How to Officiate Weddings in Colorado Springs
A guide for wedding ministers and couples in Little London
If you’re planning a wedding in the Centennial State, the perfect place might be Colorado Springs. There is stunning natural scenery, the blue sky is endless, and while it is not as large as it’s neighbor Denver, this quieter, gentler town has numerous venues and locations for the perfect wedding, big or small.
We here at AMM want to help you with the logistics of getting your marriage license and making sure your officiant of choice is in compliance with local laws. This allows you to focus on the fun decisions like choosing between a beautiful garden or a 150 year-old Victorian Mansion. But first, the logistical stuff.
STEP 1: Get ordained with American Marriage Ministries
Let’s start with the ordainment process. According to the office of the clerk and recorder, the following persons may perform wedding ceremonies in Colorado:
“an officiant who has been ordained or recognized by a religious denomination, a judge of a court, a retired judge, a court magistrate, a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, a Native American tribal official or a friend or relative who is ordained.”
That last category covers you. Just get ordained with AMM to qualify as an officiant within a religious denomination. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.
When it comes time to perform your duties as the officiant, El Paso County may ask you to present documentation, which AMM provides for a fee. (You can call the office of the clerk and recorder’s office before you perform the ceremony to ask if they will require you to bring the certificate in person.)
STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in El Paso County
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.
STEP 3: Officiate the Wedding and Complete the Marriage License
Now, back to taking care of the marriage license. It is the couple’s responsibility to obtain and complete the marriage license, but just be sure to double check that they have done so before performing the ceremony.
Once the festivities are over and the marriage license is properly signed, you have successfully performed all of your functions as the wedding officiant. Just remind them to return the marriage license within 33 days of the ceremony.
The couple will each need to present a valid form of identification such as a driver’s license or a passport. They will each need to give their social security numbers. If an applicant is under 18, a signed form of parental consent will be required. If an applicant is 15 years old or younger, a signed court order as well as a signed form of parental consent will be required.
A marriage license issued by the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s office becomes valid immediately and will remain valid for a period of 30 days.
A marriage license in El Paso County currently costs $30.00. The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s office accepts payment by cash, credit card, and debit card.
You can find a printable PDF of the marriage license application online and fill it out ahead of time to get a head start, if you want. In order to complete the process, one or both members of the couple will have to visit the with the following:
- Proof of address for both applicants (Valid driver's license, state-issued identification card, or Washtenaw County ID Card with your current home address)
- Birth certificates (not a hospital certificate)
- Social security numbers
- (Cash, check, or money order or debit/credit card are accepted)
- Regarding the forms of ID, photocopies or photos on cellphones are acceptable.
If one of the members of the couple is a Washtenaw County resident, you can apply at the Washtenaw county’s clerk’s office and the marriage license will be valid anywhere in the state. Just note that if both members are from out-of-state, you’ll need to apply within the county where you’re planning to get married.
Below is the fast info pertaining to marriage licenses issued in Washtenaw County for reference.
- Issuance Office: Ann Arbor County Clerk’s office 200 N. Main Street
- Fee: $20 total for in-state residents or $30 total for out-of-state residents
- Expiration: 30 days
- Return: by Couple within expiration date
The Basics -- If you are in the mood for a unique location for your ceremony look no further than Pikes Peak - America’s Mountain. This is the perfect spot for anyone that has dreamt of getting married above the treeline. This one-of-a-kind spot is at the top of a 14,115-foot summit that looks over Colorado Springs’ metro area below. If it’s a clear day, you can see all the way to Kansas.
If you want to have your ceremony a little closer to the ground, then may we suggest Garden of the Gods Park. The geological and natural wonder is a hidden treasure of Colorado Springs. The spectrum of reds and oranges bursting from the jutting rocks will create a scenic backdrop for all your wedding photos.
Transportation -- Many of the Colorado Springs’ best attractions are located just outside of the city, so having a car is convenient. If you are sticking to downtown most things are easy enough to walk to. There are buses, but they are geared for the town’s commuters rather than tourists. They are reliable, yet limited, service on the weekend.
You could also rent a bike and take advantage of the ample bike lanes and nearly 200 miles of paved and unpaved trails. The city also has a bike-sharing program called PikeRide, where you can borrow a bike for as little as $2.
Weather -- If you want to avoid the crowds, and save on costs, head to Colorado Spring sometime in March to May or from September to October. The weather will be slightly cooler, but very comfortable. An added bonus of visiting during the autumn months is the foliage. The mountain views will be speckled with bright yellow, oranges, and vibrant reds.