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 New Hampshire, you've come to the right page. Ordained ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to become an Ordained Minister in New Hampshire
Ordination is completely free and can be completed in less than a few hours. Thousands of ministers have registered to perform marriages in New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire
Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk) in New Hampshire. 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 New Hampshire.
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 New Hampshire
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our bookstore to purchase your official credentials and any required documentation (See New Hampshire State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire to get a Complete Minister Package for New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire 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.
457:31 Solemnization of Marriage
A marriage may be solemnized in the following manner:
I. In a civil ceremony by a justice of the peace as commissioned by the state and by judges of the United States appointed pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution, by bankruptcy judges appointed pursuant to Article I of the United States Constitution, or by United States magistrate judges appointed pursuant to federal law; or
II. In a religious ceremony by any minister of the gospel in the state who has been ordained according to the usage of his or her denomination, resides in the state, and is in regular standing with the denomination; by any member of the clergy who is not ordained but is engaged in the service of the religious body to which he or she belongs, and who resides in the state, after being licensed therefor by the secretary of state; or within his or her parish, by any minister residing out of the state, but having a pastoral charge wholly or partly in this state.
Title 63: Domestic Relations - Chapter 457: Marriages
Source. RS 147:6. CS 156:6. 1861, 2484:1. GS 161:9. 1877, 57:1. GL 180:9. PS 174:8. 1919, 56:1. 1921, 79:1. PL 286:28. RL 338:31. RSA 457:31. 1969, 435:1. 1998, 294:1. 2001, 11:1, eff. April 24, 2001. 2006, 86:2, eff. July 4, 2006. 2009, 59:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2010.