How to Officiate Weddings in San Antonio
A San Antonio Guide for Wedding Officiants and Couples
Historic San Antonio is a great location for a Texas wedding, with important historical sites and Spanish Mission inspired architecture, and over 300 years of history. “Alamo City” is the 7th most populated city in the US and a major tourist destination, offering your guests a wide array of opportunities for fun, before and after your wedding celebration.
Whether you’re a native Texan or you’re marrying one, we think that San Antonio is the perfect spot to host an informal gathering of friends and loved ones, or an elaborate affair to remember -- whatever your style!
But before you delve into planning the fun stuff, let us help you with the technical details, starting with getting your minister of choice ordained.
STEP 1: Get ordained with American Marriage Ministries
According to the Bexar County Clerk’s website, the choice of wedding officiant is at the couple's discretion and you do not need to register with the county. If you’re not ordained by a religious organization, you’re in luck. You can get ordained with AMM -- the process is free and takes just a few minutes. Once you’ve got that box checked, we’ll get to the good stuff.
STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Bexar County
Now that you’ve got your credentials taken care of, we can help you prepare for the wedding ceremony itself. Being asked to officiate a ceremony is a true honor, but requires a bit of preparation. 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. Bexar County requires a 72 hour waiting period from the issuance of the marriage license and the wedding ceremony, and the wedding ceremony must be completed within 90 days of issuance or the marriage license will expire.
Once you have performed the ceremony and signed the marriage license, you have successfully performed all of your functions as the wedding officiant. Make sure to remind the couple to return the signed and completed marriage license to the county clerk’s office before 90 days from the date of issuance. Ideally, the license should be returned right away, since that’s when the marriage is recorded into government records.
File for the Marriage License from the Bexar County Clerk's Office
To get your marriage license, both members of the couple will have to visit the County Clerk’s office at:
Paul Elizondo Tower
101 West Nueva Suite 120
San Antonio, TX 7820
There is not a requirement by Bexar County that you are a Texas resident, however there is a 72 hour waiting period if you and your spouse obtain the marriage license from the Bexar County clerk before the ceremony can take place. This waiting period is waived if you or your spouse are active duty military, or if you complete the Twogether in Texas premarital education 8 hour course, which also provides you with a $60 reduction in the marriage license fee.
When you go, remember to bring the following:
- $81 cash
- Photo IDs
- Social Security Numbers (if applicable)
Once you’ve completed your marriage application, there is a three-day waiting period before you can use it -- so make sure you complete this process a week before the ceremony.
Below is the fast info pertaining to marriage licenses issued in Bexar County for reference.
Paul Elizondo Tower
101 West Nueva Suite 120
San Antonio, TX 7820.
Waiting Period: 3 days
Expiration: 90 days
Return: by Couple
The Basics -- San Antonio is a fantastic city brimming with Old West history and magnificent natural wonders further afield. Your guests will have lots of opportunities to explore when they visit San Antonio. Be sure to take a look at the city’s event pages before you select your wedding date, since bigger events draw crowds and fill up hotels.
Depending on what you are considering for wedding venues, San Antonio has great downtown spaces, like the beautiful Pearl Stable & Pearl Studio, a former 22 acre brewery built in the late 1800s, or the San Antonio Museum of Art.
But if the local countryside is more your speed, there are options for that as well. Featherstone Ranch is a gorgeous venue on 67 acres located in the heart of Fredericksburg wine country, complete with a beautiful open concept white chapel. Rancho La Mission has space for up to 2,000 guests on a Spanish-style sprawling ranch with its own petting zoo, just 20 minutes from downtown San Antonio and multiple options for holding your ceremony, including a small island enclosed by a serene pond.
If you would prefer to have your wedding close to the city, you should look at the Majestic Empire Theater. It’s a great alternative to traditional venues, but still retains that historical feel. San Antonio has endless options to choose from all with their own charm and unique ties to the local culture, landscape or historical significance.
Transportation -- A rental car is suggested for out of town guests for getting around downtown area and visiting wine country, for in city points of interest there are rideshare options as well if guests are staying in downtown. Local Texas residents can expect a three to four drive from Dallas or Houston, guests visiting from other states can fly into San Antonio International Airport.
Weather -- San Antonio offers a mild subtropical climate, thanks to its location on the central plains. Summers in San Antonio experience the most extreme weather, with temperatures around or above 90 degrees most of June, July, and August, sometimes well into September and October. It doesn’t ever get too cold, and during the winter, expect to see average temperatures in the 50s. Humidity and rainfall varies year to year, but September, October, January, March, and May will only see about four days of rain while the rest of the year has just three days of rainfall.