How to Officiate a Wedding in Huntsville, Alabama

A guide for officiating weddings and planning ceremonies in Huntsville, Alabama

GET ORDAINED
WITH AMM

Officiate a Wedding in Huntsville, Alabama as an AMM Officiant!

Rocket City Romance

If you’re a Rocket City native or you’re marrying an Alabamian, consider yourself lucky. This pocket of the deep south is one of the most beautiful, lively and industrious cities in the region, but small enough that it still has that downhome feel that nearby Nashville and Atlanta just can’t compete with. It’s also a major center for all kinds of venues, from classic Southern plantations to unexpectedly urban reception spots.

 

Here in our guide, we have all the need-to-know information about how to get married in sweet old Huntsville, Alabama. And if you’ve been asked to officiate a wedding ceremony in town, we’ve got you covered, too. Without further ado, let’s jump into the guide.
 

For The
Wedding Officiant

How To Officiate a Wedding in Huntsville

STEP 1: Get ordained with American Marriage Ministries

 

Let’s start with the ordainment process. According to Code of Alabama § 30-1-7, “marriages may be solemnized by any licensed minister of the gospel in regular communion with the Christian church or society of which the minister is a member.” This includes ministers registered by American Marriage Ministries!

The Alabama Government does not license, register, or certify ministers or wedding officiants. So once you’ve signed up with us, you are legally allowed to perform weddings in the state! It’s that simple.

If you do not fall into any of these categories, no sweat. You can get ordained with AMM to fall within the priest or minister category. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.

 

STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Madison 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 Certificate

 

As the officiant, you also have some legal responsibilities. When it comes time for the actual wedding, you’ll need to make sure the couple has obtained a valid marriage certificate before the ceremony and to help them complete it correctly.

For more details on any questions that may come up as you and the couple are filling it out, check out Step 3 of our in-depth guide for officiants.

Remind the couple that the marriage license is valid for only 30 days from the date in which it is signed, so it’s important that the signed, completed marriage certificate is mailed back to the office of the Probate Court within that time frame. 

Then, your duties are complete -- the couple will take care of the rest! Now you can kick back, relax, and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
 




For The
Couple

How To Get Married in Huntsville

To get your marriage license, complete the standardized marriage certificate Form on the Alabama Department of Public Health’s website.

 

Note that the form must be typewritten. The Madison County Probate Office no longer accepts handwritten forms to ensure that all information is legible.

 

Then, you’ll need to take the marriage certificate Form to a notary. Your personal bank should provide notary services for free, but if they don’t, a list of commissioned notaries is also available at the Alabama Secretary of State’s website.

 

The last thing you need to do is to deliver the original, completed, notarized marriage certificate Form to the Probate Office for recording with the filing fee of $89.00 within 30 days of the date the spouses signed it.

 

Delivery by mail is accepted; however, payments received via mail must be in the form of certified check or cashier’s check only.
 

Madison County Marriage License Info

Issuance Office: 100 North Side Square, Huntsville, AL
Fee: $89 
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 30 days
Return: by Mail

Wedding Venue and Planning Tips

The Basics -- Before you settle on a date, you might want to take a look at some city event calendars to make sure you don’t schedule your wedding the same day as one of the festivals, concerts, brew fests, parades and other events that draw in major crowds to town. Of course, if you choose a venue outside of the city, this will be less of a worry.

 

Speaking of locations, Huntsville is a hotspot in Alabama for wedding venues. Whether your taste is classic, eclectic, traditional or modern, you’re sure to find the perfect spot.

 

The Huntsville Botanical Garden is a favorite of many for its lush gardens and classic Southern architecture. There are multiple venues on the property: the meadow at Lake Lonnie, the celebration garden and the grand new guest center -- all incredibly charming. You can say your vows in the garden and move the party to one of the elegant indoor reception halls. Can’t go wrong with this option, although, since it’s very popular among couples, it might be a little pricier and more difficult to secure your desired wedding date.

 

If you’re looking for a venue a little bit outside of the city, check out The Old Greenhouse, 40 minutes south of town in Arab. It has a beautiful outdoor ceremony area with a lovely wooden arbor and matching church pews for guest seating. You’ll also appreciate its climate controlled reception area -- a renovated barn that has just the perfect amount of “rustic.”

 

Or, if you’re looking to break the traditional wedding mold (and give a nod the city’s history of space exploration research), you can even get hitched at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center next to the epic Saturn V rocket, which was used in NASA’s Apollo missions -- it’s truly a sight to behold. Check out this couple’s beautiful wedding photos taken on site.

 

There are plenty of other awesome venues in and around Huntsville, like its many golf courses, parks, barns, old Southern manors and wineries, so make sure to check out all of the hidden gems to find one that suits you and your partner perfectly (and score the best deal!)

 

Transportation --  If you’re coming in from out of town and want to get around in a hurry, your best bet is to rent a car or utilize ride-sharing apps like Lyft and Uber. Public transportation is convenient for navigating the downtown area, but is fairly limited. Most people here get around by car. Because of the fast growing population in Huntsville, the city experiences slow rush hour in the morning and afternoon. So just make sure to take that into account when timing your travels during your stay.

 

Weather -- If you’re an Alabama native, we don’t have to tell you about the intense weather in the state. Because of the humid, subtropical climate, summers are brutally hot and humid and known for pesky mosquitoes. Summer weddings are do-able, but make sure your venue is climate-controlled so that you and your guests aren’t sweating and swatting bugs away all night.

 

The area also gets about 55 inches of rain per year, which is why the landscape is so lush and beautiful. Basically, no matter what season you choose for your wedding, you’ll want a venue that has shelter. You never know when a thunderstorm could roll in -- or a twister. Tornadoes are also a risk during spring. But during early summer and fall, temperatures and other weather incidents are at bay, making for perfect wedding weather.
 

GET ORDAINED
WITH AMM

Officiate a Wedding in Huntsville, Alabama as an AMM Officiant!

Weddings in Huntsville FAQ

  • Does the probate court provide a notary in Huntsville, AL?

    No, you need to find someone to notarize the marriage certificate outside of the probate court’s office. Your personal bank should provide notary services for free, but if they don’t, a list of commissioned notaries is also available at the Alabama Secretary of State’s website.
     
  • When is the marriage certificate due to be filed after the ceremony in Huntsville, AL?

    You must send it to the probate court within 30 days of the date you and your spouse signed it. If you miss the deadline, the marriage would be considered invalid, and you would need to complete a new marriage certificate form.
     
  • How can we get a certified copy of the marriage certificate in Huntsville, AL?

    After your ceremony, when you send the signed marriage certificate in to be recorded with the $89 filing fee, you are entitled to one copy. Each extra copy is $2, so when you write out the check, write it for $89 plus $2 for each additional copy that you desire.
     
  • When does my marriage become official in Huntsville, AL?

    Your marriage becomes official when the notarized Alabama marriage certificate form is recorded by an Alabama probate court.
     
  • Who should return the completed marriage certificate?

    Normally, either member of the couple or the officiant can return it, but during social distancing times, you can just mail it into the probate court. Just remember, it’s due within 30 days of being signed.




     
GET ORDAINED
WITH AMM

Officiate a Wedding in Huntsville, Alabama as an AMM Officiant!