How to Officiate Weddings in Hartford
A guide for officiating weddings and planning ceremonies in Hartford, CT
As Mark Twain once said of Hartford, Connecticut, “You do not know what beauty is if you have not been here.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves! Connecticut’s capital city has a reputation of being one of New England’s most sophisticated, picturesque communities. If you’re planning a wedding in Hartford, you’ll be thrilled at the amenities for couples-to-be, in terms of upscale catering, regal venue options and experienced party planners.
At AMM, our job is to provide you with legal info for getting married in your specific county and help you get your officiant-of-choice ordained to perform your ceremony. We have all of the above info here in our guide (and a few fun tips), but let’s start with the important stuff!
STEP 1: Get ordained with American Marriage Ministries
In Connecticut, “All ordained or licensed members of the clergy from any religious denominations” may perform marriages. If you’ve been asked to perform a friend’s wedding, you can get ordained with AMM to fall within the priest or minister category in just a few minutes.
Connecticut is not a minister registration state, so no further action is necessary, but if the county clerk’s office does ask you to present documentation of your ministerial credentials, AMM can provide this to you for a fee.
STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Hartford 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
When it comes time to sign the marriage license, it’s the couple’s responsibility to obtain it, but just be sure to double check that they have a valid marriage license before the ceremony. After you perform the marriage, help the couple to correctly fill it out and notarize it.
In Connecticut, the officiant is required by law to take the marriage license back to the town official from which the couple received the license within 65 days of the document’s issuance. If they obtained it from Hartford City Hall, that’s where you’ll want to return it.
Now let’s turn our attention to the couple’s responsibilities. Both parties must appear in person to obtain your marriage license, from the Municipal Building at 550 Main Street, ground floor, room 103.
When you go, just remember to bring:
- Valid, state-issued IDs
- Social Security cards
- $50 for the marriage license application fee
There is technically no waiting period to get married in Connecticut, but you should schedule your visit at least two weeks before your actual ceremony to make sure there are no problems with your application.
Issuance Office: 550 Main Street
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 65 days
Return: by Officiant
Weather -- No matter what season you choose to get married in Connecticut, you’ll have a beautiful wedding. Winters are cold and can be snowy; late spring is mild and pleasant; summer can be very hot and a bit muggy; but fall is perhaps the most beautiful. The temperature is cool and mild and the foliage is stunning. Spring and fall are the most popular seasons for weddings among couples (and the times in which venue rental prices and hotel accommodations will be at their highest.)
Major Events -- When it comes to choosing your wedding date, note that Hartford has events going on all year that you may want to avoid scheduling on top of. Some of the biggest ones are the Connecticut Flower & Garden Show, which is one of the biggest in New England, the Greater Hartford Jazz Festival, the Discover Hartford Bicycle and Walking Tour and many others.
You don’t want your wedding to get held up by the massive biking tour (yikes, can you imagine?), so make sure to be mindful when selecting your wedding date. You can find a list of annual Connecticut events here. Of course, if you’re dead set on a specific wedding date and your venue is a few miles away from one of these events, you’ll probably be fine.
Venues -- Speaking of wedding venues, if you are looking for sophistication and elegance, there’s no shortage in Hartford. Marquee Events or The Hartford Club are both very classic options, but the Society Room of Hartford takes the cake -- its interior could be mistaken for a palace.
If you’re looking for a venue with more of a nautical vibe, but don’t want to travel all the way to the coast, The Glastonbury Boathouse at Riverfront Park is a gorgeous option. Its top features are its private dock on the water -- great for getting photos of the couple and the wedding party -- and their classic yet modern banquet hall.
Or, if you’re open to an unconventional venue, you might like The Webb Barn. It has a relaxed vibe, but does not compromise on elegance. Its sky-high ceilings and floor to ceiling warm wood give it a dizzyingly romantic feel. And no, it’s not an hour out of town -- it’s right in Wethersfield, less than 10 minutes from downtown Hartford!
Those are our top choices, but there are plenty more incredible venues in the Hartford area. Just make sure to take note: In Connecticut, you must get married in the same county in which you obtained your marriage license. So, if you want to venture outside of Hartford County for your wedding, you need to obtain your marriage license in that county.
Transportation -- Hartford doesn’t have one major mode of public transportation, but there are a variety of options for getting around inner and greater Hartford. For frugal guests coming in from out of town for your special day, this may be handy. Check out a comprehensive explanation of the public transit options here. But Lyft and Uber are also available in Hartford and a more no-nonsense option for getting from point A to point B.