How to Have a Killer Wedding

Anyone can marry a serial killer, even you if you follow these steps.

Charles Manson and friends
The late Charles Manson and Elaine ‘Star’ Burton, who is rumored to have nearly become Mrs. Manson.
Manson Direct/Polaris

Are you planning to marry a murderer who is already in a long-term, committed relationship with the corrections system? If so, you’re in good company.

Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez, and both Menendez Brothers got married while they were serving life—and sometimes death—sentences. Many other high-profile murderers cum eligible bachelors receive a steady stream of proposals from women who are ready to sentence themselves to a lifetime commitment right alongside them.

Women marry convicted murderers for a variety of reasons: because they love them, because they need control over their estate, because they hunger for notoriety, and, rarely, so they won’t have to testify against them. While there are no official records of inmate wedding statistics, these ceremonies take place more frequently than many people imagine.

This article will answer your questions about how to plan your dream wedding behind bars.


Is It Legal to Marry a Prisoner?

In the United States, you have the legal right to marry whomever you choose. Although an inmate may not enjoy the same rights as anyone else, you are still legally free to marry an incarcerated person. This was established by the Supreme Court in 1987 when prisoners’ right to marry behind bars was officially recognized in Turner v. Safley.

This class-action lawsuit was decided by the Supreme Court in 1987 after inmates challenged Missouri Division of Corrections regulations that prevented them from corresponding with their incarcerated family members and interfered with their right to marry by placing too much control in the prison superintendent’s hands. This was ultimately ruled unconstitutional.

Even though you have the right to marry, the state or federal government also has the right to draw the process out for a long time, and prison officials have the right to block marriages. In some states, the betrothed will have to get permission from the prison and undergo mandatory pre-marriage counseling.

Each prison has its own rules and procedures regarding weddings. You can find out what they are by speaking to the chaplain. Your future husband will also need to complete the marriage request process. You’ll have to fill out forms and provide documents, the same as you would if you were marrying anywhere else. You will also need to find a notary who is willing to travel to the prison.


Can I Still Have Fun Planning My Wedding?

Absolutely! Don’t let the bureaucracy and red tape ruin your big day. There are still plenty of aspects of your wedding that you will have some measure of control over. These include…

  • Your dress – You are going to take photos, so this is your chance to dress for the occasion. Don’t be afraid to break tradition and wear something colorful. Wear whatever you’d like, whether it’s casual, formal, or in-between, just as long as it doesn’t violate prison dress code rules.
  • Your officiant – You may be able to bring the officiant of your choice into the prison. If not, they’ll have a list for you to choose from. You’ll need to bring cash to the ceremony to pay them because there will be no way to pay them by card.
  • Your witness – As long as the witness of your choice can pass a security clearance, consider them invited to your wedding! You will also have the option of having another inmate witness your wedding. If you are looking for a way to include your fiancé in your planning, letting him pick a best man is it.


What About My Wedding Night?

Currently, only four states allow conjugal visits at all: California, Connecticut, New York, and Washington. None allow them for convicts who are serving life sentences or on death row. If you want to marry a serial killer, you’ll have to skip the wedding night.

That’s not to say you have to be celibate throughout your entire marriage. It just means you’ll need to be creative. Plenty of couples in your position have been. After all, Ted Bundy managed to father a child after he was on death row and not allowed conjugal visits.

It can be frustrating trying to set the date and then having it moved back repeatedly through no fault of your own. For women who love convicted murderers, the walk down the aisle may be longer than most. Keep in communication with each other, follow the rules, and eventually, you will get there.

Love without the possibility of parole isn’t easy, but for many, the rewards are worth it. Remember what they say: true love waits.

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