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 Delaware, you've come to the right page. Ordained ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in Delaware 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 Delaware.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to become an Ordained Minister in Delaware
Ordination is completely free and can be completed in less than a few hours. Thousands of ministers have registered to perform marriages in Delaware 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 Delaware
Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk) in Delaware. 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 Delaware.
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 Delaware
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our bookstore to purchase your official credentials and any required documentation (See Delaware State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Delaware 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 Delaware to get a Complete Minister Package for Delaware 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 Delaware 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 Delaware 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.
106 Solemnization of marriages; production of license; penalty; registration of persons authorized to solemnize marriages
(a) A clergyperson or minister of any religion, current and former Judges of this State's Supreme Court, Superior Court, Family Court, Court of Chancery, Court of Common Pleas, Justice of the Peace Court, federal Judges, federal Magistrates, clerks of the peace of various counties and current and former judges from other jurisdictions with written authorization by the clerk of the peace from the county in Delaware where the ceremony is to be performed may solemnize marriages between persons who may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation. The Clerk of the Peace in each county for good cause being shown may:
(1) Allow by written permit within that Clerk's respective county, any duly sworn member of another state's judiciary, to solemnize marriages in the State between persons who may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation.
(2) Allow by written permit within that Clerk's respective county, the Clerk of the Peace from another county within the State to solemnize marriages in the State between persons who may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation.
Within the limits of any incorporated municipality, the Mayor thereof may solemnize marriages between persons who may lawfully enter into matrimonial relation. Marriages shall be solemnized in the presence of at least 2 reputable witnesses who shall sign the certificate of marriage as prescribed by this chapter. Marriages may also be solemnized or contracted according to the forms and usages of any religious society. No marriage shall be solemnized or contracted without the production of a license issued pursuant to this chapter.
(b) For purposes of this section, the words "resident of this State" shall include the son or daughter of a person who has been domiciled within the State for 1 year or more, notwithstanding the actual place of residence of the son or daughter immediately prior to the date of the marriage.
(c) In the case of absence or disability of the duly elected Clerk of the Peace, the chief deputy or, if there is no chief deputy, a deputy employed in the office of the Clerk of the Peace, shall be authorized to solemnize marriages.
(d) Whoever, not being authorized by this section, solemnizes a marriage, shall be fined $100, and in default of the payment of such fine shall be imprisoned not more than 30 days, and such marriage shall be void, unless it is in other respects lawful and is consummated with the full belief of either of the parties in its validity.
Title 13: Domestic Relations - Chapter 1: Marriage - Subchapter I: General Provisions
Code 1852, Â§Â§ 1438-1440; 17 Del. Laws, c. 207, Â§ 9; 26 Del. Laws, c. 244, Â§ 6; 27 Del. Laws, c. 261, Â§ 2; Code 1915, Â§Â§ 2141, 2993; 32 Del. Laws, c. 182, Â§ 1; Code 1935, Â§Â§ 2434, 3486; 13 Del. C. 1953, Â§ 106; 49 Del. Laws, c. 220, Â§ 12; 54 Del. Laws, c. 126, Â§ 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 129, Â§ 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 34, Â§ 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 21, Â§Â§ 1, 2; 63 Del. Laws, c. 403, Â§ 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 30, Â§ 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, Â§ 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 307, Â§Â§ 1, 2; 71 Del. Laws, c. 289, Â§ 2; 72 Del. Laws, c. 82, Â§ 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 113, Â§ 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 24, Â§ 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 272, Â§Â§ 1-3.;