Officiate Weddings in Detroit, Michigan
What better place to have the classic American wedding than in Motown, the place that produced such hits as “Everybody Needs Love”, “You Really Got a Hold On Me”, and too many love songs to name. If you’re going for a Motown themed wedding, you sure won’t have any trouble finding love songs to play at the reception!
And speaking of love, what better way to add an extra dimension of warmth to the wedding ceremony than to have a close friend or family member officiate your wedding? Better yet, becoming a wedding officiant in Michigan and in Detroit specifically is so easy that if you didn’t consider it, one might wonder “What’s Going On?”.
American Marriage Ministries ordains people to perform marriage. Thousands of people in Detroit have already become AMM ministers to officiate weddings for their friends, family, and community. Better yet, ordination with “AMM” is free and they provide all the resources you could need to help train you to officiate weddings. Continue reading to learn how to officiate a legally-binding wedding in Detroit!
STEP 1: Get Ordained with American Marriage Ministries
The Michigan Compiled Laws § 551.7 allows for the following officials to officiate weddings:
(1) Marriages may be solemnized by any of the following:
(a) A judge of the district court, in the district in which the judge is serving.
(b) A district court magistrate, in the district in which the magistrate serves.
(c) A municipal judge, in the city in which the judge is serving or in a township over which a municipal court has jurisdiction under section 9928 of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.9928.
(d) A judge of probate, in the county or probate court district in which the judge is serving.
(e) A judge of a federal court. (f) A mayor of a city, anywhere in a county in which that city is located.
(g) A county clerk in the county in which the clerk serves, or in another county with the written authorization of the clerk of the other county.
(h) For a county having more than 2,000,000 inhabitants, an employee of the county clerk’s office designated by the county clerk, in the county in which the clerk serves.
(i) A minister of the gospel or cleric or religious practitioner, anywhere in the state, if the minister or cleric or religious practitioner is ordained or authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usages of the denomination.
(j) A minister of the gospel or cleric or religious practitioner, anywhere in the state, if the minister or cleric or religious practitioner is not a resident of this state but is authorized to solemnize marriages under the laws of the state in which the minister or cleric or religious practitioner resides.
(2) A person authorized by this act to solemnize a marriage shall keep proper records and make returns as required by section 4 of 1887 PA 128, MCL 551.104.
(3) If a mayor of a city solemnizes a marriage, the mayor shall charge and collect a fee to be determined by the council of that city, which shall be paid to the city treasurer and deposited in the general fund of the city at the end of the month.
(4) If the county clerk or, in a county having more than 2,000,000 inhabitants, an employee of the clerk’s office designated by the county clerk solemnizes a marriage, the county clerk shall charge and collect a fee to be determined by the commissioners of the county in which the clerk serves. The fee shall be paid to the treasurer for the county in which the clerk serves and deposited in the general fund of that county at the end of the month.
If you do not fall into any of these categories, no sweat. You can get ordained with AMM to fall within the priest or minister category. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.
Officiant Registration in Detroit
When it comes time to perform your duties as the officiant, Wayne County may ask you to present documentation, which AMM provides for a fee. (You can call the county clerk’s office before you perform the ceremony to ask if they will require you to bring the certificate in person.)
STEP 2: Prepare For Officiating the Wedding
Getting AMM ordained is the easy part. Your next step as the wedding officiant is to prepare for officiating the wedding ceremony. As the wedding officiant, there are two main things you need to prepare for:
- Non-Legal Duty – Officiating the Wedding Ceremony
- Legal Duty – Signing the Marriage License
Non-Legal Duties – You non-legal duties encompass all of the performative aspects of the wedding ceremony. How do I write a wedding ceremony? How do I get ready to perform marriage? What do I say at a wedding?
To learn the answers to all these questions and more, we recommend that you read through the officiant training pages on the American Marriage Ministries website. These resources cover all important aspects of performing marriage and is geared towards first-time officiants. You can also check out these pages for more ceremony prep info:
- Officiant Preparation for a Wedding Ceremony
- Writing a Wedding Ceremony
- How To Perform a Wedding Ceremony
Keep in mind that practice makes perfect. The sooner you get started and the more time you allocate to practice, the better prepared you will be when it comes time to officiate the wedding.
Legal Duties – Your legal duties have everything to do with the marriage license. Your one legal job as the wedding officiant is to sign the marriage license for the couple. This is as simple as it sounds, kust complete and sign a piece of paper. That’s it!
We understand how important it is to make sure the marriage license is properly completed. If you do find yourself confused by some of the fields on the marriage license, check out our page on How to Fill Out a Marriage License.
STEP 3: Officiate the Wedding
Regarding your performative duties, this is where you shine. If you have done your due diligence in preparing for the wedding ceremony, you will do an amazing job. In fact, you may have a lot more fun officiating a wedding than you might think. Many officiants that are AMM ordained to officiate one wedding eventually go on to officiating several. It’s really a lot of fun!
Regarding the marriage license – The couple is responsible for applying for the marriage license. Make sure to double check with the couple before performing the ceremony. At some point on the wedding day, the couple must present to you their marriage license. Your job is to complete and sign it in their presence and any required witnesses. The marriage license can be completed before or after the ceremony, that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that all the fields are completed properly and that it bears your signature.
Once the marriage license is properly signed, you have successfully performed all of your functions as the wedding officiant. Afterwards we recommend that you follow-up with the couple to make sure the marriage license has been returned to its issuance office.
Detroit Wedding Planning Logistics
First things first: choose your wedding date with some thought. You’ll want to note the dates of the many events and festivals in Michigan, like the Electronic Music Festival around Memorial Day, the National Cherry Festival in early July and the Michigan State Fair in September. Just make sure that you don’t choose a venue in close proximity to these events. Speaking of venues, Detroit and Michigan at large have a diverse array of options to explore. Here are a couple of our favorite picks.
If you want to flip the script on the traditional wedding formula, check out the Eastern Market in downtown Detroit, where many of Detroit’s specialty markets are hosted. There are multiple structures to choose from, which provide plenty of space and shelter from the elements, and an industrial ambiance that is perfect for a funky couple. But there are plenty of options for the couple that’s envisioning a classic wedding in the city without breaking the bank. Check out the University of Michigan’s Event Center, which is just as elegant as any pricey banquet hall, at a fraction of the cost.
If you’re going carless in Motor City, Detroit has a lot of public transportation options. The DDOT is one of the more popular modes, as it covers most of the city’s nooks and crannies. But if you’d like to avoid navigating Detroit’s public transportation, rideshares very prevalent.
Detroit has four distinct seasons, but the weather can be unpredictable, especially during the winter. Michigan winters bring thunderstorms, sleet, snow, and even the occasional tornado. But the craziness calms down in the late spring, and transitions into lovely Michigan summers, when the average daily high usually doesn’t go beyond the mid-80s. Fall is also beautiful. The temperature begins to drop in October, but the foliage is always beautiful.
Detroit Marriage License Info
It is the couple’s responsibility to file for the Michigan Marriage License. That being said, below is important information regarding applying for a marriage license in Wayne County. If you need more clarification on what is meant by “Waiting Period”, “Expiration”, and “Return”, check out the Marriage License Definitions page on the American Marriage Ministries website.
Where do I file for the marriage license?
Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
2 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48226
How much does the marriage license cost?
How long must I wait before completing my marriage license?
72 Hours (but you can pay a fee of $50 to wave it)
When does the marriage license expire?
Who returns the marriage license?
When must the marriage license be returned after the wedding?
Within 10 Days