How to Officiate Weddings in Sioux Falls
A guide to officiating and getting married in Sioux Falls
So, you’re planning a wedding in South Dakota! We hate to be the ones to tell you this, but Sioux Falls was once known as the “divorce capital of the nation” -- a fact that the locals have a sense of humor about, if their recently erected monument flaunting this old nickname is any evidence. But don’t worry, that title has long since shifted to Nevada.
Now, it’s all about the love...
This proud state -- home to nine Native American tribes, Mt. Rushmore, and of course, the beautiful Sioux Falls themselves -- has a lot to offer in natural beauty and history.
We’ll help get your process off on the right foot by getting your chosen minister ordained and your marriage license complete, so that you can enjoy the fun part -- the wedding planning process. Let’s get started.
STEP 1: Get ordained with American Marriage Ministries
Let’s start with the ordainment process. According to the Minnehaha County Clerk’s Office, the following persons may perform wedding ceremonies: a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the circuit court, a magistrate, or “any person authorized by a church to solemnize marriages.”
You can get ordained with AMM to fall within the latter category. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.
When it comes time to perform your duties as the officiant, Minnehaha County may ask you to present documentation, which AMM provides. (You can call the county clerk’s office before you perform the ceremony to ask if they will require you to bring the certificate in person, or order them from our store just to be safe.)
STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Minnehaha County
Now that the easy part is out of the way, we can help you prepare for the wedding ceremony itself. Check out 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.
Once the ceremony is complete, you, the officiant must return the license to the Register of Deeds within 10 days, so make sure to mark your calendar. Otherwise, the couple will likely have to file for a new license and pay their fees again.
File for the Marriage License from the Deeds Office
To obtain your marriage license, you both members of the couple will have to visit Register of Deeds Office at 415 N Dakota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104.
When you go, just remember to bring:
- Marriage Application worksheet, which you can start online
- Identification is required—either a driver's license or a certified copy of a birth certificate.
Below is the fast info pertaining to marriage licenses issued in Minnehaha County for reference.
Issuance Office: 415 N Dakota Ave, Sioux Falls
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 20 days
Return: by Officiant
The Basics -- There are plenty of nice hotels and event spaces to throw a party-to-remember in Sioux Falls -- such as the Holiday Inn at Sioux Falls City Center and the Convention Center -- but if you think outside the box, you’ll find that South Dakota has some other interesting options.
Wineries and refurbished barn spaces set the scene for a more charming and sentimental vibe. Check out the Meadow Barn, which offers that rustic feel without sacrificing the amenities a wedding party would need.
Or take the occasion outside. Badlands National Park, a four hour drive from the state capital, offers other worldly views that create a rugged yet stunning backdrop for your special day. Or, you can even tie the knot under the watchful gaze of our founding fathers at Mt. Rushmore. The options are limitless!
Transportation -- The Sioux Area Metro provides 11 routes covering the Sioux Falls area and most of the surrounding attractions. This is a good option for guests to use if your venue and wedding festivities are located near the city center. Uber just premiered in Sioux Falls in spring of 2019, so it may not be a reliable mode of transportation just yet. In the case that you or your guests are from out-of-state, they may want to rent a car.
Weather -- South Dakota has four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and somewhat humid. Average highs run at about 90 degrees but can climb into the 100s during heat waves. Winter cools down substantially, with daytime highs averaging below freezing. Winter months see several inches to one foot of snow with regularity. Early spring, around May, and late summer, around September, are ideal months to have an outdoor wedding, as temperatures are not too hot or too cold.
If you’re planning a summer wedding, note that the last few days of July and the first two weeks of August are when the annual Harley Davidson rally occurs, in which thousands of bikers from all over the world meet up in South Dakota. Hotel prices will be higher and harder to come by, so avoid setting a date during this time.
Do I have to be a resident to marry in South dakota?
No, there are no residency requirements. You can be from a foreign country outside of the U.S. and marry in South Dakota.
Do I have to apply for a marriage license in person?
Yes, you and your partner will have to visit the Deeds Office together to obtain your marriage license.