American Marriage Ministries FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
We receive many calls and emails everyday - these are some of the most common questions about minister licensing, performing marriage, our church, and more. Please review this FAQ, and contact us if your question is not answered here or elsewhere on the site.
Can I legally perform a marriage as an AMM Minister?
Yes. All states allow ministers, including AMM Ministers, to perform marriage. It is part of our mission to ensure that all people have the ability to perform marriage for friends and family.
How do I know the marriage I perform will be legal?
AMM Ministers have performed marriages in every state. All states have laws allowing ministers to perform marriage, and as long as you complete any required government registration (where the marriage is taking place), you will be able to perform marriage. Once the marriage has been performed and the marriage license is recorded with the state government, the marriage will be official.
Do I need to register with the government before performing marriage?
In some states, yes. But in most states, no. For an overview of the states and localities that require minister registration, please visit our State Requirements page.
What do I say when performing the ceremony?
Most wedding ceremonies follow a standard structure. Our Sample Ceremony is a great starting place. If you are looking for more inspiration, our Ceremony Library contains real wedding ceremony scripts that were submitted by other AMM ministers.
Does a wedding ceremony have a legal form or structure?
There is no legal form or structure a wedding ceremony must follow. Typically weddings follow a standard structure, which is explained on our Ceremony Format page. Ceremonies are flexible and can include readings, rituals, and/or anything you and the couple would like.
However, a wedding ceremony should always include a Declaration of Intent. This is the "I Do" portion of the ceremony, and it is important that the couple publicly acknowledge their intent to wed. California and a few other states require this.
Where am I allowed to perform a marriage?
You can perform a marriage anywhere in the US, at any type of venue, as long as you are in compliance with local minister regulations. There are no laws defining the type of venue where a wedding may be conducted. In addition to a traditional church, a wedding can be conducted at a beach, a country club, or even a home.
What do I do with the marriage license after it has been completed?
A completed marriage license must be returned to its office of issuance within a few days of the wedding. The marriage license is typically returned by the couple, and details of the return process should be made clear when the license is issued.
Can I perform a same-sex marriage?
Yes! AMM Ministers have our full support in performing same-sex marriages.
Can I perform a marriage in a state that I don't live in?
Yes. Your state of residence does not affect your ability to perform marriage in other states. A few states have special registration procedures for non-resident ministers, but those procedures will not prevent you from performing a marriage.
Can I perform a marriage in another country?
Yes, usually. We recommend that couples planning an international destination wedding file their marriage license in the United States. The marriage license can be completed locally, addressing all of the legal aspects of the marriage, and with that squared away the couple, officiant, and wedding party can travel to the destination country to enjoy the ceremony.
However, if the couple wishes to have their marriage legally recorded outside of the United States, complications can arise. Some governments do not recognize the authority of ministers to perform marriage. We have helped AMM ministers register outside of the United States, but it is often a complicated procedure that is not always met with success.
I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I perform a marriage in the U.S.?
Yes. In the U.S., citizenship is not a requirement to perform marriage. However, there is one exception: local registration procedures prevent non-citizens from performing marriage in Nevada.
About American Marriage Ministries
Are you a legal church?
Yes. American Marriage Ministries (“AMM”) is a non-profit, interfaith and non-denominational church, established in Washington State. Our Articles of Incorporation are registered with the Washington Secretary of State and we maintain corporate filings as required around the country.
What are your beliefs?
As outlined in our Theological Doctrine, American Marriage Ministries (“AMM”) is built on the belief that all people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or socioeconomic status, have the right to contract marriage, that all people have the right to administer the marriage contract, and that it is the right of every couple to choose who will officiate their marriage.
AMM and its ministers believe in The AMM Tenets, that marriage is a sacred bond, a religious rite to be cherished and respected by the people and the state.
AMM is a non-denominational church, overseen by an interfaith board of directors. We believe in power to unite communities through the spiritual act of marriage.
Are your ordinations legal?
Yes. An ordination is an appointment conferred by a church body; our practice of administering ordinations has been agreed upon by our church board and is protected by the religious non-establishment clause of the 1st Amendment. AMM Ministers have performed marriage in every state.
Are your ordinations valid in my state?
Yes. Keep in mind however, that some states have local licensing procedures for ministers. To learn more about the regulations in your area, visit our State Requirements page.
How much does your ordination cost?
AMM ordinations are free, we do not tithe, and there is no expiration or annual licensing fee. It is only necessary to get ordained once, and you will remain an AMM Minister as long as you wish.
Will getting ordained affect my taxes?
