All You Need To Know About a Prison Marriage 

Getting married surrounded by bars, naked walls, and metal detectors is far from a regular ceremony. Planning such a venture is probably much more stressful than choosing a wedding dress for your beach wedding and thinking about your first dance. 

All the formalities and preparations related to the prison marriage ceremony are usually the responsibility of a non-incarcerated future spouse. Unlike standard marriage protocols, jailhouse weddings involve obtaining special permissions and information on state laws in more detail. 

Before you embark on such a journey, you should consider the essential aspects of the prison wedding and all potential problems you might encounter. Our article will teach you what your special day will look like and advise you on keeping in touch after getting married. These tips include writing letters to your imprisoned loved one without wasting your time with mail delivery services and learning how to address the physical letter without mistakes.


Is It Possible To Get Married in Jail?

The answer is yes—most U.S. prisons allow their prisoners to get married. Certain restrictions apply to particular correctional institutions and inmates. You should contact the prison where your loved one is located and find out whether the marriage ceremonies can be performed in the facility during the inmate visitation time.

Prisoners usually choose to marry long-term partners they met before they were convicted or the people they met via various inmate dating apps while serving their sentences. Websites such as Meet-an-Inmate help prisoners find their prison pen pals and perhaps start a romance with one of them.

Even the inmates sentenced to death have the right to get married before they are executed. 

Steps You Need To Complete Before Getting Married to a Prisoner

Once you confirm that the jail where your partner serves their sentence permits marriage ceremonies, it’s time to brace yourself for the formalities that follow. The table below shows a brief review of all the factors you need to bear in mind while preparing your wedding:

Task What You Should Do

Counseling 

  • Organize premarital counseling—some prisons require all future spouses to go through this process before they get a marriage license
  • Consider your choices—make sure you and your partner are aware of all challenges prison marriage might bring

Obtaining a Marriage License

  • Learn more about the requirements of getting the marriage license 
  • Make a so-called Marriage Packet Request and obtain all necessary forms for getting the license
  • Complete the forms and make sure your partner completes theirs
  • Submit the forms to the prison authorities

Choosing a Date

  • Get informed about the regulations of the specific prison in which you want to get married
  • Consider possible restrictions
  • Pick a particular date for the ceremony

Choosing a Marriage Officiant

  • Find out if you and your future husband/wife have the right to choose your officiant
  • Search for the recognized and verified ones if you are allowed to choose them

Considering the Fees

  • Decide who will finance the wedding—you, your imprisoned partner, your family members, etc.
  • Consider the costs of the marriage license, necessary documents, or any other additional fees that may apply

What Documents Do You Need To Get Married in Prison?

In most cases, you will have to prove that you and your partner are of legal age to get married and that the state in which you want to get married is also your state of residence

You need to gather all necessary paperwork on your partner’s behalf—all they can do is sign the required forms in case there are any.

The documents that prison authorities usually require are:

  • Birth certificate of both parties
  • Marriage license
  • Copies of the existing divorce decrees for previous marriages 

The mandatory documents also depend on the particular prison. Some have additional requests, while others require less paperwork.

What Does an Inmate Marriage Ceremony Look Like?

Starting your marriage in prison excludes many elements of regular weddings, such as music, wedding cake, numerous guests, or a romantic photoshoot

The only people who will attend the ceremony are the chosen officiant and a couple of witnesses. The witnesses aren’t always required, but if they are, they are usually other inmates or people from the prisoner’s approved visitor list. Family members or friends can’t be present.

Wedding rings are a part of every marriage ceremony, but not every prison allows inmates to exchange wedding bands with their future spouses. 

Even if they get permission to do it, the rings can’t have any gems or additional components except for a plain band—there are even price limitations. As per the article on Prison Insight, future spouses are allowed to wear necklaces with religious symbols during the ceremony if they desire.

You might get a chance to have a few photographs taken, but it all depends on the jail regulations. 

DoNotPay Helps You Send Letters to Your Inmate Spouse

Many jails don’t permit conjugal visits after the ceremony. You don’t get any special privileges if you are officially married—all visit regulations remain more or less the same.

It’s crucial to find a way to keep in touch with your loved one. They can’t use email services, and writing physical letters and sending them might be too demanding due to numerous restrictions.

DoNotPay lets you write to your incarcerated significant other and sends it on your behalf. 

Follow these steps to compose the message for your spouse:

  1. Open DoNotPay in your web browser
  2. Search for the Connect With an Inmate category and click on Send a Personalized Letter
  3. Fill out the required fields—prisoner’s ID number, the facility in which they are serving their sentence, etc.
  4. Add a photo to your message or choose a letter template
  5. Submit the letter

Once you write and personalize your letter according to your preferences, DoNotPay will print a physical copy, address it properly, and send it to your imprisoned spouse. 

In case you want to receive replies from the person you are writing to, you should pick the Allow Replies option. When you do this, you will activate your Virtual Mailbox and get your incoming correspondence there. 

They can respond in the following way:

  1. They compose a physical letter and send it to DoNotPay
  2. DoNotPay makes a digital copy of it
  3. The message gets forwarded to your Virtual Mailbox

Use DoNotPay To Locate Any Prisoner 

Another handy feature DoNotPay offers is a handy inmate locator that covers all detention centers. If you aren’t sure in which facility or unit your imprisoned partner or friend might be, follow these steps to find them:

  1. Open DoNotPay
  2. Choose Connect With an Inmate and pick Locate Someone
  3. Provide the name of the person and the state

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

Being a prisoner’s wife or husband isn’t easy, so make sure you learn how to cheer up your spouse in jail by providing them with gifts, pictures, and other goods. If you are looking forward to sending inmate care packages to Michigan, New York, California, or New Hampshire, tips for such ventures are awaiting you in our extensive learning base as well.

Apart from enabling communication with your incarcerated partner, we also care about other aspects of your life and make your chores easier to bear. 

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