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 Jersey, you've come to the right page. Ordained ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in New Jersey 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 Jersey.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to become an Ordained Minister in New Jersey
Ordination is completely free and can be completed in less than a few hours. Thousands of ministers have registered to perform marriages in New Jersey 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 Jersey
Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk) in New Jersey. 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 Jersey.
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 Jersey
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our bookstore to purchase your official credentials and any required documentation (See New Jersey State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in New Jersey 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 Jersey to get a Complete Minister Package for New Jersey 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 Jersey 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 Jersey 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.
37:1-13 Authorization to solemnize marriages and civil unions
Each judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, each judge of a federal district court, United States magistrate, judge of a municipal court, judge of the Superior Court, judge of a tax court, retired judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court, or judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court, the former County Court, the former County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, or the former County District Court who has resigned in good standing, surrogate of any county, county clerk and any mayor or the deputy mayor when authorized by the mayor, or chairman of any township committee or village president of this State, and every minister of every religion, are hereby authorized to solemnize marriages or civil unions between such persons as may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation or civil union; and every religious society, institution or organization in this State may join together in marriage or civil union such persons according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization.
Title 37: Marriages and Married Persons
Amended 1948, c.334, s.1; 1949, c.7, s.1; 1953, c.34, s.3; 1964, c.68; 1965, c.36; 1976, c.36; 1979, c.38; 1979, c.93; 1979, c.166, s.1; 1983, c.159; 1983, c.503; 1989, c.111; 1991, c.404; 1993, c.126; 1993, c.324; 1998, c.24; 2001, c.143; 2006, c.103, s.17.