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Recognized Marriage Officiants -- People Who Can Perform Wedding Ceremonies

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Wedding Rings

Wedding Rings

Photo Credit: Jason & Alyssa De Rusha

Here is a listing of U.S. state marriage laws regarding authorized persons, aka officiants, who can perform wedding ceremonies.

A
Alabama
Licensed ministers or pastors of recognized religious societies, and current or retired Alabama judges.
Alaska
A minister, priest, recognized leader, or rabbi of any church or congregation in the state, a commissioned officer of the Salvation Army, marriage commissioner, or a judicial officer of the state can perform weddings. A friend or relative can perform your marriage ceremony if they receive a marriage commissioner appointment.
Arizona
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, or pastors of recognized religious societies.
Arkansas
Ministers must have their credentials recorded in one of Arkansas' 75 counties.

B

C
California
Clergy, Justices, Judges, Magistrates, Marriage Commissioners (current or retired). Some counties in California also have a "deputy for a day" program that allows non-clergy friends and relatives to officiate at a wedding.
Colorado
Couples themselves may solemnize their own marriage (C.R.S 14-2-109). They must apply for paper work from the County Courthouse in order to do this. However, friends or relatives cannot solemnize their marriage. Out-of-state Clergy need not be registered in Colorado.
Connecticut
Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.

D
Delaware
Any ordained minister, and clerks of the peace. If you have your marriage ceremony at the office of the Clerk of the Peace, there is a $20 fee for the civil marriage ceremony.
District of Columbia
Any ordained minister, and justices of the peace. There is an application fee of $35 in cash for authorization to celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia.

E

F
Florida
Any ordained or licensed clergymen, notary publics, and justices of the peace.

G
Georgia
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, or pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace.

H
Hawaii
The marriage performer must be commissioned by the State of Hawaii, Department of Health.

I
Idaho
Priests or ministers of any denomination, and judges, or other designated officials, i.e., mayor or governor may perform weddings.
Illinois
Ordained ministers, judges, retired judges, and public officials whose powers include solemnization of marriages.
Indiana
Marriages may be performed by a member of the clergy (including a minister, priest, bishop, rabbi, and imam), a judge, a magistrate, a clerk of the circuit court, or a clerk or clerk-treasurer of a city or town.
Iowa
Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.

J

K
Kansas
Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.
Kentucky
Any ordained or licensed clergymen who have been licensed in Kentucky to perform weddings, and justices of the peace.

L
Louisiana
Any ordained or licensed clergymen who have registered with the clerk of the district court of the parish or with the health department if in New Orleans, and justices of the peace.

M
Maine
Any ordained ministers or clergymen who have been licensed by the secretary of State. Application with a $5 fee needs to be made through the town clerk or treasurer.
Maryland
Official of a religious order or a deputy clerk or a judge.
Massachusetts
Any ordained ministers or clergymen, and justices of the peace may perform weddings. Out-of-state clergy need to obtain a Certificate of Authorization from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth before the wedding ceremony. A non-minister or non-justice of the peace (such as a relative of family friend) may receive from the Governor, for a $25 fee, special one-time permission to perform a marriage.
Michigan
Marriages may be performed by federal, probate, district, and municipal judges, and district court magistrates, in their court area; mayors, in their city; County clerks; ministers and pastors of the gospel, both resident and non-resident.
Minnesota
Judges, clerks of court, court commissioners, and licensed ministers, priests or rabbis, as well as representatives of Bahai, Hindu, Quaker and American Indian religious groups are authorized to perform weddings.
Mississippi
Clergy, mayors, local Board of Supervisors members, and judges of the state Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Circuit court, Chancery court, Justice court, or County court.
Missouri
Marriages may be performed by any clergyman in good standing, either active or retired, and by any judge, including a municipal judge.
Montana
Any ordained or licensed clergymen, and justices of the peace.

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