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 Michigan, you've come to the right page. Ordained ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in Michigan 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 Michigan.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to become an Ordained Minister in Michigan
Ordination is completely free and can be completed in less than a few hours. Thousands of ministers have registered to perform marriages in Michigan 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 Michigan
Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk) in Michigan. 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 Michigan.
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 Michigan
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our bookstore to purchase your official credentials and any required documentation (See Michigan State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Michigan 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 Michigan to get a Complete Minister Package for Michigan 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 Michigan 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 Michigan 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.
551.7 Persons authorized to solemnize marriage; records; returns; disposition of fees charged by mayor or county clerk
(1) Marriages may be solemnized by any of the following:
(a) A judge of the district court, in the district in which the judge is serving.
(b) A district court magistrate, in the district in which the magistrate serves.
(c) A municipal judge, in the city in which the judge is serving or in a township over which a municipal court has jurisdiction under section 9928 of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.9928.
(d) A judge of probate, in the county or probate court district in which the judge is serving.
(e) A judge of a federal court.
(f) A mayor of a city, anywhere in a county in which that city is located.
(g) A county clerk in the county in which the clerk serves, or in another county with the written authorization of the clerk of the other county.
(h) For a county having more than 2,000,000 inhabitants, an employee of the county clerk's office designated by the county clerk, in the county in which the clerk serves.
(i) A minister of the gospel or cleric or religious practitioner, anywhere in the state, if the minister or cleric or religious practitioner is ordained or authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usages of the denomination.
(j) A minister of the gospel or cleric or religious practitioner, anywhere in the state, if the minister or cleric or religious practitioner is not a resident of this state but is authorized to solemnize marriages under the laws of the state in which the minister or cleric or religious practitioner resides.
(2) A person authorized by this act to solemnize a marriage shall keep proper records and make returns as required by section 4 of 1887 PA 128, MCL 551.104.
(3) If a mayor of a city solemnizes a marriage, the mayor shall charge and collect a fee to be determined by the council of that city, which shall be paid to the city treasurer and deposited in the general fund of the city at the end of the month.
(4) If the county clerk or, in a county having more than 2,000,000 inhabitants, an employee of the clerk's office designated by the county clerk solemnizes a marriage, the county clerk shall charge and collect a fee to be determined by the commissioners of the county in which the clerk serves. The fee shall be paid to the treasurer for the county in which the clerk serves and deposited in the general fund of that county at the end of the month.
Chapter 551: Marriage
History: R.S. 1846, Ch. 83 ;-- CL 1857, 3210 ;-- CL 1871, 4725 ;-- Am. 1873, Act 85, Eff. July 31, 1873 ;-- How. 6215 ;-- CL 1897, 8594 ;-- Am. 1903, Act 139, Eff. Sept. 17, 1903 ;-- Am. 1909, Act 235, Eff. Sept. 1, 1909 ;-- CL 1915, 11368 ;-- CL 1929, 12696 ;-- Am. 1931, Act 28, Imd. Eff. Apr. 21, 1931 ;-- Am. 1937, Act 42, Eff. Oct. 29, 1937 ;-- CL 1948, 551.7 ;-- Am. 1972, Act 211, Eff. July 1, 1972 ;-- Am. 1975, Act 175, Imd. Eff. July 20, 1975 ;-- Am. 1979, Act 24, Imd. Eff. June 6, 1979 ;-- Am. 1983, Act 64, Imd. Eff. May 26, 1983 ;-- Am. 2006, Act 419, Imd. Eff. Sept. 29, 2006 ;-- Am. 2006, Act 613, Imd. Eff. Jan. 3, 2007 ;-- Am. 2008, Act 47, Imd. Eff. Mar. 27, 2008