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How to Get Married in Arizona - Planning a Wedding in The Grand Canyon State

Published: Friday, Jul. 22nd, 2022


Planning an Arizona wedding? This short guide will help -- from finding an officiant to completing the marriage license.

 

 


With stunning sunsets, ethereal desert vistas, towering cacti, and sparkling (hot) cityscapes, Arizona offers romantic backdrops of every kind. Add in four seasons of sunny skies and hip local culture, and it’s easy to see why this Southwest state is a popular destination for weddings all year round! 

 

Applying for a marriage license in this Southwestern state will look different in each county, so it’s important to get a head start on the planning process to avoid unnecessary stress. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a short guide to help you begin. 

 

Asked to officiate a wedding in Arizona? Scroll down for helpful links.



A happy Latino groom and bride smile and laugh on their wedding day following the marriage ceremony

Get married in Arizona! 

 

 

 

How to get married in Arizona in 6 Steps 

 

 

1. Get yourself a sweetheart! 


Got one? Whew! There will be a few more boxes to check, but the hardest part’s over.

 

 

2. Find a wedding officiant in Arizona.


A wedding officiant is the person who conducts your ceremony and signs the marriage license, making things legal.

 

A friend or relative can perform your wedding ceremony if they’ve been ordained.

 

 

 

If you want to hire a professional, the state has many qualified independent officiants to choose from. The following people are authorized to solemnize marriage in Arizona:

 

Duly licensed or ordained clergymen; Various judges and justices; Justices of the peace (§ 25-124)

 

(Find a detailed list of officiants and more Arizona marriage laws here.)

 

 

Aerial view of beautiful downtown Phoenix, Arizona

Head to beautiful downtown Phoenix to purchase a marriage license in Maricopa County,

then use your license anywhere in the state 

 

 

3. Choose a date and a venue...


Arizona is home to the other-wordly beauty of Sedona’s red rocks, the majestic Grand Canyon, ethereal desert landscapes, and thriving indie arts and music scenes in cities like Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Tucson – making it a favorite for destination weddings of every kind. 

Whether you’re dreaming of a big to-do or a romantic elopement for two, there’s something for everyone!

 

 

Popular dates, venues, and officiants book up fast, so start early. And remember you’ll need permission (and a permit) to use a public space, such as a city park or recreational area. Permits can take weeks to process, so factor this into your timeline, too. 

 

 


Marriage License Quick Facts

No Waiting Period
1 Year Expiration Period
30 Day Return Period

 

 

 

4. The marriage license. 

 

Alright, time to make sure your wedding’s legal! Arizona offers two types of marriage license: a standard marriage license and a covenant marriage license. The process to apply for each type of license is the same.

 


We’ll break down each part of the marriage license process, one step at a time: 


Applying for your license

 

For both standard and covenant marriage licenses: You’ll apply for your marriage license at the courthouse through the Clerk of the Superior Court or Justice Court’s Office. You don’t need to be an Arizona resident to marry there.

 

Requirements to Apply: 

 

  • Some counties allow Arizona residents to complete this process online through the Online Marriage License Program
  • Both parties must be at least 18 years old or meet the requirements for minors 
  • Both parties must appear in front of the clerk with a valid photo ID card 
  • Both parties must provide personal details such as date of birth, social security number (if you have one), and address 
  • If one party is incarcerated, their signature must be notarized
  • Military service members are encouraged to purchase an Affidavit of Record of Marriage in addition to their marriage license
  • You do not need to provide a divorce decree or blood test

 

If you’re planning a wedding anywhere in Arizona, we recommend contacting the clerk closest to your venue to learn more as these requirements can vary by county. 


Cost 


Both a standard marriage license and a covenant marriage license will cost about $83. Some offices will only accept certain forms of payment (check, cash, money order), so plan ahead! There’s no fee to register your marriage after the ceremony.


Waiting period


There is no waiting period between the time you receive your license and when your ceremony can take place.


Using and returning the license


An Arizona marriage license can be used in any county in the state, and expires 1 year (365 days) after it’s issued. 

 

 

The license must be signed by each party to the marriage, two adult witnesses, and the marriage officiant following the ceremony. Your wedding officiant must return the license in the same county in which it was issued within 30 days. 

 

The license must be returned no more than 30 days after the ceremony. 

 

 

A long table set up with chairs and plate settings with cactus and mountains in the background, a desert setting

The perfect backdrop for an unforgettable southwest wedding celebration 

 

 

5. Meet with your wedding officiant...


Once you’ve chosen a date, a venue, and have your marriage license details worked out, you’ll be ready to meet with your wedding officiant to plan the ceremony! 

 

 
This is when things start to come into focus. You’ll talk about the tone of your ceremony, the ‘vibe’ you want to create for your guests, and any special elements and unity rituals you want to include. You and your officiant might meet a few more times to exchange more ideas, fine-tune a script, or rehearse the ceremony leading up to the wedding day. 

 

AMM’s website is full of resources to help you decide what kind of ceremony you want, tips on working well with your officiant, and advice on keeping your ceremony authentic and on budget. 

 

Visit Articles for Couples on our American Weddings blog, or browse general articles by category or keyword. 

 


6. The wedding day! 


Aside from yourselves, the most important thing you’ll bring with you on the wedding day is your marriage license -- because no license means no marriage. Your officiant won’t be able to perform the wedding without having a license present (even if you have it at home), so make sure it’s with you. 

 

After the ceremony, you and your officiant will sign the license, along with two adult witnesses. 

 

For tips on how to complete the license, head here. 

 

After it’s signed, your officiator must record it with the Clerk of Court’s office before the end of the 30 day return period. Check with your county for the most up-to-date details.

 

Once it’s been recorded, you’re officially married! 

 

 

A cactus shaped like a heart in a cute desert landscape, in honor of Arizona wedding celebrations

Congratulations! 

 

 

 

Asked to perform a wedding in Arizona? 

 

Visit Weddings by State: Arizona. 

 

We’ve got everything you need to understand the state’s licensing and registration requirements, any ministry credentials and paperwork you might need, and helpful tips for several cities in the state, including Phoenix, Flagstaff, Surprise, Tempe, Tucson, and more. 

 

 


 

You might also like:

 

 

 

Photo of the orange and red striated rocks that form The Wave in Arizona, a breathtaking natural formation that resembles Mars & a Martian landscape

The Wave, a natural rock formation in Arizona that resembles a Martian landscape

Photo via TheWave.info

 

from Get Married on Mars*: Plan an Out of This World Destination Wedding

 

 


 

About the Author
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves digging into the history and magic of ritual, exploring the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She’s an advocate for marriage equality and individuality. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys easy hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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