in the family Bible, or at the parish church, and those were considered legal documents, and still are actually, but society has changed, so in many cases that wouldn't be appropriate. Perhaps, for people who don't use Bibles or churches, and instead of a marriage permit like we have been doing, one ought to have the option of registering a marriage at city hall for in case of divorce, death, or other occasions that involve a judge.
I know couples who were married in large Presbyterian church weddings who didn't buy a marriage permit from the government, and they are lawfully married according to the Church and civil government.
The only reason why a couple would need a marriage license is for living on a military base together or being able to stay together during international military moves. The feds require a marriage license for that.
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