Become an Alabama Wedding Officiant with ourFree Online Ordination
If you are considering getting ordained online to officiate weddings in Alabama, then you have come to the right place. The first thing you should know is that it is 100% legal for you to get ordained online in Alabama to officiate weddings. Keep reading to learn more about why online ordinations are legal in Alabama and how you can get ordained to officiate weddings anywhere in the State.
5 Alabama Online Ordination Facts
Who can perform marriage in Alabama?
“(a) Generally. Marriages may be solemnized by any licensed ministerof the gospel in regular communion with the Christian church or society of which the minister is a member; by an active or retired judge of the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, Court of Civil Appeals, any circuit court, or any district court within this state; by a judge of any federal court; or by an active or retired judge of probate. ”
Code of Alabama § 30-1-7
Does the Alabama government recognize online ordained ministers?
Yes. In the eyes of the Code of Alabama, ministers that were ordained online are no different than ministers ordained by any other means, be it in-person, or through years of seminary study. Ordained means ordained. Period. Get Ordained Now
Are wedding officiants required to register with the Alabama Government?
This may come as a surprise to you, but wedding officiants in Alabama do not have to register with any government office before or after officiating wedding ceremonies. There are no laws in Alabama requiring that officiants register with any government office.
What Alabama government office must the officiant contact before performing marriage?
None. The Alabama Government does not have any office that registers, certifies, or licenses wedding officiants. Simply put, at no point in your journey from ordination to officiating are you required to contact or register with any Alabama government office.
What is the minimum age allowed for a wedding officiant in Alabama?
In Alabama all wedding officiants must be at least 18 years old to be able to legally solemnize marriage. Basically, in addition to being an ordained minister, you must also be a legal adult.
How Are Alabama Online Ordinations Legal?
To better understand the legal underpinnings of how online ordinations work in relation to gaining the authority to officiate weddings in Alabama, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with an esoteric legal term,“Solemnization of Marriage”. Solemnization of Marriage is simply a fancy way of saying, “Perform Marriage”, “Conduct a Wedding”, or “Officiate a Wedding”. Solemnize is the official act of conducting a wedding ceremony. This is how the act of performing a wedding ceremony is described in the Code of Alabama. Below is the law that specifies who exactly can Solemnize Marriage in Alabama:
Code of Alabama § 30-1-7
(a) Generally. Marriages may be solemnized by any licensed minister of the gospel in regular communion with the Christian church or society of which the minister is a member; by an active or retired judge of the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, Court of Civil Appeals, any circuit court, or any district court within this state; by a judge of any federal court; or by an active or retired judge of probate. (b) Pastor of religious society; clerk of society to maintain register of marriages; register, etc., deemed presumptive evidence of fact. Marriage may also be solemnized by the pastor of any religious society according to the rules ordained or custom established by such society. The clerk or keeper of the minutes of each society shall keep a register and enter therein a particular account of all marriages solemnized by the society, which register, or a sworn copy thereof, is presumptive evidence of the fact. (c) Quakers, Mennonites, or other religious societies. The people called Mennonites, Quakers, or any other Christian society having similar rules or regulations, may solemnize marriage according to their forms by consent of the parties, published and declared before the congregation assembled for public worship.
Code of Alabama § 30-1-7 Explained
If this law looks like an indecipherable wall of text, don’t worry. Let’s focus in on the part that is relevant to you. If you are a Christian then the very first sentence is applicable to you:
“Generally. Marriages may be solemnized by any licensed minister of the gospel in regular communion with the Christian church or society of which the minister is a member”
If you are not of the Christian faith but still wish to exercise your spiritual right to perform marriage you are also protected. In the middle of the law, there is this sentence:
“Marriage may also be solemnized by the pastor of any religious society according to the rules ordained or custom established by such society.”
This statutes allows for people of any religious faith to self actualize their ability to officiate wedding ceremonies. Beyond being articulated in the Code of Alabama, this right is also enshrined in the 1st amendment of the US Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
We hope this better explains the legal foundation for why you absolutely have the right to officiate wedding ceremonies. As long as you are a member of any religious institution that grants you the authority to solemnize marriage, you are good to go. So what are you waiting for?
Alabama Officiant Government Registration
We said it before but it bears repeating – In Alabama, wedding officiants are not required to register with any government office. The government in Alabama does not impose any officiant registration process whatsoever. At no point in your journey from getting ordained to officiating the wedding ceremony are you required to complete government paperwork confirming your status as a wedding officiant. Once you are an online ordained minister you instantly have the legal ability to perform marriage anywhere in Alabama.
Though there is no legal requirement to prove your standing as an Ordained Minister with any Alabama government office, we do recommend that you keep personal records of your official Ministry Credentials. A physical copy of your Ordination Certification is useful to have in the event that the couple or anyone else affiliated with the wedding asks to see proof of your ordination.
How Do I Prepare For Officiating Weddings in Alabama?
Getting ordained is just the first step. The bulk of your time and energy will be taken up in preparing for the wedding ceremony. We know that conducting a wedding ceremony is a big responsibility. And though it is a joyous experience it is also one that needs to be taken very seriously, especially for your role as the wedding officiant.
We will walk you through the process from both the legal and ceremonial aspects of your role as the wedding officiant. And for more information, we encourage you to visit the official American Marriage Ministries website. There you will find the most comprehensive officiant training materials you can find online.
Many of the people that get ordained online have never officiated a wedding before. We know that this can seem intimidating and have anticipated your need to understand the entire process. Our mission is to empower you not just to officiate weddings, but to do so with skill, confidence, and dare we say, a bit of style.
Officiating a wedding in Alabama is unique in that marriage licenses are not required to get married. This means that couples do not have to apply for a marriage license. The county probate court does not issue marriage licenses. Marriage licenses are no longer a thing in Alabama.
HOWEVER – all Alabama probate courts are required to record marriage certificates. The Alabama Marriage Certificate form is a contractual agreement between the couple, completed by both parties and delivered to the probate court for recording. Once properly completed and recorded, the marriage is valid.
This does not affect how the wedding ceremony is conducted, only that the “solemnization of marriage” is no longer a legal requirement for a recognized marriage in Alabama. The officiant is still essential to conduct the wedding. The legal marriage process is handled by the couple, who apply for fill out, and process the marriage certificate.
Alabama’s legal marriage process is different than other most states. It is a good practice to check in with the couple to make sure they are aware of the process.
Alabama Wedding Officiant Legal Responsibilities
Wedding officiant in Alabama have no legal responsibilities. Wedding officiants are not required to register with any government offices. Additionally, there is no marriage license for the officiant to sign. All of the legal responsibilities to get married are on the couple.
Thanks for reading and go get your officiating on! To learn more about getting ordained online and how to officiate weddings, check out American Marriage Ministries.