paw print kit
- Make sure the exposed ink side is DOWN (very important)
- Place the kit over the area you want to mark
- Press your dog’s paw print firmly onto the kit
This is usually a two person job and it might be good to get to ink kits so you can do a practice round on a blank piece of paper before you ink your marriage license.
Step 4: Tell Your Dog They are the Best Doggo
This step is non-negotiable! After they have successfully signed their pretty little paw print onto the paper, you must pet them and tell them how good they are 🙂
That’s it! Your wedding license is now a legally binding document that simply needs to be returned to the clerk’s office who issued it within 63 days of issuance and your dog’s signature will live on eternally in the archives of Colorado clerical contracts.
If you’re ready to start planning your Colorado elopement, contact us today! We can’t wait to meet you and your partner (and your dog).