Phoenix is the urban sanctuary of the American Southwest. With more sunny days than anywhere else in the country, it’s no wonder why 1.5 million people call this desert oasis home.
You’ll definitely enjoy planning your wedding day in the Valley of the Sun. But first, let’s get your minister of choice ordained and the logistics of your marriage license taken care of.
Let’s start with the ordainment process. According to the ACLU of Arizona, the following persons may perform wedding ceremonies:
If you do not fall into any of these categories, no sweat. You can get ordained with AMM, which puts you in the the priest or minister category. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.
When it comes time to perform your duties as the officiant, Maricopa County may ask you to present documentation, which AMM provides for a fee. (You can call the county clerk’s office before you perform the ceremony to ask if they will require you to bring the certificate in person.)
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 it can also 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.
When it comes time to sign the marriage license, it’s the couple’s responsibility to obtain and complete the marriage license, and it’s the officiant’s job to return the marriage license to the county clerk’s office.
According to the Maricopa County website, “A marriage license must be issued prior to the ceremony taking place, signed at completion of the ceremony, and returned by the officiator not more than 30 days after the ceremony has taken place in order for the license to be recorded.”
So, make sure to add “return license” to your to-do list following the ceremony.
To get a jump-start on the application process, you can print the Marriage License Application Form. But when you go to the office, remember that both members of the couple will have to be present. The address of the Northeast Regional Court is 18380 N. 40th St. You can book an appointment in advance to avoid long wait times, but it’s not required.
When you go, just remember to bring:
Once the marriage ceremony has taken place, in order to be officially recorded, a portion of the signed marriage license must be returned to the clerk's office where the license was obtained. The newly married couple keeps the remainder of the original license.
Issuance Office: Northeast Regional Court - 18380 N. 40th St.
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 1 year
Return: Within 30 days by officiant
The city’s downtown area has a lot of trendy, modern venues to choose from. The Croft is a 10,000 square-foot warehouse serving an industrial vibe, equipped with all the spaces you could ask for, including a ceremony room, reception area and outdoor cocktail patio. Its cement floors, original brick walls and exposed ceilings will conjure up the steampunk hipster living inside you. SoHo63 is another urban venue with a slick architectural design that will soothe a minimalist’s soul.
Outdoor weddings are a great option for winter weddings, when the weather is cool enough to enjoy the area’s many parks. The historic Encanto Park Clubhouse, close to downtown Phoenix, sits on a picturesque lagoon, a favorite hang-out for white swans, which make for a romantic backdrop to your wedding photos. Or, find a happy medium between indoor and outdoor at the Desert Botanical Garden. You can say your vows amongst the more than 50,000 beautiful desert plants within the shelter of the glass enclosure.
The street system in Phoenix is laid out in a grid system, so it’s easy to navigate by car. Lyft and Uber are also good options if you want to avoid renting a car for your time in the city. If you’re really trying to pinch pennies, you’re in luck. The city’s Valley Metro system provides public transportation throughout the metropolitan area, via trains and buses, which come often.
Phoenix’s average temperatures in summer are the hottest of any major city in the country. Throughout the summer, Phoenix’s average temperatures are in the 90s and 100s, so during this time, you’ll want to take advantage of one of the many air conditioned indoor venues. In the winter, daily average highs cool down to the mid 70s, so if you wanted to host an outdoor reception, November, December or January would be the ideal time to do so.
The same day you apply for the license. There is no waiting period in Phoenix, so you could technically get married the same day you complete the marriage license application process.