Officiate Weddings in San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is a city with over 300 years of history, including important historical sites and Spanish Mission inspired architecture. So you know there are plenty of amazing options when it comes to wedding venues.
Whether you are a resident of Texas or you are getting married to one, San Antonio is a great spot to get married, whether you go all out or choose to have an intimate backyard ceremony. More important than where you get married though, is who officiates your wedding. Having a family member or friend officiate your wedding is a wonderful way to do something truly special for your big day. And doing having someone close to you officiate your wedding as also much easier than you might think.
American Marriage Ministries ordains people to officiate wedding for their friends, family, and community. Better yet, ordination with “AMM” is free and they provide all plenty of training materials for first-time officiants. Keep reading to to learn more about what you need to know before officiating a legally-binding wedding ceremony in San Antonio.
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.
As stated on the Bexar County Clerk’s website, the choice of who officiates a wedding is at the couple’s discretion, so long as they have the authority to solemnize marriage. If you have been asked to perform marriage, your first step is to get ordained with American Marriage Ministries. AMM Ordination is free and meets the Texas Statute § Sec. 2.202, conferring upon you the legal ability to marry people.
Once ordained with American Marriage Ministries you will qualify to perform marriage within the category of “religious leaders”.
Officiant Registration in San Antonio
Ministers are not required to register with the Bexar County Clerk before officiating weddings. Texas law does not require officiant registration with the state. If you are officiating a wedding in the capacity of a minister or other religious official, the State of Texas requires that you be ordained, such as through AMM. We recommend that you keep proof of your ministerial credentials for your own records. It is good practice to keep your ordination certificate on hand in case you are asked to produce them for 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.
San Antonio Wedding Planning Logistics
San Antonio is a city full of Old West history and magnificent western landscapes further afield. Be sure to take a look at the city’s event pages before you select your wedding date, since bigger events draw crowds and fill up hotels, which can complicate logistics for your wedding guests.
If the local countryside is more your speed, there are plenty of options for that as well. Featherstone Ranch is a gorgeous venue on over 50 acres located in the heart of Fredericksburg wine country. It even has a beautiful open concept white chapel on the grounds. Rancho La Mission has space for up to 2,000 guests on a Spanish-style sprawling ranch with its own petting zoo.
If you would prefer to have your wedding closer to the city, check out the Majestic Empire Theater. It’s a wonderful alternative to traditional venues, but still retains a historical feel. San Antonio has so many options to choose from, all with their own charm and unique ties to the local culture.
A rental car is suggested for out of town guests. Hotels and venues in San Antonio are spread far and wide, so having transportation is important. Local Texas residents can expect a three to four drive from Dallas or Houston, guests visiting from other states can fly into San Antonio International Airport.
Because of its location on the central plains, San Antonio offers a mild subtropical climate. Summers in San Antonio experience the hottest weather, with temperatures around or above 90 degrees most of June, July, and August. It doesn’t ever get too cold, and during the winter, expect to see average temperatures in the 50s. Humidity and rainfall varies year to year, but September, October, January, March, and May will only see about four days of rain while the rest of the year has just three days of rainfall.
San Antonio 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 Bexar 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?
Paul Elizondo Tower
Bexar County Marriage License Office
101 West Nueva Suite 120
San Antonio, TX 7820
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