Step 1 GET ORDAINED WITH AMERICAN MARRIAGE MINISTRIES
Getting Ordained with American Marriage Ministries is your first step towards performing marriage in Vermont. American Marriage Ministries is the only IRS Certified 501c3 Non-Profit that offers online ordinations. Getting ordained with AMM is free, quick, and easy!
Beyond ordination we provide all the information and resources you need to learn how to prepare for and officiate weddings. Whether it is your minister registration requirements, learning how to write a wedding ceremony script, or making sure you understand your legal responsibilities when completing the marriage license, we have you covered!
We welcome people of all walks of life. As long as you have a sincere desire to bring communities together through marriage, it is not important to us if you are religious or non-religious, gay or straight, black or white, rich or poor. Ordination as an AMM minister is about celebrating our commonalities.
As a Minister of American Marriage Ministries we encourage you to officiate weddings that reflect the values and beliefs of you and the couple. With over 670,931 Ordained Ministers and hundreds of thousands of successful weddings, what are you waiting for?
Apply For Ordination!
Step 2 VERMONT MINISTER REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS
MINISTER REGISTRATION IS ONLY REQUIRED IF YOU DO NOT LIVE IN VERMONT
If you are a Vermont resident then your status as an ordained minister is all the authority you need to perform marriage.
If you are not a Vermont resident then you are required to register with the Vermont Judiciary before performing marriage.
Continue reading for instructions on how perform marriage in Vermont as a non-resident.
HOW TO REGISTER AS A NON-RESIDENT MINISTER IN VERMONT
The Vermont Judiciary website outlines Registration Instructions for authorization of out-of-state clergy. You will be asked to:
a. Submit a completed "Non-Resident Minister To Perform Marriage Ceremony Petition".
b. Submit proof that you live out-of-state. (Valid ID such as your Driver's License, Birth Certificate, Military ID, etc.)
c. Submit proof that you are an ordained. (Your Ministry Credentials such as your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing.)
d. Pay a filing fee of $100, payable to the "Vermont Secretary of State".
HOW TO COMPLETE THE NON-RESIDENT MINISTER TO PERFORM MARRIAGE PETITION
The Non-Resident Minister To Perform Marriage Petition is a simple one page form that should only take you a few minutes to complete.
The form needs to be notarized, so do not sign the form until you are in the presence of a notary. Below are point-by-point instructions on how to complete the form.
● Enter your full name and mailing address. Your address must match the address on your government ID.
● Enter the couple's names and their respective mailing address or addresses.
● Enter the wedding ceremony date and the town in Vermont where the wedding is to take place.
● For the field marked "1" enter "American Marriage Ministries" and your state of residence.
OPTIONAL STEP - DRAFT AND INCLUDE A COUPLE'S AFFIDAVIT
This step is not required when submitting your application but it helps to communicate the seriousness of your intent to perform marriage. There are three empty lines on the form that are immediately preceded by this text:
"Title 18, Section 5144 of Vermont Statutes Annotated provides that the Court may approve these petitions “if
the Probate judge determines that the circumstances make the special authorization desirable.” If your
ordination or license is not based upon active and on-going ministry, and/or was obtained specifically to
obtain authorization to perform the marriage in question, please identify to the Court the circumstances
which would support the required finding that this special authorization is desirable:"
On the empty lines write, "See Attached Couple's Affidavit". This affidavit is a document that you will draft with the couple. It testifies that they explicitly sought you out to be their wedding officiant and that you are the most qualified person to perform this function. The affidavit could look something like this:
Petition for Non-Resident Minister To Perform Marriage Ceremony
Affidavit of the Couple
To the Probate Judge,
I (Partner A) and (Partner B) declare that we have duly considered and agreed that the most appropriate person to solemnize our marriage is (Officiant’s Full Name). We have made this decision after serious thought and consideration. (Officiant’s Name) has been an integral part of our lives and our community.
We respectfully request that (Officiant’s Full Name) be authorized to Solemnize our Marriage.
(Printed Name of Partner A)
(Signed Name of Partner A)
(Printed Name of Partner B)
(Signed Name of Partner B)
(Printed Name of Officiant)
(Signed Name of Officiant)
OPTIONAL STEP - HAVE THE COUPLE'S AFFIDAVIT NOTARIZED
You may also want to have this couple's affidavit notarized. This step is not required but it doesn't hurt. The main complication is that the couple would have to be present when the affidavit is notarized. Alternatively, the couple can have the affidavit drafted without your signature and have it notarized just with their signatures.
Whether it is notarized or not, providing the couple's affidavit helps to better communicate the couple's wishes in having you officiate their wedding ceremony.
