The Basics: How to Complete the Marriage License as the Wedding Officiant
Every state, and often county has their own requirements for completing the marriage license. Our first word of advice is to check with the office that issues the marriage license. The specific fields, formatting, and wording on marriage licenses vary depending on who is issuing the license. It is important to read the instructions that come with the marriage license. Below is a list of fields that may be included on the marriage license you will sign as a wedding officiant.
Your title is “Minister” unless otherwise noted. When you get ordained with American Marriage Ministries, you are join our organization as a minister. It is with this title, Minister, that you have the authority to perform marriage.
If you are signing the marriage license in your capacity as an AMM minister, you should fill in your church affiliation as, “American Marriage Ministries”.
As a minister with AMM, you can perform marriage in accordance with any religious practice. Because your legal ordination with AMM gives you authority to sign the marriage license you are still acting as a minister of American Marriage Ministries. We cannot give you the authority to act as a representative of any other church.
If there is a section on the marriage license that asks for your “Denomination,” write “Non-Denominational”, unless the marriage was celebrated in accordance with a specific denominational rite.
American Marriage Ministries is a non-denominational and interfaith church. For this reason “Non-Denominational” is the most appropriate response. However, that same designation allows you to perform weddings in accordance with any religious, or non-religious rites you wish. If your ceremony was celebrated in line with a specific denomination, you should specify this (eg. Baptist).
Please note that a small number of counties do not allow ministers to specify “Non-Denominational.” If you are informed of this by your local county clerk, write “American Marriage Ministries”.
The license may have a section asking you to specify whether the wedding was Civil or Religious. Unless otherwise specified, you should mark “Religious”.
Even if you perform an entirely secular ceremony, you do so in your capacity as a minister, which is a “Religious” official according to most local government rules. In general, only government officials like judges or other officials of the court can perform a “Civil” wedding ceremony.
Many states require up to two witnesses signatures on the marriage license. If this is the case, the witness(es) must complete their required fields on the license and sign the document. Traditionally this is done by the maid of honor and/or best man, but others witnesses to the ceremony can sign as well.
For more information on how to complete a marriage license, marriage license cost, waiting period and more, check out “Wedding Officiant Guidelines for Completing Marriage Licenses“.