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Birmingham, Alabama Wedding Guide

Become a Wedding Officiant in Birmingham as an AMM Ordained Minister. Learn more about getting ordained in Alabama, officiant training, wedding ceremony planning, and more.

  1. How To Officiate Weddings in Birmingham
  2. How To Get Married in Birmingham
  3. Birmingham Weddings FAQ

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How to Officiate a Wedding in Birmingham, Alabama

Happy Wedding

So, you’re planning your wedding in the Heart of Dixie! Whether you’re dreaming of a classic southern soirée or a down-home potluck, you’ll be in good hands. Alabama has no shortage of amazing wedding venues and local vendors that are sure to show you Southern hospitality.

 

But when it comes to taking care of the legal aspects of getting married -- from getting your officiant of choice ordained to completing the marriage application -- we’ve got you covered there.

 

Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, you’ll make it out of this process without pitchin’ a fit. And now that you’ve made it past our shameless onslaught of Alabama cliches, you’re almost halfway there.




Alabama Wedding Tips and Tricks

Become a Wedding Officiant

For The
Wedding Officiant

Step 1: Get Ordained with American Marriage Ministries

 

Let’s start with the ordainment process. In Alabama, marriage may be solemnized by “the pastor of any religious society according to the rules ordained or custom established by such society.”

 

If you’ve been asked to officiate a friend’s wedding, you can become an ordained minister with AMM to qualify. The process is free and takes just a few minutes. Once the process is complete, you’re good to go!

 

Step 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Jefferson 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 taking care of the marriage certificate form, it’s the couple’s responsibility to obtain it and make an appointment with a notary to have it notarized officially, but it’s your responsibility as the officiant to submit it back to the probate court’s office.

 

It’s due back 30 days from the day in which it was signed and dated by the couple and their notary, so much sure to ask the couple to provide you with that date and add a reminder into your calendar so you don’t forget to drop it off!



Alabama Wedding

How To Get Married in Birmingham

For The
Couple

Now let’s turn our attention to the couple’s responsibilities. First, you’ll want to make an appointment with a notary. Notary services are not provided by the government, but you can find a list of Alabama notaries here.

 

Once you’ve made your appointment, print out your Alabama Marriage Certificate form and take it with you. You’ll want to wait to fill it out until you have a notary locked down because once you have signed and dated the form, you have 30 days to return it to the probate court’s office in Birmingham.

 

In Alabama, you can submit your marriage license to any county regardless of where you reside or the location of your wedding. When you head down to the probate court’s office in your area, remember to bring:

 

  • Your Alabama Marriage Certificate Form
  • State-issued ID (driver’s license or passport)
  • Social Security card
  • $84.50 (cash, money order or debit card)

 

As far as getting your marriage certificate (for name changing purposes and tax filing purposes) head down to any county health department in Alabama and they will grant you a certified copy. Most marriage certificates can be issued while you wait.

Jefferson County Marriage License Info

Important Facts to know before filing for a marriage license in Birmingham, Alabama.

Issuance Office: 716 North Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. Birmingham, AL
Fee: $84.50 
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 30 days
Return: by Officiant

Birmingham Wedding Tips and Tricks

Wedding Venue and Planning Tips

For The Couple
& Officiant

The Basics

 

Now that we’ve gone over the legal to-dos, we’ll give you our two cents on the wedding planning process.

 

Choosing a wedding date can be a bit tricky; from deciding between a spring or fall wedding and arranging time off from work? There’s a lot to consider. But while you’re busy considering everyone’s scheduling needs, don’t forget to check for any big events that may be going on in the Birmingham area on your tentative wedding day. You don’t want to compete with the Chili Cook Off or the Gumbo Gala (if your venue is in the same general proximity), as traffic will be a pain for guests and hotel accommodations will be higher on those days. So, just be sure to check your against some local events calendars before you lock in to a specific date.

 

We’ll help you kick off your venue search with a few of our local favorites. If you’re looking for a classic venue, there are quite a few beautiful old Southern manors turned events spaces to choose from in the Birmingham area, but Pursell Farms is hard to beat if you’re looking for elegance. Its grand architecture, bride and grooms suites, and beautifully manicured outdoor spaces are ideal for a formal Southern celebration. Plus, it’s about 45 minutes outside of town, just far enough to feel like you’re tucked away from the city.

 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, check out Woodrow Hall. The century-old building’s character combines vintage with industrial, thanks to its brick walls, exposed beamed ceilings, chandeliers, and factory-style windows. The venue is located right in town and offers super reasonable rental packages starting under $1,000 (but you’d never guess that from their photo gallery.)

 

Another must-mention near Birmingham is the Swann Lake Stables. Its property, nestled on the edge of the Little Cahaba River, sits on acres of green grass and old growth trees. But once you see its grand reception hall, you’ll be sold. It’s hard to say whether it’s more beautiful on the outside or the inside.

 

Transportation

 

Birmingham isn’t known for having the best public transportation system, but the bus and trolley can be useful for guests if your festivities are concentrated in the downtown area. However, if the venue is outside of the city center, we recommend either renting a car for your visit or utilizing Lyft or Uber during your stay.

 

Weather

 

The weather here in the Heart of Dixie is not for the faint of heart. If you’re a local, you’re familiar with the old trope during the summer that the air’s so thick you can cut it with a knife. In fact, some days in July and August get so hot and humid it can be dangerous for the unacclimated. Winters, however, are fairly mild, but don’t expect to get away with just a light jacket. Temperatures still drop to the thirties and forties during the coldest months.

 

So, unless you’re looking at indoor venues with good climate control, spring or fall are the best seasons for weddings. It’s also worth doing some planning in case of extreme weather (no matter what season you choose), as Alabama is prone to tropical storms, thunderstorms and tornadoes. Talk to your venue about their “plan B” options for inclimate weather situations and consider purchasing wedding insurance to put your mind at ease.




Birmingham Officiant FAQ

Birmingham Officiant & Couples FAQ

For The Couple
& Officiant


How long do we have to submit our Alabama marriage certificate to the probate court’s office?

You have 30 days. The countdown starts from the day in which you signed and dated the form (not the day of your actual wedding ceremony.)
 

Who should return the marriage certificate once it is complete?

The officiant.
 

When does the marriage become “legal”?

Your marriage is valid or “legal” when the properly completed, signed and notarized Alabama Marriage Certificate form is recorded by an Alabama probate court.
 

Are blood tests required to obtain a marriage certificate in Alabama?

No.
 

How long do we have to wait once we apply before we get married?

There is no waiting period.

OFFICIANT CEREMONY
PREPARATION IN

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Sample Wedding Ceremony Scripts

Need inspiration? Check out our free ceremony scripts!

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WITH AMM

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