American Marriage Ministries FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
We receive many calls and emails everyday with general questions. 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 with an AMM Ordination?
Yes. 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?
Don’t worry. Fellow AMM ministers have performed marriages throughout the country. As long as you complete any required government registration where the marriage is taking place, you will be able to legally act as an officiant. Once the marriage has been performed, and the marriage license signed and recorded with the state government, the couple will receive a confirmation.
Do I need to register with the government before performing marriage?
In some state, 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 page is a great starting place if you will be performing your first ceremony. If you are looking for more inspiration, our Ceremony Library page, 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, 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 consent. California and a few other states legally 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 have completed all required minister registrations. 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 ceremony. The marriage license is typically returned by the couple, and details of the return should be made clear to the couple when applying for the license.
Can I perform a same-sex marriage?
Yes. AMM ministers have full authority to perform same-sex marriages. As long as same-sex marriages are recognized in the state where the marriage is taking place, you can perform the marriage.
Can I perform a marriage in another state?
Yes. Your state of residence does not affect your ability to perform a marriage; you can reside in one state and perform a marriage in another. A few states have special registration procedures for non-resident ministers, but these registration procedures will not prevent you from performing a marriage.
Can I perform a marriage in another country?
Yes, usually. For couple's that wish to get married outside of the US, we recommend that they file for their marriage license stateside from their local government office. The marriage license should be completed and filed locally - this will take care of all the legal aspects of the marriage. Afterward, the couple, officiant, and wedding party can travel to their destination and enjoy the wedding ceremony.
There will be no issue if a marriage license is completed and filed in the U.S., followed by an ceremony abroad. However, if you wish to have the marriage legally recorded in another country, complications can arise. Not all governments will recognize all ministers. We have helped AMM ministers register internationally, 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. U.S. citizenship is not a requirement to perform marriage in the U.S. Imagine if a cardinal from the Vatican traveled to the U.S. to perform a marriage. As a minister, you have the same authority.
About American Marriage Ministries
Are you a legal church?
Yes. American Marriage Ministries is a non-profit, interfaith 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, our ordinations are legally recognized. 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.
Are your ordinations valid in my state?
Yes. However, some states have local government 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 are no expirations or annual licensing fees. 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 you will have to declare that income.
Can I perform other ceremonies (funerals, baptisms, etc.)?
Yes. As an ordained minister of American Marriage Ministries you are entitled to perform any religious rite allowed by law. In addition to marriages, 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 legal 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 all you need to do is 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 from our website, start by logging in. Once logged in, click on the ordination certificate icon in the top right area of the webpage to be directed to your Ordination Certificate page. You can then save the image or click on the "Print" link to print a copy.
How do I manage my privacy settings?
To manage your privacy settings, start by logging in. You will automatically be directed to your profile page. Once logged in, click on the gear icon in the top right area of the webpage to be directed to 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?
If you would like to renounce your ordination you can manually deactivate your account from your account settings page.
Products & Ordering
Is my payment secure?
Yes. All sensitive information is protected by a Secure Socket Layer, encrypted, and sent directly to our certified payment gateway Authorize.net. 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.
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. All 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.
We can be reached at:
206-395-9164 | Monday - Friday | 10am–5pm PST
To place an order by mail, please send a check or money order for the cost of the items you would like to purchase to:
American Marriage Ministries
3800 Aurora Ave N Suite 280
Seattle, WA 98103
Why is my order not going through?
We maintain a high threshold of security for all transactions placed through our website. We use an Address Verification System (AVS) to ensure that fraudulent transactions do not occur.
If your order was declined, it was likely due to an AVS mismatch. This will occur when the billing address that you enter does not match the address that the credit card company or bank has on file for your account. To continue, you will need to change the billing address that you have entered or contact your card company.
Please note, any attempted transaction may temporarily show as a pending charge on your account. Do not be alarmed, any funds held as "pending" on a declined transaction will be released.
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 a 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 and Express Mail options are available for additional cost. Orders shipped internationally are billed a $25 surcharge.
How can I view the status of my order?
You can check the status of your order by going to your account settings page. On your account settings page scroll down until you see the panel "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 by choosing Priority or Express shipping, you will be emailed additional tracking information.
How long will it take to get my order?
Orders are processed and shipped within 1 business day.
Orders with Standard shipping are shipped via USPS First Class Mail, and should take no more than 10 business days to arrive. If you need your order sooner, we offer two expedited shipping methods that can be selected at checkout: Priority Mail (2-5 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.
Please note that business days are Monday - Friday, and postal days are Monday - Saturday, excluding holidays. If you do not receive your order within the specified amount of time, please contact us immediately and we will resolve the issue.
What is your return policy?
We will refund any order within 30 days of purchase. If the order has already shipped, it must be returned at the customer's expense before a refund will be issued. If there is a typographical error on any document we will provide a replacement at no charge.