How to Officiate Weddings in Atlanta

American Marriage Ministries Guide for Performing Marriage in Hotlanta


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Married in the Athens of the South

Atlanta is one of the fastest growing cities in the US, and that means lots of young people falling in love and starting new families. Hot ‘Lanta was ranked among the top cities in the US to tie the knot in WalletHub’s 2018 list of best places to get married in America. There’s no shortage of great venues, skilled wedding planners, and much more to make your day a memorable experience. That most certainly includes having a friend or family member get ordained online to perform the wedding ceremony. AMM has thousands of ordained ministers in the Atlanta area, and we are excited to have you join our movement.

 

But, you are reading this because there are important facts you need to get straight before you can perform a legally-binding wedding ceremony in Atlanta. You want to make sure the wedding is legal! Here’s what you need to know:




How To Perform Marriage in Atlanta

Steps for the Wedding Officiant

Georgia marriage law stipulates that licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, or pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace. As an ordained minister of American Marriage Ministries, you may legally perform weddings in Atlanta, and in the State of Georgia. Since local government officers may ask for proof of your credentials, we recommend that you purchase a Minister Ordination Package, which contains full proof of accreditation, as well as detailed document filing and officiating instructions.
 
After getting ordained, the state of Georgia does not require any additional registration process. This means that your next step is to prepare for the ceremony. That requires meeting with the couple (either in-person or via email) to get a feel for what kind of ceremony they want, and collecting important details like how they fell in love, what kind of life they want to build together, and how they want the ceremony to reflect their worldview. For more information on this, check out our wedding training section


Finally, you will need to perform the actual ceremony. That also means signing the marriage license after the ceremony. Since the marriage license is an important legal document, ensure that all the information is presented correctly before you sign your signature. Want more details? We’ve got lots of tips on our blog, and across the website that will help you feel prepared and calm when the moment comes. Good Luck! 
 

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How To Get Married in Atlanta

Steps for the Couple

Marriage License Overview

It is the couple’s responsibility to request a copy of their marriage license at their local county probate court. Click here to find the court closest to you. Marriage licenses are issued on the same day as they are applied for. While some counties in Georgia allow partners to marry at 16 years of age, you must be at least 18 years old to get married without parental consent.

 

What You Should Know

You will need to visit the nearest county probate court in order to obtain a copy of your marriage license. Make sure you have your driver's license, passport, or birth certificate as evidence of your identity. If your identifying documents are printed in a language other than English, Georgia courts require a notarized and certified translation.

 

Previous Marriages

If either partner has been divorced, you'll will be required to present to the court with a copy of your divorce decree.

 

Marriage License Fees

Marriage license fees vary by county, and some counties only accept cash payment. We advise that you call ahead, and check the fees and payment options at your county probate court.

 

Marriage License Fee Waivers

Georgia courts allow couples to bypass the license fees if they earn a premarital education program certificate. This requires sitting for a 6-hour class that reviews basic marriage lessons such as budgeting and conflict resolution.

Fulton County Marriage License Info

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

  • Issuance Office: Fulton County Clerk's Office
  • Fee: $56
  • Waiting Period: None
  • Expiration: No Expiration
  • Return: Within 30 Days from the Wedding


Wedding Venue and Planning Tips



Please see our Georgia State page for more details about planning a wedding ceremony in Atlanta, GA. 

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Weddings in Atlanta FAQ

  • What documents are wedding officiants required to present in order to sign marriage certificates and perform legal weddings?

    Wedding officiants in Atlanta, Georgia must either be justices of the peace, or be “licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, or pastors of recognized religious societies.” In the event that local clerks request proof of ordination, we recommend that you purchase your Minister Ordination Package to make sure that you don’t get caught without your required credentials when it’s time to perform a wedding.
  • What are the requirements for getting a marriage license in Atlanta, Georgia?

    In order to be issued a marriage license in Atlanta, Georgia, both partners must be at least 18 years of age and single. In addition, the Probate Courts require government issued identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate.
  • What additional requirements do couples need to meet if if one or both of them have been divorced?

    If either partner has been married previously, you will need to present documentation relating to your previous marriage. That includes documents such as a divorce decree or death certificate.
  • Does the State of Atlanta require the couple to present blood tests as part of the marriage license application?

    No, the county probate courts do not require blood tests as part of the marriage license application.
  • What is the marriage license fee for a marriage license in Atlanta, Georgia?

    To be issued a marriage license in Atlanta, Georgia, the couple are required to pay the marriage license fee of $56.00. This fee can be waived if the couple has completed a qualifying premarital education program before applying for your marriage license. The couple must still pay a reduced marriage license fee of $16.00.
  • Is there a waiting period after we receive our marriage license in Atlanta, Georgia?

    There is no waiting period before being issued a marriage license in Atlanta, Georgia. The couple can have the ceremony and use the marriage license as soon as the license has been issued.
  • How long is the marriage license valid for?

    In many counties in Georgia, marriage licenses are valid for a period of 6 months. Contact your local County Probate Court for more information and factor the expiration date into your wedding planning. You don’t want to perform the wedding only to find out that your license has expired!
  • Who can we ask to perform our wedding ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia?

    Any authorized officiant is allowed to perform wedding ceremonies in Atlanta, Georgia. AMM ministers meet this requirement and can perform legally binding wedding ceremonies across the state. Many other religious clergy members are authorized. We recommend that the couple ask for proof of ordination, and that the minister have a copy of his or her credentials on hand.
  • How do we get our marriage certificate in Atlanta, Georgia?

    After the wedding ceremony has been performed and the marriage license has been signed and returned to the County Probate Court in Atlanta, the Court will issue your marriage certificate. For additional copies, the court charges a fee of $10.00. In order to have additional copies of your marriage certificate mailed to you, you must provide a self-addressed stamped envelope.
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