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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 18th, 2020

Ask AMM: "Can I Perform My Own Marriage Ceremony?"

The rules around self-solemnizing ceremonies vary by state and can be complicated.

“Hi AMM! I know I can perform marriage in any state for others, but can I perform my own ceremony?”

 

(Updated November 2020)

 

The quick answer is this: It might be possible to perform your own marriage, but it's not a common practice and is generally not permitted.

 

Whether or not you can perform your own marriage ceremony depends entirely on the regulations in the state where you are getting married. 

 

At present, these are the only states that offer self-uniting (also known as self-solemnizing) marriage licenses: 

 

  1. The District of Columbia
  2. Colorado
  3. Illinois*
  4. Kansas
  5. Maine*
  6. Nevada*
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Wisconsin

* May require noting specific religious affiliations on your forms and/or marriage license.

 

Of these states, a few still require the presence of a witness or two at the ceremony, and all will require that you be legally able to perform marriage in your state (so if you're not already, get ordained with us). However, it's very important to emphasize that most states will require a third-party officiant to complete the marriage license.

 

If you're interested in performing a self-solemnizing ceremony, we recommend reading and understanding your state’s policies very carefully, starting with our state directory and then contacting someone in your state directly for the most up to date information. You'll also need to call or visit the local county clerk or marriage bureau where you plan to apply for a marriage license to verify your information.

 

When speaking to your local marriage authorities, ask them,

“I am a Minister; can I perform my own marriage?”

 

 

 

November 2020 update:  It is important that you consult your local marriage authorities, and ensure that you are in compliance with local marriage laws. This article is intended to be informational, and does not consitute legal advice.

 

 

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