How to Officiate Weddings in Aurora
An Aurora Guide for Wedding Ministers and Couples -- Plan Your Big Day the Right Way!
If you’re thinking of planning a wedding in the Denver area, don’t make the mistake of lumping Aurora in with its bigger nextdoor neighbor. While the two cities are in close proximity, this alpine borough, known as the Gateway to the Mountains, is a community all its own.
As the state’s third largest and most diverse city, it has the amenities you could want -- its own unique food and arts scene, sports teams, hiking trails, awesome breweries -- with less hustle-and-bustle than Denver.
If you’re planning a wedding in the area, we think you’ll be surprised at what Aurora has to offer in terms of wedding venues, too. We’ll get into that more later on, but first, let us help you get the paperwork of your marriage out of the way.
Let’s start with the ordainment process. According to Aurora’s website, the following persons may perform wedding ceremonies: Judges, retired judges, magistrates, Indian tribe officials and clergy, or a specific ordination such as Pastor, Priest, Rabbi, Imam, Monk, etc.
If you’ve been asked to officiant a wedding, but do not fall into any of these categories, no sweat. You can get ordained with AMM to fall within the priest or minister category. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.
When it comes time to perform your duties as the officiant, the Arapahoe County clerk’s office may ask you to present documentation, which AMM provides for a fee. (You can call the county clerk’s office before you perform the ceremony to ask if they will require you to bring the certificate in person.)
Now that the easy part is out of the way, we can help you prepare for the wedding ceremony itself. Being asked to officiate a ceremony is an honor, but can feel like a lot of pressure. You will appreciate our wedding training pages, which are a library of information to help you prepare for your first ceremony and ensure that it goes smoothly.
Here you can find everything from sample wedding ceremony scripts, to brainstorming prompts, tips for preparation, and more.
After the couple has applied for and received their marriage license certificate, help them complete it in black ink (a requirement of Arapahoe county clerk offices.) You, the officiant, should sign on the line titled “Signature of Officiating Party” and write your title (minister) on the line titled “Print Title of Officiating Party.”
After you have helped the couple complete their marriage license and certificate, remind them that they must return the completed marriage license and certificate for recording to one of Aurora’s branch locations within 63 days of the marriage. Then, give yourself a pat on the back and call it a day. Your duties as an officiant are complete!
File for a Marriage License from the Arapahoe County Clerk's Office
Now let’s turn our attention to the couple’s responsibilities. You can start by completing the application on Arapahoe’s website, which will help speed up the process. Or you can start the application process when you head down to one of their offices in person.
Aurora’s state offices close at 4 p.m., so you must arrive before 4 p.m. to be served. You can check wait times at their locations before your visit.
Both members of the couple will need to go together to one of the four county branches, which are listed here.
When you go, just remember to bring:
- State-issued photo IDs
- Social security numbers (social security card is not necessary)
- Parents’ names and current addresses
- $30 cash
Once you’ve successfully completed the application process, there is no waiting period before you use your marriage license, so you’re all set to use it the same day if you want to.
Issuance Office: Four to choose from
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 63 days
Return: by Couple
The Basics -- Many people think of Aurora as a suburb of Denver, but this little city is really its own independent entity. If you’re planning a wedding here, you won’t be disappointed at what it has to offer.
If you want to host your event close-in, there are a couple of great options. For a more traditional event, you’ll probably like the Heritage Eagle Bend Golf Club, one of the most popular wedding venues in the area, which has all the amenities you could ask for -- an elegant ballroom, bridal dressing room, outdoor patio with a view of the mountain range, catering and liquor options, etc. Plus, it’s just a 20-minute drive from the downtown.
We’d also be remiss to leave out the highly-anticipated Gaylord Rockies, a huge alpine-themed resort and convention center that was finished in 2018. Overall, it’s super impressive. If you want to a venue right in town with everything included and accommodations for guests, check this one out.
If you like the idea of a beachfront ceremony, Cherry Creek State Park has you covered. It’s just a 10-minute drive south of Aurora, offering gorgeous views of the mountain range facing West, and of course, the 880-acre Cherry Creek Reservoir, where couples say “I do” on its romantic shoreline. You can contact Colorado Parks & Wildlife to get more info on licensing info and pricing.
Or, if you’d like to go through a private venue, there’s the beautiful Pelican Bay Lake House, located on the reservoir, which will hook you up with catering, decorations, and everything else you’ll need.
But if you’re open to venturing further outside the Aurora area, there are dozens more options to consider in Denver, Littleton and surrounding towns. For a more casual vibe, check out the Farmhouse at Breckenridge Brewery, which makes a great spot for a laid-back wedding. Its garden is perfect setting for an outdoor ceremony, while its cozy Great Room, with high ceilings and a grand fireplace, is ideal for a reception. But it goes without saying that its fine Colorado ales are the real attraction of this venue. Make sure to take your time exploring all the venues in the area -- there’s plenty to choose from at a range of price points.
Transportation -- If you’re from out of town, you have a few options for getting around. The public transportation system in Aurora is an extension of the bus system serving Denver, but it’s still pretty frequent and reliable. One cool perk is its “Pace on Demand” ride share program, which offers curb-to-curb transportation if you call in advance or book online. This can be useful for reaching destinations that are off-the-beaten-path, and it’s surprisingly cheap. If you’d rather avoid using the public transit system altogether, Lyft and Uber are available 24/7 as well.
Weather -- It would be difficult to complain about the climate in Aurora. The area gets more than 300 days of sunshine a year, which beats San Diego. Weather is pretty beautiful and warm from May to October, and the summers bring a dry heat that usually stays below the 90s. Snow is known to fall anytime between late October and April, but it doesn’t stay on the ground for very long in the Aurora-Denver area.
Depending on your preference, any season could be a good choice to plan a wedding. Most couples choose a date in September, October, or between March and May according to the Knot, so if you want to find the best deals on venues and accommodations, consider choosing a date outside of these months.