So, you’re planning a wedding in the Valley of the Sun? Or perhaps, you’ve been asked to officiate a wedding in Maricopa County! Either way, you’ve come to the right place.
In our guide, we have all the info on how to get married -- from getting the officiant legally ordained to obtaining your marriage license -- with updated info since the start of COVID-19. Plus, some extra tips on how to plan an Arizona wedding at the end. So without further ado, let’s go into the guide!
Let’s start with the ordainment process. In Arizona, licensed or ordained clergymen, including ministers, elders or other persons who by the customs, rules and regulations of a religious society or sect are authorized, are permitted to solemnize marriages or to officiate at marriage ceremonies.
And that includes AMM ministers! So, if you’ve been asked to officiate a friend’s wedding but you don’t have any credentials to do so, you can get ordained with us. There is no state-registration process required, so once you finish the free ordainment process, you can start officiating weddings in Arizona today!
We can also 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.
On the day of the wedding, you have two jobs, as the officiant. The first is to perform the ceremony itself. The second is to help the couple complete their marriage license, afterward -- this is the easy part! But if it’s your first time, you may want to take a quick look at our guide for how to correctly complete a marriage license to make sure you don’t have any hesitations on the big day.
The last item on your to-do list is to return the bottom portion of the license to the county clerk’s office. As this officiant, this is your job. (The couple isn’t allowed to return it.) You have 30 days from the date of the ceremony to do so.
Now let’s turn our attention to the couple’s responsibilities!
You can schedule an appointment to get your marriage license at any of the following locations via this link.
It’s not absolutely necessary to make an appointment, but it ensures that you will be prioritized above walk-ins.
Once you’ve made your appointment, you will be sent a QR code. