It was not hard. The only kind of weird thing was that we had to go in to the county clerk together to do it. We brought our check for $79 and our application for a marriage license and left with this:
Personal Photo - Why Yes, I Am an Expert of Taking Photos of Myself (who needs tripods when you have short walls?)
A real, genuine marriage certificate. All we had to do now was have a ceremony, get some signatures, and send it back to be officially married.
This is the sort of thing that I would expect to take forever, like a DMV line, but we were in and out pretty quick. I think the key is to go in the morning right after everyone's gotten to work (between 9:30 and 10:30 ideally).
Also, if you're having a friend officiate, we found the Universal Life Church to be the easiest way to get them ordained. You can do the whole thing online, and it's super fast.
Getting the actual marriage certificate was definitely a little weird. It was around this point when I started thinking, "Do I really want to do this?" To me, it's the legal aspect of marriage that makes it real. But when the day came, I had no lingering doubts, thankfully. But we'll get to that. For now, we had done nothing more than check a small but important thing off the list.
What made marriage real for you? Did you get cold feet at any point?