How to Officiate Weddings in Houston

American Marriage Ministries’ Guide to Performing Marriage in H-Town


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Houston embodies New American Glamour, Traditional Southern Culture, and Modern Texan Values like no other city in the state. Weddings held in this southern metropolis reflect that diversity, with ceremonies, venues, and officiants on hand to meet even the most unique vision.

That includes thousands of ordained ministers of American Marriage Ministries. Our ministers enjoy the legal right to perform weddings and sign marriage certificates. We’re excited that you are considering Getting Ordained with American Marriage Ministries.

Per the Texas Family Code §2.202, “a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony,” may officiate a wedding and sign the marriage license.

As an Ordained Minister of American Marriage Ministries you have the legal authority to officiate weddings in Houston. Keep on reading for everything you need to know to perform marriages and sign marriage licenses in Houston, Texas.




How To Perform Marriage in Houston

Steps for the Wedding Officiant

You Officiate The Wedding and Complete The Marriage License

Step One: Get Ordained to Perform weddings in Texas.

Your first step is getting ordained. According to Texas marriage law, the following people may officate weddings, (1) a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest; (2) a Jewish rabbi; (3) a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony; and (4) Judges... 

If you aren't a Judge, you can still claim the same legal rights simply by getting ordained here! Once you are ordained, you are able to perform weddings in Texas however we recommend getting official copies of your ordination papers, just in case government officials, the couple, or other wedding professionals ask to see them. 

 

Step Two: Prepare for the upcoming Houston Wedding.

Now, let's get prepared for the wedding ceremony. Being asked to officiate a ceremony is an honor, but can feel a bit intimidating too. If this feels like you, 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. 

 

Aside from reading up on what to do, and how to do it, we recommend getting an early start. Officiating a wedding is a public performance, and that means you want to look and sound prepared when you get up there. 

 

Step Three: Perfom the wedding and sign the marriage license.

72 hours after the marriage license is issued the couple may be married through a ceremony of their choosing. That means checking in advance that the marriage license was obtained within the proper window of time. After the wedding ceremony, you as the officiant must complete and sign their portion of the marriage license. If you have questions about this process, check out our page on Wedding Officiant Guidelines for Completing Marriage Licenses.

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How To Get Married in Houston

Steps for the Couple

The Couple Files For Their Marriage License From The Harris County Clerk

The couple must apply in person for a Marriage License at one of the Harris County Clerk’s 10 Locations. Valid I.D. is required and the fee for the marriage license is $72.00.
 

What If I Can't File For My Marriage License in Person?

There are plenty of legitimate reasons why one partner is not able to appear in person to file for the marriage license. A common scenario is couples where one partner is deployed in the armed forces. In such cases that individual must complete an Affidavit of Absent Applicant on Application for Marriage License form.



The Harris County Clerk's office provides Instructions for Completing an Affidavit of Absent Applicant for Marriage License to assist you with completing the Affidavit of Absent Applicant on Application for Marriage License form. Be aware that this method of applying for the marriage license should only be used in extenuating circumstances.

 

IMPORTANT: The Couple Returns The Marriage License

After the wedding ceremony, the completed marriage license should be returned to the Harris County Clerk’s office for recording. The couple can return the license in person or by mail.

Upon being returned to the Harris County Clerk’s office, a copy of the marriage license can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks to be sent to the couple. If you do not receive the license after that time period, please call the Harris County Clerk's Personal Records Department at 713-274-8686.

Harris County Marriage License Info
Below is important information pertaining to marriage licenses issued in Houston. For clarification on what this information means you can check out our Marriage License Laws Explained page.
  • Issuance Office: County Clerk's Office
  • Fee: $72
  • Waiting Period: 3 Days Before Completing
  • Expiration: 90 Days
  • Return: Within 10 Days from the Wedding


Wedding Venue and Planning Tips



We're working on updating this part of the page, and would love to hear your advice for couples that are planning weddings. Got tips? Shoot us an email at [email protected] For wedding tips, please check out our Texas minister training pages. 

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Weddings in Houston FAQ

 

  • What proof do I need to show as an ordained minister?

    Ministers are not required to register with any government office in Texas before officiating weddings. Wedding officiants ordained by AMM are considered to be an “officer of a religious organization.”

    That being said, we recommend you to order your Texas Minister Ordination Package to keep official hardcopies of your Ministry Mredentials. Your package includes your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing. Your Letter of Good Standing is signed by a church officer, dated, and notarized.

    Proof of your ordination is essential in the event that the couple or government officials request to see your ministry credentials.
     

  • Who is authorized to conduct the wedding ceremony and sign the marriage license?

    Per the Texas Family Code §2.202, the following persons are authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony:

    ● a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest ● a Jewish rabbi ● a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony ● a justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of criminal appeals, justice of the courts of appeals, judge of the district, county, and probate courts, judge of the county courts at law, judge of the courts of domestic relations, judge of the juvenile courts, retired justice or judge of those courts, justice of the peace, retired justice of the peace, judge of a municipal court, or judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state.

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