Albuquerque NM, Online Ordination Guide

Officiate Weddings in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Couple on Horses in Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque is a distinctive Southwestern city, blending Native American, Mexican, and modern American cultures just like its namesake. Nowhere else offers the same local cuisine or vibrant art scene found here. It’s no surprise that Albuquerque is known as the “Land of Enchantment.”

Our aim is to ensure that your New Mexico wedding proceeds seamlessly. However, let’s address the essential logistical steps first – securing your marriage license and completing the ordainment process.

STEP 1: Get Ordained with American Marriage Ministries

Beginning with the ordainment process, in New Mexico, individuals who are licensed, ordained, or certified are eligible to officiate wedding ceremonies. You can attain ordination through AMM to obtain official licensing as an ordained minister. This process is both free and swift, typically requiring just a few minutes of your time.

According to the New Mexico Statutes Annotated § 40-1-2:

Marriages Solemnized; Ordained Clergy Or Civil Magistrates May Solemnize.

A. The civil contract of marriage is entered into when solemnized as provided in Chapter 40, Article 1 NMSA 1978. As used in Chapter 40, Article 1 NMSA 1978, “solemnize” means to join in marriage before witnesses by means of a ceremony. B. A person who is an ordained member of the clergy or who is an authorized representative of a federally recognized Indian nation, tribe or pueblo may solemnize the contract of marriage without regard to sect or rites and customs the person may practice. C. Active or retired judges, justices and magistrates of any of the courts established by the constitution of New Mexico, United States constitution, laws of the state or laws of the United States are civil magistrates having authority to solemnize contracts of marriage. Civil magistrates solemnizing contracts of marriage shall charge no fee therefor.

Begin Ordination

STEP 2: Prepare For Officiating the Wedding

With the ordainment process completed, let’s shift our focus to preparing for the wedding ceremony itself. If you’re officiating a wedding for the first time, you’ll find our wedding training pages invaluable. These pages offer a comprehensive array of information to guide you through the process, ensuring that your inaugural ceremony proceeds seamlessly.

Becoming ordained with AMM is indeed a straightforward process. As the designated wedding officiant, your next crucial step is to prepare for conducting the ceremony. In this role, there are two primary aspects you need to focus on:

  1. Non-Legal Duty – Officiating the Wedding Ceremony
  2. Legal Duty – Signing the Marriage License

Non-Legal Duties – Your non-legal duties encompass all performative aspects of the wedding ceremony. This involves crafting the ceremony script, preparing yourself to officiate the marriage, and determining what to say during the ceremony.

To discover the answers to these inquiries and beyond, we suggest delving into the officiant training pages available on the American Marriage Ministries website. These resources comprehensively address all significant facets of officiating marriages, specifically tailored for first-time officiants. Additionally, for further insights into ceremony preparation, you can explore the following pages:

Remember, practice is key to perfection. The earlier you begin and the more time you dedicate to rehearsal, the more confidently you’ll officiate the wedding when the time comes.

Legal Duties – Your legal obligations primarily revolve around handling the marriage license. As the wedding officiant, your sole legal responsibility is to sign the marriage license on behalf of the couple. This straightforward task entails completing and signing a document, ensuring that all necessary legal requirements are met.

We recognize the significance of ensuring the accurate completion of the marriage license. Should you encounter any confusion regarding the fields on the marriage license, we encourage you to visit our page on “How to Fill Out a Marriage License” for comprehensive guidance.

STEP 3: Officiate the Wedding

When the moment arrives to sign the marriage license, it’s the couple’s duty to procure and fill out the document. However, it’s crucial to verify beforehand that they possess a valid marriage license, ensuring that all personal information such as names and dates are accurate. If you’re not familiar with the couple, it’s acceptable to request a driver’s license as a means of confirming the accuracy of the details provided.

Albuquerque Wedding Planning Logistics

Albuquerque boasts an array of luxury hotels, golf resorts, and country clubs ideal for hosting a grand affair, complete with the comfort of air conditioning. However, for those seeking to embrace the distinctive southwestern New Mexico landscape, there are also stunning outdoor venues worth considering. Among these, the Blame Her Ranch and the Leaping Deer Ranch stand out. Both offer indoor and outdoor accommodations, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds amidst breathtaking surroundings.

Given the consistently sunny weather, events and festivals take place year-round in Albuquerque. It’s advisable to research your wedding date and venue to ensure it doesn’t coincide with major events such as the annual Jazz Fest. By doing so, you can avoid potential traffic congestion and higher hotel prices, thus ensuring a smoother experience for your wedding festivities.


Albuquerque offers a dependable public bus system through ABQ Ride. If you’re visiting from out of town and organizing a wedding in the city, public transit may meet your needs. However, depending on the location of your wedding and related events, renting a car could be more convenient. Alternatively, Lyft, Uber, and zTrip operate in the area, providing additional transportation options if you prefer not to rent a car.


The consensus is that the most favorable weather in Albuquerque occurs during the fall, typically spanning from September to November. During this period, temperatures are pleasantly warm, striking a balance between not too hot and not too cold. Moreover, many of the town’s festivals are held during this season, adding to its allure. On the other hand, summertime may not be the optimal season for an outdoor wedding, as temperatures often soar into the 90s, potentially posing discomfort for guests.

Albuquerque Marriage License Info

Marriage LicenseIt is incumbent upon the couple to apply for the New Mexico Marriage License. Below, you’ll find crucial details pertaining to applying for a marriage license in Maricopa County. For further clarification on terms such as “Waiting Period,” “Expiration,” and “Return,” please refer to the Marriage License Definitions page on the American Marriage Ministries website.


Where do I file for the marriage license in Albuquerque?

In Albuquerque, you typically file for a marriage license at the County Clerk’s Office or the County Probate Court. These offices handle marriage license applications and issue the licenses. It’s advisable to check the specific requirements and procedures with the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office, as they may vary depending on the jurisdiction within Albuquerque.

How much does the marriage license cost in Albuquerque?

The cost of a marriage license in Albuquerque can vary depending on the county. In Bernalillo County, where Albuquerque is located, the fee for a marriage license is typically around $25 to $50. However, it’s recommended to directly contact the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office to confirm the current fee and any accepted methods of payment.

How long must I wait before receiving my marriage license in Albuquerque?

In Albuquerque, the waiting period to receive your marriage license after applying is typically a few days. However, this may vary depending on the county and specific circumstances. It’s advisable to check with the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office for the most accurate information regarding the waiting period in Albuquerque.

When does the marriage license expire in Albuquerque?

In Albuquerque, as in most places, a marriage license typically expires after a certain period if not used. The expiration period for a marriage license in Albuquerque, specifically in Bernalillo County, is usually around 90 days from the date of issuance. However, it’s essential to verify this information with the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office to ensure compliance with local regulations.

Who returns the marriage license?

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the completed marriage license is usually returned to the County Clerk’s Office or the County Probate Court from where it was obtained. After the wedding ceremony, it’s the responsibility of the officiant to ensure that the marriage license is signed by both parties, any required witnesses, and themselves. Subsequently, the officiant typically returns the signed marriage license to the issuing authority within the timeframe specified by local regulations.