How to Register and Perform a Wedding By State
If you are either planning to be married or have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in Alabama, you've come to the right page. Ordained ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in Alabama and around the world!
The information provided below is designed to walk you through the most common steps to become a minister and perform a wedding ceremony in Alabama.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to become an Ordained Minister in Alabama
Ordination is completely free and can be completed in less than a few hours. Thousands of ministers have registered to perform marriages in Alabama and other states each year!
If you haven't already, you should get ordained online with Open Ministry.
Get started today by clicking on the link below!
Step 2 - Contact The County Clerk
How to Register to Officiate a Marriage in Alabama
Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk) in Alabama. Let them know that you are a minister of Open Ministry in California, and ask what they will require of you to officiate a legal marriage in Alabama.
When speaking with the county clerk; it can be helpful to use the following phrases.
- What agency or department issues marriage licenses in your county and how may I contact them?
- I am an ordained minister with a church in California and I would like to register as a wedding Officiant in your county to perform and solemnize weddings.
- I have my Letter of Good Standing and/or Ordination Credential as proof of my ministry and ordination.
- What additional documentation is required for me to register as a wedding Officiant in your county?
Step 3 - Getting Licensed to Perform the Marriage
License to perform a wedding in Alabama
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our bookstore to purchase your official credentials and any required documentation (See Alabama State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Alabama you may be asked to display proof of your ordination to the county clerk's before they will accept the marriage license as having been legally solemnized. We typically advise ministers of Alabama to get a Complete Minister Package for Alabama which includes your Letter of Good Standing.
Having your ordination credentials will also provide peace-of-mind to any couple that you intend to marry. Additionally, we recommend that you have at least 4 weeks between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials in time to register.
It is important to note that some county clerks in Alabama may require wedding officiants to attach a statement avowing some of the elements in the marriage license upon submission, including the following:
- The time and location at which the wedding took place
- The names and places of residence of all official witnesses
- The religious organization in which the officiant is ordained
- The printed name and address of the officiant
Please note that, when filling out a marriage license, that Alabama State may request you use the title "Minister" or "Reverend". The County Clerks may also require you enter your denomination, you can use "Non-Denominational". Failing to state a denomination may result in rejection and could require a duplicate marriage license.
Step 4 - How to Perform the Wedding
How to perform a wedding in Alabama
Once you have completed of the above, you are ready to perform the wedding! Be sure that the couple has picked up their Alabama marriage license from the appropriate office. Marriage licenses valid for a set number of days, and there may be a waiting period between when the couple receives the marriage license in Alabama and when the ceremony may be legally performed in Alabama.
Please be aware that the signed license must be returned to the issuing office in Alabama before the time limit is reached. Check the marriage license for the exact dates. Once the legal matters have been addressed, officiating a wedding in Alabama can be a great experience.
If you have any comments or issues as a wedding officiant in Alabama, or after you have been ordained, or would like to just asking for guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony in Alabama. We recommend that all new Alabama wedding ministers who have issues or concerns about the ceremony read over our helpful guides.
30-1-7 Persons Authorized to Solemnize Marriages
(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.
Title 30 Marital and Domestic Relations - Chapter 1: Marriage
(Code 1852, Â§1946-1948; Code 1867, Â§2335-2337; Code 1876, Â§2674-2676; Code 1886, Â§2311-2313; Code 1896, Â§2841-2843; Code 1907, Â§4881-4883; Code 1923, Â§8995-8997; Code 1940, T. 34, Â§6-8; Acts 1988, No. 88-551, p. 867; Act 2003-303, p. 721, Â§1; Act 2004-485, p. 903, Â§1.)