A marriage certificate is signed by a minister, justice, or judge certifying that he married a particular couple on a particular date. The certification cites the names of the bride and groom, date of marriage, and name of person issuing the certificate. In some cases, there is no indication of whether that person is a justice or a minister. A marriage certificate may be a lavishly decorated document or a simple statement handwritten at the bottom of a marriage license. As a result of Georgia law in 1805, persons performing marriages were required to certify on the marriage license that the marriage actually took place. Usually the marriage was performed a few days after the granting of the license. Most marriage certificates are dated after 1805 and are recorded at the bottom or on the back of the marriage license.

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