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 Arkansas, you've come to the right page. Ordained ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in Arkansas 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 Arkansas.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to become an Ordained Minister in Arkansas
Ordination is completely free and can be completed in less than a few hours. Thousands of ministers have registered to perform marriages in Arkansas 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 Arkansas
Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk) in Arkansas. 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 Arkansas.
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 Arkansas
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our bookstore to purchase your official credentials and any required documentation (See Arkansas State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Arkansas 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 Arkansas to get a Complete Minister Package for Arkansas 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 Arkansas 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 Arkansas 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.
9-11-213 Persons who may solemnize marriages
(a) For the purpose of being registered and perpetuating the evidence thereof, marriage shall be solemnized only by the following persons:
(1) The Governor;
(2) Any former justice of the Supreme Court;
(3) Any judges of the courts of record within this state, including any former judge of a court of record who served at least four (4) years or more;
(4) Any justice of the peace, including any former justice of the peace who served at least two (2) terms since the passage of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55;
(5) Any regularly ordained minister or priest of any religious sect or denomination;
(6) The mayor of any city or town;
(7) Any official appointed for that purpose by the quorum court of the county where the marriage is to be solemnized; or
(8) Any elected district court judge and any former municipal or district court judge who served at least four (4) years.
(b) (1) Marriages solemnized through the traditional rite of the Religious Society of Friends, more commonly known as Quakers, are recognized as valid to all intents and purposes the same as marriages otherwise contracted and solemnized in accordance with law.
(2) The functions, duties, and liabilities of a party solemnizing marriage, as set forth in the marriage laws of this state, in the case of marriages solemnized through the traditional marriage rite of the Religious Society of Friends shall be incumbent upon the clerk of the congregation or, in his or her absence, his or her duly designated alternate.
Title 9: Family Law - Subtitle 2: Domestic Relations - Chapter 11: Marriage - Subchapter 2: License and Ceremony
Rev. Stat., ch. 94, Â§ 10; Acts 1873, No. 2, Â§ 1, p. 2; C. & M. Dig., Â§ 7046; Pope's Dig., Â§ 9026; Acts 1947, No. 231, Â§ 1; 1977, No. 95, Â§ 2; 1979, No. 693, Â§ 1; 1983, No. 850, Â§ 1; A.S.A. 1947, Â§ 55-216; Acts 1987, No. 394, Â§ 1; 1997, No. 862, Â§ 1; 2001, No. 1068, Â§ 1; 2003, No. 1185, Â§ 16; 2007, No. 98, Â§ 1.
Minister Required to Register with County