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How to Get Married at Home (for a Sweet & Easy Wedding Day)

Published Friday, Oct. 20th, 2023


Photo: martinedoucet / iStock

Getting married at home is easy! All you need is a wedding officiant, a legal marriage license, and lots of love…

 

Listen now: 

AMM Audio Articles · How to Get Married at Home (for a Sweet & Easy Wedding Day)

 

 

Getting married at home is a popular choice for couples who want an affordable, private, low-stress wedding day. 

 

When you have a wedding at home, you don’t need to worry about available dates or the expensive rental fees at local wedding venues, your children and pets are always welcome, and you can play any music you like!

 

To get married at home, all you need is a wedding officiant, any required witnesses, and a valid marriage license:

 

  • Marriage Officiant
  • Witnesses
  • Marriage License

 

Anything else you choose to include, such as decorations and party supplies, is icing on the cake! 

 

You can have a small ceremony with friends and family in your backyard, elope in your living room, have a ‘just us’ quickie ceremony with your officiant on the front porch… or any other cozy home ceremony you dream up! 

 

 

Marriage Officiant: Who can officiate a wedding in your home? 

 

Your marriage officiant will guide you through the ceremony, pronounce you married, and sign your marriage license. Once your license has been signed, it must be returned on time to the appropriate office. 

 

You can ask a friend or relative to get ordained online to officiate your ceremony. Once your loved one has been ordained, they might need to register with the local county or state government. This process is usually simple and straightforward. Find out more by clicking the links below! 

 

 

Once your friend or family member has completed these steps, you can plan your ceremony with them. Let them know the type of ceremony you want: religious or nonreligious, traditional or nontraditional, or just a simple ‘license signing’ to make your marriage legal. 

 

You can also hire a professional wedding officiant to perform your marriage ceremony at home. Professional wedding officiants decide their own rates and services based on their level of experience and the type of ceremony you request. Professional officiants can perform religious or non-religious weddings, simple ‘license signing’ ceremonies, and other custom wedding services. 

 

 

How many witnesses do you need at your home wedding ceremony? 

 

Every state has different requirements for witnesses at a marriage ceremony. Some states don’t require any witnesses to be present, and other states require one or two adults to be present and sign your marriage license. 

 

To find out the witnesses requirements in your state, head here:

 

 

 

Where do you get a marriage license for a wedding at home?

 

You’ll apply for a marriage license through your local city or county clerk’s office. Each state has its own requirements to apply for a marriage license, including the type of ID you’ll need to bring and the cost of the license. Double check witness requirements, expiration period, and return period details with your local clerk’s office when you apply for your license. 

 

To find out where to apply in your state, and how much your license will cost, head here:

 

 

Then, contact your local office directly to ask questions, make an appointment, and purchase your license. 

 


 

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Happy newlyweds, photo is taken from below, looking up, as the couple jump off a short wall, with the sky behind them. It's sunny and there are light clouds, they look happy and excited.

Just the two of us, or just a few of us? What to know before planning a ‘just us’ wedding: Read the full article here. 

 


 

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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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