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What Does a Wedding Officiant Do After the Wedding Ceremony?

Published Thursday, May. 18th, 2023

Photo (cropped): Fábio Alves / Unsplash

Wedding officiants spend a lot of time and energy preparing for and delivering the wedding ceremony, but their job doesn’t end after the couple exchange their vows! 


Below, you’ll find a few general things officiants should do after the wedding’s over. 

For state-specific instructions on what to do after officiating, visiting Weddings by State. 


Not ordained yet? Get ordained online with AMM and learn how to officiate a wedding for friends and family! 



Listen now: 

AMM Audio Articles · What Does a Wedding Officiant Do After the Wedding Ceremony?




What to do after the wedding… for Officiants!

1. Complete the Marriage License


After the wedding ceremony, the wedding officiant must sign and complete the marriage license. It’s important to do this right away, before the newlyweds are whisked away to the reception or afterparty.


Filling out a marriage license will look a little different in every state, because each state has  its own marriage documents. In general, you’ll need to sign your name and write down your title (Minister), your denomination, the address of your congregation, and other personal details. If witnesses are required, they’ll need to add their personal information as well. 


For help completing the marriage license, head here: 



2. Keep Personal Records of the Marriage License


Some states require a wedding officiant to keep personal records of all the marriages they solemnize (perform), but this is a good idea no matter where you are. Having a record of the weddings you’ve performed protects you in case there are any questions about your work or a marriage’s validity later on.


Take a picture of the completed marriage license after you sign it and keep it for your records. Then, ask for a certified copy of the marriage certificate once it’s available. You can ask the couple for a PDF or photo of their state-issued certificate, or contact the issuing office in your area to request one. 



Close up photo shows a wedding officiant pointing toward a spot on the marriage license, while a bride holds a pen and prepares to sign. The bride is in her wedding dress, and beside her is the groom

Photo: Annika Wischnewsky / Unsplash

You and the newlyweds will all sign the marriage license.


3. Return the Marriage License 


Some states require the wedding officiant to return the marriage license after the ceremony. (Other states require the couple to return their license, or don't specify who must file it.) This can usually be done by mail, but not always, and you might need to return the license to a specific location (such as the issuing office). 


To find out if it’s your responsibility (or the couple’s) to return the marriage license, contact your local county clerk or registrar’s office. You can also find more information here: 



Related: Wedding regrets: Should a wedding officiant return the marriage license if the couple changes their mind after the ceremony?


3. Contact the Newlyweds for a Review


If you want to become a professional wedding officiant for hire, contact the couple a couple weeks after the wedding to check in and ask for a review. Reviews are one of the best ways for professional officiants to reach new clients and build a good reputation in their community. Include a link to your Facebook Page or Google Business Profile to make it easy for them. 


This is a great opportunity to thank the couple for allowing you to be a part of their wedding day, too! Consider sending them a decorative wedding certificate as a gift. 


4. Share Your Wedding Script & Photos on AMM’s Wedding Wall 


Publish your ceremony on the AMM Wedding Wall! The Wedding Wall is a great place to share wedding photos (with the couple’s permission, of course!), personal reflections about officiating, and original wedding ceremony scripts one – to inspire and be inspired by other AMM Ministers. 


Head here to learn more about publishing your ceremony on our website: 




Read Next: 




Close up photo of a wedding officiant adjusting his tie and suit before the ceremony

Learn what clothes to wear when officiating a wedding, depending on the couple and the kind of wedding. Read the full article here. 



Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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