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Don’t get the minister blues… bet on black (ink)

Published Wednesday, Nov. 18th, 2020

Illustrations by Jessica Levey

Ink color matters when completing and signing a marriage license



When preparing to perform a wedding ceremony, a good wedding officiant makes sure they have everything they need. One detail you don’t want to get wrong, because it could cause big trouble down the line, is the color of pen ink that you use to fill out forms! 


This might sound like splitting hairs, but it’s important. That’s because most counties have restrictions on the colors of ink that can be used to fill out the marriage license. Some require the signatures be in blue or black ink, while others are even more stringent and only accept forms filled out in black ink.


Just to be on the safe side, we suggest that ministers always use black ink for all documents. (We even have a “No Blue Pen” rule in our office here at AMM!)


It’s true that the most memorable contribution the officiant makes to a wedding is performing the ceremony. Not only is the ceremony captured forever in photos, but the couple will always remember the touching tributes, and guests will never forget the jokes. But the ceremony is  only one part of a minister’s job. 


(Read ...So What Does a Wedding Officiant Really Do?)


An officiant’s signature on the license is what makes the marriage legal and bonding. 



Black ink is best when filling out a marriage license or any other forms.



Even the most planned-out weddings will get a bit chaotic, with guests pulling the couple in every different direction. An officiant can be a big help by making sure the couple and all necessary witnesses sign the licenses in the correct color of ink. Since no one has time to run around a reception looking for a pen, we recommend our ministers bring more than enough black pens to get the job done.


No couple wants to come home from their honeymoon to find out the county rejected their license because of an easily avoided mistake. With all the details a couple has to worry about, ink shouldn’t be one of them.


Be a good minister and always bet on black (ink)!     


(Read How to Fill Out a Marriage License for more help filling out your license.)

Danny Noonan
Danny Noonan

Staff Writer

Danny spends his time staying up late listening to dusty records in his ever-expanding collection, and waking up early to hike in the majestic landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. He says that the only experience better than officiating someone else's wedding was his own wedding.

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