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 Texas, you've come to the right page. Ordained ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in Texas 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 Texas.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to become an Ordained Minister in Texas
Ordination is completely free and can be completed in less than a few hours. Thousands of ministers have registered to perform marriages in Texas 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 Texas
Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk) in Texas. 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 Texas.
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 Texas
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our bookstore to purchase your official credentials and any required documentation (See Texas State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Texas 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 Texas to get a Complete Minister Package for Texas 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 Texas 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 Texas 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.
2.202 PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO CONDUCT CEREMONY
(a) The following persons are authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony:
(1) a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest;
(2) a Jewish rabbi;
(3) a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony; and
(4) a justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of criminal appeals, justice of the courts of appeals, judge of the district, county, and probate courts, judge of the county courts at law, judge of the courts of domestic relations, judge of the juvenile courts, retired justice or judge of those courts, justice of the peace, retired justice of the peace, judge of a municipal court, or judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state.
(b) For the purposes of this section, a retired judge or justice is a former judge or justice who is vested in the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan One or the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan Two or who has an aggregate of at least 12 years of service as judge or justice of any type listed in Subsection (a)(4).
(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), a person commits an offense if the person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony without authorization under this section. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.
(d) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony of a minor whose marriage is prohibited by law or of a person who by marrying commits an offense under Section 25.01, Penal Code. An offense under this subsection is a felony of the third degree.
FAMILY CODE - TITLE 1. THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP - SUBTITLE A. MARRIAGE - CHAPTER 2. THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP - SUBCHAPTER C. CEREMONY AND RETURN OF LICENSE
Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 7, Sec. 1, eff. April 17, 1997. Amended by: Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268, Sec. 4.10, eff. September 1, 2005. Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 134, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.