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 Georgia, you've come to the right page. Ordained ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in Georgia 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 Georgia.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to become an Ordained Minister in Georgia
Ordination is completely free and can be completed in less than a few hours. Thousands of ministers have registered to perform marriages in Georgia 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 Georgia
Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk) in Georgia. 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 Georgia.
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 Georgia
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our bookstore to purchase your official credentials and any required documentation (See Georgia State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Georgia 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 Georgia to get a Complete Minister Package for Georgia 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 Georgia 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 Georgia 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.
19-3-30 Issuance, return, and recording of license
(a) Marriage licenses shall be issued only by the judge of the probate court or his clerk at the county courthouse between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M., Monday through Saturday.
(2) If one of the persons to be married is a resident of this state, the license may be issued in any county of this state. If neither the male nor the female to be married is a resident of this state, the license shall be issued in the county in which the ceremony is to be performed.
(c) The license shall be directed to the Governor or any former Governor of this state, any judge, including judges of state and federal courts of record in this state, city recorder, magistrate, minister, or other person of any religious society or sect authorized by the rules of such society to perform the marriage ceremony; such license shall authorize the marriage of the persons therein named and require the Governor or any former Governor of this state, judge, city recorder, magistrate, minister, or other authorized person to return the license to the judge of the probate court with the certificate thereon as to the fact and date of marriage within 30 days after the date of the marriage. The license with the return thereon shall be recorded by the judge in a book kept by such judge for that purpose.
(d) The fact of issue of any unrecorded marriage license may be established by affidavit of either party to a ceremonial marriage, which affidavit shall set forth the date, the place, and the name and title of the official issuing the license.
(e) In the event that any marriage license is not returned for recording, as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, either party to a ceremonial marriage may establish the marriage by submitting to the judge of the probate court the affidavits of two witnesses to the marriage ceremony setting forth the date, the place, and the name of the official or minister performing the ceremony. The judge shall thereupon reissue the marriage license and enter thereon the certificate of marriage and all dates and names in accordance with the evidence submitted and shall record and cross-index same in the proper chronological order in the book kept for that purpose.
(f) Any other provisions of this Code section or any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, the judge of the probate court of any county which has within its boundaries a municipality that has a population according to the United States decennial census of 1950 or any future such census greater than that of the county seat of the county is authorized to appoint a clerk for the purpose of granting marriage licenses in the municipality at an office designated by the judge. The licenses shall be issued only between the hours prescribed in subsection (a) of this Code section.
Title 19: Domestic Relations - Chapter 3: Marriage Generally - Article 2: License and Ceremony
HISTORY: Laws 1805, Cobb's 1851 Digest, p. 282; Laws 1809, Cobb's 1851 Digest, p. 282; Ga. L. 1851-52, p. 49, Â§ 1; Code 1863, Â§Â§ 1659, 1663; Code 1868, Â§Â§ 1702, 1706; Code 1873, Â§Â§ 1703, 1707; Code 1882, Â§Â§ 1703, 1707; Civil Code 1895, Â§Â§ 2417, 2421; Civil Code 1910, Â§Â§ 2936, 2940; Ga. L. 1924, p. 53, Â§ 1; Code 1933, Â§Â§ 53-201, 53-211; Ga. L. 1956, p. 43, Â§ 1; Ga. L. 1960, p. 179, Â§ 1; Ga. L. 1965, p. 335, Â§ 2; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, Â§ 19; Ga. L. 1983, p. 884, Â§ 4-1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 1192, Â§ 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 409, Â§ 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 624, Â§ 2; Ga. L. 1997, p. 1592, Â§ 1; Ga. L. 2010, p. 394, Â§ 1/SB 238.