How to Officiate Weddings in Houston

American Marriage Ministries’ Guide to Performing Marriage in H-Town

We Have a Minister

Houston embodies New American Glamour, Traditional Southern Culture, and Modern Texan Values like no other city in the state. Weddings held in this southern metropolis reflect that diversity, with ceremonies, venues, and officiants on hand to meet even the most unique vision.

That includes thousands of ordained ministers of American Marriage Ministries. Our ministers enjoy the legal right to perform weddings and sign marriage certificates. We’re excited that you are considering Getting Ordained with American Marriage Ministries.

Per the Texas Family Code §2.202, “a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony,” may officiate a wedding and sign the marriage license.

As an Ordained Minister of American Marriage Ministries you have the legal authority to officiate weddings in Houston. Keep on reading for everything you need to know to perform marriages and sign marriage licenses in Houston, Texas.

Three Steps to Performing Marriage

1. The Couple Files For Their Marriage License From The Harris County Clerk

The couple must apply in person for a Marriage License at one of the Harris County Clerk’s 10 Locations. Valid I.D. is required and the fee for the marriage license is $72.00.

What If I Can't File For My Marriage License in Person?

There are plenty of legitimate reasons why one partner is not able to appear in person to file for the marriage license. A common scenario is couples where one partner is deployed in the armed forces. In such cases that individual must complete an Affidavit of Absent Applicant on Application for Marriage License form.

The Harris County Clerk's office provides Instructions for Completing an Affidavit of Absent Applicant for Marriage License to assist you with completing the Affidavit of Absent Applicant on Application for Marriage License form. Be aware that this method of applying for the marriage license should only be used in extenuating circumstances.

2. You Officiate The Wedding and Complete The Marriage License

72 hours after the marriage license is issued the couple may be married through a ceremony of their choosing. After the wedding ceremony, you as the officiant must complete and sign their portion of the marriage license. If you have questions about this process, check out our page on Wedding Officiant Guidelines for Completing Marriage Licenses.

3. The Couple Returns The Marriage License

After the wedding ceremony, the completed marriage license should be returned to the Harris County Clerk’s office for recording. The couple can return the license in person or by mail.

Upon being returned to the Harris County Clerk’s office, a copy of the marriage license can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks to be sent to the couple. If you do not receive the license after that time period, please call the Harris County Clerk's Personal Records Department at 713-274-8686.

Houston Marriage License Info

Below is important information pertaining to marriage licenses issued in Houston. For clarification on what this information means you can check out our Marriage License Laws Explained page.

  • Issuance Office: County Clerk's Office
  • Fee: $72
  • Waiting Period: 3 Days Before Completing
  • Expiration: 90 Days
  • Return: Within 10 Days from the Wedding


Frequently Asked Questions About Performing Marriage in Houston

Performing marriage in Houston as an AMM minister is a profoundly rewarding task. Below are common questions asked by our ministers planning on officiating their first wedding in Houston.

  • What proof do I need to show as an ordained minister?

    Ministers are not required to register with any government office in Texas before officiating weddings. Wedding officiants ordained by AMM are considered to be an “officer of a religious organization.”

    That being said, we recommend you to order your Texas Minister Ordination Package to keep official hardcopies of your Ministry Mredentials. Your package includes your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing. Your Letter of Good Standing is signed by a church officer, dated, and notarized.

    Proof of your ordination is essential in the event that the couple or government officials request to see your ministry credentials.

  • Who is authorized to conduct the wedding ceremony and sign the marriage license?

    Per the Texas Family Code §2.202, the following persons are authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony:

    ● a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest ● a Jewish rabbi ● a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony ● a justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of criminal appeals, justice of the courts of appeals, judge of the district, county, and probate courts, judge of the county courts at law, judge of the courts of domestic relations, judge of the juvenile courts, retired justice or judge of those courts, justice of the peace, retired justice of the peace, judge of a municipal court, or judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Married in Houston

    The couple must file for their marriage license before the wedding. Below are the most common question couples have before filing for their marriage license.

  • Where do I get the marriage license?

    Marriage Licenses can be obtained in person from any of the 10 Harris County Clerk’s Offices.

  • How much does a marriage license cost?

    The fee to obtain a marriage license for the Harris County Clerk is $72.00.

  • What is the required waiting time between the issuance of the marriage license and the ceremony?

    There is a 72-hour waiting period between the issuance of the license and the ceremony. The license must be signed by the officiant no more than 90 days from the date of issuance. The 72-hour waiting period is waived for active-duty military personnel.

    If you are not familiar with what the marriage license waiting period means, check out our our page on Marriage License Laws.

  • What if we are having a destination wedding, and the ceremony will be held outside of Harris County?

    The Harris County Marriage License is valid everywhere in the United States.

    For out-of-country weddings, the Harris County Clerk’s office suggests that before purchasing a Harris County Marriage License, the couple should inquire about destination weddings and what is required in the country where the wedding ceremony is going to be performed.

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