Officiate Weddings in Houston, Texas
Considering that Houston is the birthplace of the “Queen B”, Beyoncé Knowles, there’s many reasons to be “Crazy in Love” with Houston, Texas. And when it comes to getting married, Houston has some of Texas’ most amazing wedding venues, whether you go all out for a wedding at the Astorian or an outdoor Texan-style country wedding at “La Finca”.
Where you get married can help set the tone for the wedding ceremony. However who officiates your wedding can add a whole next level of meaning to this memorable day. And having a family member or friend get ordained to officiate your wedding is a great way to really make your wedding ceremony “Lift Off”.
American Marriage Ministries offer free online ordination to officiate weddings. “AMM” has thousands of ordained ministers in the Houston area. Beyond ordination, American Marriage Ministries provides all the resources necessary to train first-time officiants. This page covers the important facts you need to know before performing a legally-binding wedding in Houston.
Keep on reading for everything you need to know to officiate weddings and sign marriage licenses in Houston, Texas.
STEP 1: Get Ordained with American Marriage Ministries
The Texas Statutes § Sec. 2.202 allows for the following officials to officiate weddings:
(a) The following persons are authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony:
(1) a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest;
(2) a Jewish rabbi;
(3) a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony; and
(4) a justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of criminal appeals, justice of the courts of appeals, judge of the district, county, and probate courts, judge of the county courts at law, judge of the courts of domestic relations, judge of the juvenile courts, retired justice or judge of those courts, justice of the peace, retired justice of the peace, judge of a municipal court, or judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state.
(b) For the purposes of this section, a retired judge or justice is a former judge or justice who is vested in the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan One or the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan Two or who has an aggregate of at least 12 years of service as judge or justice of any type listed in Subsection (a)(4).
(c) Except as provided by Subsection
(d), a person commits an offense if the person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony without authorization under this section. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.
(d) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony of a minor whose marriage is prohibited by law or of a person who by marrying commits an offense under Section 25.01, Penal Code. An offense under this subsection is a felony of the third degree.
If you have been asked to officiating a wedding, your first step is to get ordained with American Marriage Ministries. AMM Ordination is free, takes only a few minutes, and meets the Texas Statute § Sec. 2.202, giving you the legal ability to officiate wedding ceremonies.
Once ordained with AMM you will qualify to officiate weddings within the category of religious leaders. Our ordination authorizes you to officiate weddings in Texas (and everywhere else in the US). The process takes just a few minutes and is free!
Officiant Registration in Houston
Officiants are not required to register with the Dallas County Clerk before performing marriage. Texas law does not require minister registration anywhere in the state. However, if you are performing marriage in the capacity of a minister or other religious official, the State of Texas requires that you be ordained, such as through American Marriage Ministries. We advise that you keep proof of your ordination credentials for your own records. It is good practice to keep your ordination certificate on hand in case you are asked to produce them by the couple.
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.
Houston Marriage License Info
It is the couple’s responsibility to file for the Texas Marriage License. That being said, below is important information regarding applying for a marriage license in Houston 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?
Houston County Clerk’s Office
401 E Houston Ave 1st Floor
Crockett, TX 75835
How much does the marriage license cost?
How long must I wait before completing my marriage license?
When does the marriage license expire?
Who returns the marriage license?
When must the marriage license be returned after the wedding?
Within 10 Days