No. Your tax status will not change or be affected in any way through ordination. If you receive income from performing marriage ceremonies, it will be your personal responsibility to declare that income.
Can I perform other ceremonies (funerals, baptisms, etc.)?
Yes. As an AMM Minister you are entitled to perform any religious rite allowed by law. In addition to marriage ceremonies, you can perform baptisms, funerals, renewal of vows, etc. As a small and targeted ministry operating on limited resources, we have chosen to focus our attention on marriage. Marriage is the only religious rite that has an associated licensing component, and we want to make sure our ministers fully understand their duties and obligations.
Website & Account
How do I become ordained?
To get ordained, complete and submit the AMM Ordination Application.
Can I print my ordination certificate from the website?
Yes. To print a copy of your ordination certificate, start by logging in. You will be automatically directed to your Profile page. Click on the "View Ordination Certificate" link below your name to be directed to your Ordination Certificate page. You will have the option to email a copy of the certificate to yourself or download a PDF image, which you can then print.
How do I manage my privacy settings?
To manage your privacy settings, start by logging in. You will be automatically directed to your Profile page. Click on the "Account Settings" link in the top right area of the webpage to visit your Account Settings page. Scroll down until you see the panel titled "Privacy Settings", where you can make any necessary adjustments. Be sure to click "Update Account" to save your settings.
I no longer wish to be a minister, how do I deactivate my account?
To deactivate your account and end your standing as active AMM Minister, start by logging in. You will be automatically directed to your Profile page. Click on the "Account Settings" link in the top right area of the webpage to visit your Account Settings page. Scroll down until you see the panel titled "Deactivate Account". Check the appropriate box and click the "Deactivate Account" button to confirm. Once deactivated, you will need to contact us if you wish to reactivate your account in the future.
Products & Ordering
Is my payment secure?
Yes. All transactions are encrypted with SSL and processed through a secure payment gateway. Paypal transactions are processed securely by Paypal.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept credit or debit cards from VISA, MasterCard, and Discover. We also accept Paypal. Please contact us if you would like to pay for an order with a check or money order.
We do not accept American Express or prepaid cards.
Can I pay with Paypal?
Yes. Please select "Paypal" when completing your transaction.
Will I be charged sales tax?
No. Any applicable taxes are included in the purchase price.
Can someone else pay for my order?
Yes. You can specify alternate billing information during the checkout process.
Can I place an order by mail or over the phone?
Yes. We can process credit or debit card payments over the phone, and check or money order payments by mail. Please contact us to complete your order.
Why is my order not going through?
We maintain a high security threshold using an Address Verification System (AVS) to ensure that fraudulent transactions do not occur.
If your transaction was declined, it was likely due to an AVS mismatch. This occurs when the Billing Address that you specify does not match the address that your bank or credit card company has on file. To continue, you will need to enter a new Billing Address or contact your card company.
Please note, attempted transactions may temporarily show as pending charges on your account. Do not be alarmed, any funds marked as "pending" because of declined transactions are held only by your bank or credit card company, and should be released on the next business day.
How will I know my order was received?
When an order is successfully placed you will be sent a confirmation email and automatically directed to the checkout success page.
Can I bill and ship to separate addresses?
Yes. You can specify alternate billing and shipping addresses on the checkout page. Changes made to your billing and/or shipping address will not alter your credentials in any way.
How much does shipping cost?
Standard shipping via USPS First Class Mail is free for all domestic orders. Priority or Express Mail shipping is available for additional cost. Orders shipped outside the United States incur a $25 surcharge.
How can I view the status of my order?
You can check on the status of your order from your Account Settings page. On your Account Settings page, Scroll down until you see the panel titled "Order History". With Standard shipping, it should take no more than 10 business days for your order to be delivered. If you expedited your order with Priority or Express shipping, you will be emailed additional tracking information when your order ships.
How long will it take to get my order?
Orders are processed and shipped within one business day.
Standard orders are shipped via USPS First Class Mail, which should take no more than 10 business days for delivery. If you need your order sooner, we offer two expedited shipping methods: Priority Mail (2 - 4 postal days), and Express Mail (1 - 2 postal days). Delivery times are measured from the day your order ships, not the day you place your order. For example, if an Express order is placed on Friday, it will ship Monday and be delivered Tuesday or Wednesday.
Business days are Monday - Friday and postal days are Monday - Saturday, both excluding holidays. If you do not receive your order within the specified amount of time, please contact us immediately for assistance.
What is your return policy?
We will refund any order within 30 days of purchase. If an order has been shipped, it must be returned to AMM at the customer's expense before a refund will be issued. Personalized documents with typographical errors will be replaced at no charge.