In Alabama the deal is get the license in the county where you’re going to be married, and pay the bond to that county.
I think you then have 30 days to have the thing officiated (church, minister, JP, whatever), or the bond is forfeited. The officiating minister, in my opinion oddly, explained that he believed the marriage was accomplished at the point the license was approved; I didn’t question him. Too bad, maybe.
My ex-wife didn’t like my idea: Take my sword out to a pretty place in the wilderness, and place it on the ground. Join hands and recite, “Jump, rogue, and leap, whore; married be forevermore.”
When you both step across the sword, you’re married. Or she can pick up the sword, cut your heart out with it, and you’re definitely not married. This thing might not be easy to codify as law. But it’s a lot easier than many other ways the event might (or might not be) handled. And, of course, the romance and cuteness of the sword might just as easily be replaced with a loaded AR-15 and a slightly different application.