How To Register Locally To Perform A Wedding
Someone has asked you to perform a wedding and you’ve got your ordination. But you still have questions like “How do I make sure that I am recognized locally”?
All ministers must be sure that they are recognized in the city/county that they will be holding the wedding and wherever the happy couple is filing their marriage license. In some states there is nothing you need to do, in others you may need to take a class, be connected with a local church or simply file paperwork. It is your responsibility to find out.
Don’t worry, If you don’t quite know what steps to take, you’re in the right place.
Now that you are ordained, here are a few of the most common next steps to get you ready to serve as the wedding officiant. If you haven’t gotten ordained, get your documents here.
Once you have your ordination documents, you should contact the office of the local marriage authority in the county that the wedding will be held (typically the county clerk) .
Let them know that you are a minister and ask what they will require of you to officiate a legal marriage in this county.
We have a great guide called the Wedding Officiant Launchpad that can walk you through exactly what to say, and other things needed to get started including a sample wedding script, the exact words to say to your county clerk, and a great wedding checklist.
Once you are acknowledged in your area, you are ready for the wedding. The clerk will also let you know whether you or the couple should file the finalized marriage certificate with the county.
Some good wedding certificate resources can be found here .
It is important to note that some county clerks may require you to provide the following information :
- The time and location at which the wedding took place
- The names and places of residence of all official witnesses
- The religious organization in which the officiant is ordained
- The printed name and address of the officiant
Please note that, when filling out a marriage license, some states may request that you use the title “Minister” or “Reverend”. The county clerks may also require you enter your denomination, you can use “Non-Denominational”. Not listing a denomination in some states may cause the license to be rejected and require you to duplicate the marriage license.
Got more questions? You should contact the local municipality where the wedding will be held first.
You can always get more help here!
Check out this post on setting rates as an officiant.