Who says creativity is dead in New Jersey? A new bill has passed a committee in the New Jersey State Assembly that will eliminate the 72 hour waiting period to get married in New Jersey.
The bill is touted to increase state revenue and create more jobs in the tourism and hospitality industries. Let’s see, an out-of-town tourist could go to Las Vegas, or instead go to Newark. Las Vegas - Newark; I can see how a tourist might get those two places confused.
Under the new bill, a resident could apply for a license where the marriage is going to be held rather than in his local hometown; so he could get the license on the way to the wedding chapel. Or maybe just swipe his phone at a kiosk set up next to the priest.
The price of a wedding license would go up to $60, more than you would pay in New York but without the New York 24 hour waiting period. This will make it much easier for drunken friends to get hitched on a whim, regardless of gender. Women should appreciate the elimination of the cooling-off period, which will now give no time for the groom to change his mind and decide he likes your sister better.
The best part of the bill though is what I call the “learners’ permit” clause. This part of the bill is the fun part. You get 30 days to change your mind and annul the marriage or civil union in court for any reason or no reason at all. You could say, “I was drunk.” You could say, “I was horny and she wouldn’t have sex until we got married.” You could say “I made a mistake and married a Kardashian.” Or you could say, “Take a look at the groom. Do I really need a reason?”
There are some negatives to the bill. Wedding chapels may profit, but strip clubs may suffer. Men may object to the bill as it leaves less time to have a bachelor party, unless of course, you decide to follow the plot of “The Hangover” and decide to marry the stripper. Or you could do it the way I did and have the bachelor party at the wedding reception. That way, at least half the guests will be happy - in trouble with their spouses maybe - but happy. Ah, memories!
Another proposed marriage bill on a similar trajectory would allow soldiers overseas to get married by proxy. They could choose a friend to act as attorney-in-fact to obtain the license for them, and stand in at the ceremony and get married as a proxy for the soldier. If they add to the bill the right to be a stand-in at the honeymoon, then I’m all for it. Hey, what are friends for, anyway? Just so long as I don’t have to pay for the wedding and the kids.
Some of you might think the whole idea is silly. Some of you might be right.
Marvin Wolf is a regular satirical columnist for Local Talk News.