How to Officiate Weddings in Toledo
A Toledo Guide for Wedding Ministers and Couples
This humble, hard-working Midwest town is often thought of as the little brother of Detroit, but it’s really got something special to offer if you stop and smell the roses (at the lovely Toledo Botanical Garden, of course.) Locals can attest to its unique sense of comradery that can be felt in the air of the city’s community gardens, local watering holes and and farm-to-table restaurants.
Let’s just say, we’re definitely believers in the city’s motto, “You will do better in Toledo,” especially if you’re planning to get married here, or plan on performing weddings. You’ll find that this community spirit is alive in its wedding industry, which is the most concentrated networks of wedding-focused vendors and venues in northwestern Ohio. It even has its own dedicated magazine for couples planning to get married in town, which you’ll definitely want to bookmark.
Here at AMM, our job is to help you get the legal to-do’s out of the way so that you can focus on planning the details of your special day. Let’s start with getting your officiant of choice licensed to perform your ceremony.
STEP 1: Get ordained with American Marriage Ministries
This section is for the wedding officiant. According to Lucas County Clerk’s website, the following persons may perform wedding ceremonies:
“An ordained or licensed minister of any religious society or congregation within this state who is licensed through the office of the Secretary of the State of Ohio, the probate judge, or a judge of a municipal court may solemnize marriages.”
If you’re not a judge or a leader of a religious society, don’t worry -- you can get ordained with AMM to become a licensed minister and solemnize marriages in the state of Ohio. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.
After you have completed this process, you will then need to register with the office of the Ohio Secretary of State. To do this, you just need to print and fill out a one-page form that will ask for some basic personal information, include a copy of your new ministerial credentials (which you can purchase here), and a check or money order for $10 made out to “Ohio Secretary of State.” Once you’ve submitted this to the office, you can perform weddings in Ohio. Congrats!
STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Lucas 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 and complete the marriage license, but just be sure to double check that they have a valid marriage license before the ceremony.
In Toledo, either you or the couple is permitted to submit the completed license. So, just make sure that you sort out which party -- you (the officiant) or one of the members of the couple -- will deliver it back to the Lucas County Probate Court. After that’s taken care of, you have successfully performed all of your functions as the wedding officiant.
To obtain your marriage license, both members of the couple will have to visit the Lucas County Probate Court at 700 Adams Street. Make sure to arrive prior to 4:00 p.m. to be sure the office will have time to grant you a marriage license.
When you go, just remember to bring:
- $60 (cash only)
- a valid, government-issued picture ID (only driver's license, state ID card, passport or military ID are acceptable)
- a certified birth certificate listing parents’ names (for applicants under the age of 21)
- at least one applicant’s proof of residency (for Ohio residents only)*
*Out of state residents may apply in Lucas County for a marriage license, but note that the marriage ceremony must also take place in Lucas County.
Issuance Office: Lucas County Probate Court, 700 Adams Street, Suite 200 Toledo, Ohio
Fee: $60 (cash)
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 60 days
Return: By couple or officiant
The Basics -- Toledo may be a bit on the smaller side, but don’t be mistaken -- it’s got plenty to do and see, like the Toledo Museum of Art, with its impressive collection of modern and Renaissance work and its fabulous metropark system. Plus, it’s centrally located between Ann Arbor, Michigan which has great shopping, farmer’s markets, festivals and education events about a 30 minute drive north. Plus, Detroit and Windsor, Ontario are only another 30 minutes north from there.
But you don’t have to go across state lines to find the perfect setting to say “I do.” Right in town, you’ll find there are charming churches on every corner. You can host your ceremony in the architectural splendor of Historic Church of St. Patrick, and then move the reception to another spot of your choice. Some of our favorites are on the shore of beautiful Lake Erie. Check out the Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center, situated in the lovely Maumee Bay State Park. Or if you’re down to drive further east, the Catawba Island Club, located on the western shore of Catawba Island in Lake Erie, is an extra special location for a wedding.
Transportation -- Lucas County has easy access to two airports, an Amtrak train station and regional bus service TARTA, which is good for getting around town. You can check out TARTA’s website for route information and to buy passes. However, if the wedding is set to take place outside of the Toledo city limits, your best bet is to rent a car or utilize rideshare services Lyft and Uber if you’re coming in from out of town, as some nearby destinations, like towns along the shore of Lake Erie, are outside of TARTA’s network.
Weather -- There’s no getting around it -- Toledo winters are intense. Snow records have been breaking left and right over the past few years. The summers are usually mild and temperate, but a little bit muggy. The best days for weddings fall in late spring and early fall, when the heat and humidity has subsided, but don’t set a date later than late September or early October if you don’t want to risk an early snowstorm interfering with your festivities.