HOW TO GET THE PETITION FOR NON-RESIDENT MINISTER TO PERFORM MARRIAGE CEREMONY NOTARIZED
IMPORTANT: Do not sign the Petition until you are in the presence of a notary. Before you complete the last part of the petition, make sure to do so in the presence of a notary.
If you are not familiar with the notarial process, it simply means having a notary witness you signing the petition. The purpose of the notary is to have a third party confirm that the signature on the document is yours.
A quick Google search for "notary public near me" will yield plenty of results. You can also check with your bank. Most bank branches keep a notary on staff. You may be able to go to your local bank branch and have your petition notarized for free.
HOW TO ORDER YOUR MINISTRY CREDENTIALS
Order your Vermont Minister Ordination Package to receive official hardcopies of your ministry credentials. Your package includes your Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing. A partially completed Vermont Non-Resident Minister To Perform Marriage Ceremony Petition is also included for your convenience.
If you live in Vermont you are not required to register with any government office. However, it is a good idea to keep personal copies of your official Ministry Credentials. Proof of your ordination is essential in the event that the couple or government officials request to verify your status as an ordained minister.
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR NON-RESIDENT MINISTER APPLICATION
By this point you should have all your paperwork in order. Now you need to submit everything to the Probate Division of the Superior Court in the county where the wedding is to take place. Do not forget to include the $100 Filing Fee with your application.
There are 14 Probate Court offices across Vermont. For questions concerning how to submit your application, how to pay your filing fee, and other aspects of submitting your application you should contact the Vermont Probate Court’s Office in the county where the wedding is to take place.
APPROVAL OF YOUR NON-RESIDENT MINISTER APPLICATION
Provided there are no complications, your application should be approved in a few days. Most courts will approve your application on the same day they receive your paperwork. By this point you should have communicated with someone at the appropriate Probate Court so you should know what to expect.
Once your application is approved you will have the authority to perform the wedding specified on your Petition.
Step 3 LEARN HOW TO OFFICIATE WEDDINGS
Chances are good this will be the first wedding you officiate. This undertaking may seem daunting and we are here to guide you through the process. The Wedding Training section of our site will teach you how to officiate weddings like a pro.
We break down the process of preparing for officiating a wedding into simple, easy-to-follow steps. We start with explaining the structure of a wedding ceremony and provide sample wedding ceremonies to help you get an idea of what other people have written.
Once you have the first draft of your wedding ceremony script written, you can follow our guide on officiant best practices for advice on how to polish and practice reading your ceremony script.
ASKED TO OFFICIATE | OFFICIANT TRAINING MANUAL
If you are interested in a thorough resource that covers everything you could ever possibly want to know about officiating a wedding ceremony, we recommend purchasing a copy of our book Asked To Officiate. Originally written by two career wedding officiants, Asked To Officiate draws on their decades of experience officiating hundreds of wedding ceremonies.
Asked To Officiate is also included in our Signature Wedding Officiant Package. This package covers all the bases, including your Ministry Credentials, a Wedding Stole, Asked To Officiate, and your Minister's Manual.
Step 4 OFFICIATE THE WEDDING!
By this point you should be fully prepared to officiate the wedding. Have a fun and memorable wedding ceremony! After you have conducted the wedding you have one last and very important job… to complete the marriage license for the couple.
COMPLETING THE MARRIAGE LICENSE
This is your one legal responsibility. Fortunately, it is also an easy task to fulfill. Completing the marriage license simply involves completing your portion of the license and signing it with the couple in the presence of any required witnesses. That's it!
We understand that you want to do everything correctly. That’s why you are the officiant! If you want to know more about what fields you may have to complete on the marriage license and what you should write, check out our Wedding Officiant Guidelines for Completing Marriage Licenses.
RETURNING THE MARRIAGE LICENSE
After the marriage license is completed it must be returned to its issuance office. This is usually the responsibility of the couple though some states require this to be done by the minister. When the couple receives their marriage license it should also come with instructions as to who must return it and how.
Different states have different deadlines that dictate when the completed marriage license must be returned, so make sure that this duty be done as soon as possible. In most states this is as easy as mailing the marriage license back to the county clerk. Below is more information about Vermont marriage licenses.
VERMONT MARRIAGE LICENSE INFORMATION
Prior to the wedding ceremony it is the couple’s responsibility to file for their marriage license. The marriage license issuance office is usually located at the county courthouse. Your job as the wedding officiant is to sign and complete your section of the license. Once the marriage license is completed and returned to the office where it was issued, the marriage is recorded and made legal.
Marriage License Issuance Office
Marriage License Fee
Marriage License Waiting Period
Marriage License Expiration
Marriage License Return
Within 10 Days from Wedding
What Does Marriage License Waiting Period, Expiration, and Return Mean?