How to Officiate Weddings in Dallas
American Marriage Ministries Guide to Performing Marriage in the Big D
We can’t say enough great things about Texas’ northern metropolis, Dallas, as a location for a quintessential American wedding. The Southern city is home to beautiful parks, famous horseback trails, and of course, there’s the AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. It also some of the state’s most regal event spaces, where thousands of classic country western weddings take place each year. But before you start scouring Etsy for the perfect bolo tie, we’ll help you familiarize yourself with the pertinent details regarding Dallas County’s marriage laws.
Our guide explains how to apply for, fill out, sign and submit marriage licenses and lists the most important tips for wedding officiants and couples looking forward to a Dallas wedding.
The Texas Statutes § Sec. 2.202 states that "...a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony..." is authorized to solemnize marriages.
If you have been asked and have agreed to officiating a wedding the first thing you need to do is get ordained with AMM. Our ordination is free, takes only a few minutes, and meets the Texas Statute § Sec. 2.202, giving you the legal ability to officiate wedding ceremonies.
Minister Registration in Dallas
Ministers are not required to register with Dallas County before officiating weddings, nor does Texas law require minister registration with the state. However, if you are performing weddings in the capacity of a minister, the State of Texas requires that you be ordained, such as through AMM. We advise that you keep proof of your ordination for your own records. It is good practice to keep your ministry credentials on hand in case you are asked to produce them for the couple.
Getting ordained as an AMM minister is the easy part. Your next step is to prepare for the wedding ceremony. For first-time officiants, our wedding training pages are a great resource for learning everything you need to know to perform your first wedding ceremony.
Here we cover everything from explaining the structure of a wedding ceremony, step-by-step instructions on how to write a wedding ceremony script, sample wedding ceremony scripts, and more.
By this point you should be well prepared to conduct the wedding ceremony. Your one legal responsibility is to complete your section of the couple's marriage license.
Once you, the officiant, have conducted the marriage ceremony, you will be required to verify information on the marriage license, like the date, the couple’s names, and the county in which the ceremony is being performed. Then, hand it off to the couple, who will submit it to the Dallas County Clerk’s office within 10 days of the ceremony.
For more details on filling in the individual fields such as “type of ceremony,” please consult our guide on how to complete a marriage license.
Once the completed marriage license is returned, you have performed all of your functions as the wedding officiant.
For the couple to obtain their marriage license, both parties must appear before the county clerk, provide proof of identity and age, complete the necessary forms and take the oath printed on the application before the county clerk. When you go, remember to bring:
Below is important information pertaining to marriage licenses issued in Dallas. For clarification on what this information means you can check out our Marriage License Laws Explained page.
The Basics -- Dallas offers a wide array of venue options that run the gamut from high-end urban hotels, to scenic country clubs, to low-key refurbished barn spaces. Whether you’re planning a black-tie affair, or a laid back country-western hoedown, Dallas has you covered.
Take note of the various festivals that take place throughout the year, like the Dallas International Film Festival in May, the State Fair of Texas during the fall, and the Pride parade in June, which may draw in extra crowds and hike up hotel prices. It’s better to plan your event outside the dates of these highly attended Dallas traditions.
Transportation -- The city is not well-known for having good public transportation. Residents like to complain about the DART system’s frequent transfers and long rides. Depending on the venue’s location, guests might want to take s Lyft and Uber, which are available throughout the city.
Weather -- The city’s climate is important is also a factor in choosing your wedding venue, with four distinct seasons to consider. Temperatures can soar during summer months, but winter is quite autumn and winter are mild, daytime highs averaging at about 65°F, making both seasons good options for a wedding date. Spring temperatures are usually bearable, but the season is known for occasional thunderstorm, so if you are planning an outdoor wedding, mitigating for a potential downpour during festivities is wise.
Finding the right wedding officiant starts with a conversation about what sort of wedding ceremony you want to have. Will it be a big, public event, or a small intimate ceremony with family and close friends? Once you’ve got that squared away, here are some points to consider when choosing an officiant:
Relatives and friends can perform ceremonies in Dallas county as long as they meet the criteria outlined in Texas state law. AMM can help your friends and relatives become officiants.
At present, the Dallas county clerk does not allow online or via email applications. All request must be submitted in person or by mail. (can you get the process started online?)
The county clerk’s office accepts cash and credit/debit cards in person, but only money orders (no cash) through the mail.