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 Minnesota, you've come to the right page. Ordained ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in Minnesota 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 Minnesota.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to become an Ordained Minister in Minnesota
Ordination is completely free and can be completed in less than a few hours. Thousands of ministers have registered to perform marriages in Minnesota 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 Minnesota
Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk) in Minnesota. 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 Minnesota.
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 Minnesota
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our bookstore to purchase your official credentials and any required documentation (See Minnesota State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Minnesota 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 Minnesota to get a Complete Minister Package for Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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.
517.04 Persons Authorized to Perform Marriages
Marriages may be solemnized throughout the state by an individual who has attained the age of 21 years and is a judge of a court of record, a retired judge of a court of record, a court administrator, a retired court administrator with the approval of the chief judge of the judicial district, a former court commissioner who is employed by the court system or is acting pursuant to an order of the chief judge of the commissioner's judicial district, the residential school administrators of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf and the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind, a licensed or ordained minister of any religious denomination, or by any mode recognized in section 517.18.
Chapter 517: Marriage
History: (8565) RL s 3555; 1978 c 772 s 3; 1981 c 101 s 1; 1986 c 444; 1Sp1986 c 3 art 1 s 82; 1987 c 377 s 10; 1987 c 384 art 1 s 55; 1991 c 85 s 1; 1995 c 129 s 1; 2009 c 129 s 3
517.05 Credentials of Minister
Ministers of any religious denomination, before they are authorized to solemnize a marriage, shall file a copy of their credentials of license or ordination or, if their religious denomination does not issue credentials, authority from the minister's spiritual assembly, with the local registrar of a county in this state, who shall record the same and give a certificate of filing thereof. The place where the credentials are recorded shall be endorsed upon and recorded with each certificate of marriage granted by a minister.
Chapter 517: Marriage
History: (8566) RL s 3556; 1978 c 772 s 4; 1Sp1986 c 3 art 1 s 82; 2009 c 129 s 4