How to Officiate Weddings in Albuquerque
American Marriage Ministries Guide to Performing Marriage in "The Q"
Albuquerque’s blend of Native American, Mexican and modern American culture makes this Southwestern city as unique as its namesake. You can’t find local cuisine or an art scene like this anywhere else in the world. It’s no wonder they call Albuquerque the “Land of Enchantment.”
We’re here to help make sure your New Mexico wedding goes as smoothly as possible. But first things first -- let’s get the logistics of the marriage license and getting ordained out of the way.
STEP 1: Get ordained with American Marriage Ministries
Let’s start with the ordainment process. In New Mexico, anyone that is licensed, ordained, or certified to perform a ceremony can marry a couple. You can get ordained with AMM to become officially licensed as an ordained minister. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.
STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Bernalillo County
Now that the easy part is out of the way, let’s get you ready for the wedding ceremony itself. If you’re a first time wedding officiant, you will appreciate our wedding training pages, a comprehensive resource 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 and complete the marriage license, but just be sure to double check that they have a valid marriage license before the ceremony. That means making sure that the name, dates, and other personal information are correct. If you don’t know them well, it’s fine to ask for a driver's license, as a way to double check that the spelling and dates are correct.
File for the Marriage License from the Bernalillo County Clerk's Office
Now let’s turn our attention to the couple’s responsibilities.
To obtain your marriage license, both members of the couple will have to visit the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office.
When you go, just remember to bring:
- Government-issued ID (passport, or original birth certificate)
- Social Security Card
- If either applicant doesn’t have a social security number, then two government issued picture IDs are required (passport or original birth certificate.) Just note that the names must match on all forms of ID.
After the Wedding: Returning the Marriage License to the Bernalillo County Clerk's Office
After the wedding, it is the couple’s responsibility to return the completed marriage license to the Bernalillo County Clerk's Office. The completed license needs to be returned to the County Clerk’s Office within ninety (90) days of the ceremony.
Below is the info pertaining to marriage licenses issued in Bernalillo County for reference.
Issuance Office: 1 Civic Plaza, #6029, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Marriage License Fee: $25
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 90 days
License Return Details: by Couple
The Basics: Albuquerque is chock full of luxury hotels, golf resorts and country clubs that are perfect for a regal affair (not to mention, air conditioned.) But there are also some breathtaking outdoor venues of note, if you’d like to take advantage of the unique southwestern New Mexico landscape. You may like the Blame Her Ranch or the Leaping Deer Ranch. Both have indoor and outdoor accommodations, so you’ll get the best of both worlds.
Because the weather is sunny pretty much all the time, events and festivals occur throughout the year. Be sure to search your wedding date and venue to check that your wedding festivities don’t overlap with one of the largely attended events in Albuquerque, like the annual Jazz Fest, in order to avoid traffic and higher hotel prices.
Transportation: Albuquerque has a reliable public bus system via ABQ Ride. If you’re from out of town and planning a wedding in the city, you may find that public transit will suffice. However, if may be best to rent a car, depending on the location of your wedding and other associated events. Lyft, Uber and zTrip are available in town, as well, so if you’re not keen on renting a car, these services can be a good option.
Weather: Most people say the best weather in Albuquerque is during the fall, between September and November. Temperatures are warm, but not too hot, and many of the town’s festivals take place during this time. Summertime may not be the best season for an outdoor wedding, as temperatures climb into the 90s.▲ TOP
Do witnesses have to be present in order to obtain a marriage license?
No, only during the ceremony.
Do you need to make an appointment at the county clerk’s office to get a marriage license?
No, marriage licenses are handled on a walk-in basis.
Is there a waiting period for the marriage license?
There is no waiting period for the marriage license. When couples show up to get their marriage license, they can leave with the marriage license that same day.
Do you have to be a resident of Bernalillo County to get a marriage license?
No, any couple that meets the identification and age requirements is eligible for a marriage license.