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 Kentucky, you've come to the right page. Ordained ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in Kentucky 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 Kentucky.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to become an Ordained Minister in Kentucky
Ordination is completely free and can be completed in less than a few hours. Thousands of ministers have registered to perform marriages in Kentucky 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 Kentucky
Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk) in Kentucky. 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 Kentucky.
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 Kentucky
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our bookstore to purchase your official credentials and any required documentation (See Kentucky State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Kentucky 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 Kentucky to get a Complete Minister Package for Kentucky 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 Kentucky 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 Kentucky 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.
402.050 Who may solemnize marriage -- Persons present
(1) Marriage shall be solemnized only by:
(a) Ministers of the gospel or priests of any denomination in regular communion with any religious society;
(b) Justices and judges of the Court of Justice, retired justices and judges of the Court of Justice except those removed for cause or convicted of a felony, county judges/executive, and such justices of the peace and fiscal court commissioners as the Governor or the county judge/executive authorizes; or
(c) A religious society that has no officiating minister or priest and whose usage is to solemnize marriage at the usual place of worship and by consent given in the presence of the society, if either party belongs to the society.
(2) At least two (2) persons, in addition to the parties and the person solemnizing the marriage, shall be present at every marriage.
Title XXXV: Domestic Relations - Chapter 402: Marriage - Solemnization
Effective: July 15, 1996 History: Amended 1996 Ky. Acts ch. 205, sec. 1, effective July 15, 1996. -- Amended 1992 Ky. Acts ch. 50, sec. 1, effective July 14, 1992. -- Amended 1978 Ky. Acts ch. 384, sec. 516, effective June 17, 1978. -- Amended 1976 (1st Extra. Sess.) Ky. Acts ch. 14, sec. 401, effective January 2, 1978. -- Amended 1968 Ky. Acts ch. 102, sec. 1. -- Recodified 1942 Ky. Acts ch. 208, sec. 1, effective October 1, 1942, from Ky. Stat. secs. 2103, 2107.