Can You Marry Your Cousin in Idaho? Sort of.
The more you know?
I'm a lucky woman. When the bulk of my wedding plan came up against Boise Music Festival season, I had two awesome girlfriends step-up and say "We've got this. You focus on work." They've done a killer job handling everything from decor, to running point on the ceremony, to picking jewelry for the wedding party. I didn't have to do much beside ask a couple of questions and sign a few checks. But the one thing that they couldn't do for me? Get my marriage license. Nate and I had to go do that together.
So like any responsible bride, before we went down to the courthouse I looked online to see what we needed to bring with us. Our state issued IDs, a valid social security number and $30. Cool, but I kept reading down the page to make sure we met the "other requirements" to apply for our marriage license. That's when I noticed something that stopped me in my tracks. It was a header that said "relations" and stated that applicants cannot be first cousins or nearer kin.
Um...that's not something that would've even crossed my mind, but apparently cousin marriage is a thing. According to CousinCouples.com, around 20% of all couples in the world are first cousins, but it's far less common in the United States. That's because 24 states ban marriage between first cousins, including Idaho.
Doing the math on that? Yes, that means 26 states actually allow you to marry your first cousin. (A cousin you share a grandparent with.)
ALL states allow marriages between second cousins, including Idaho. That means if you have a cousin that shares your great grandparents but not you're grandparents you are permitted to marry them. That's just a little too much family bonding for me. Hard pass.
And that's all for this edition of weird things I learned while planning my wedding.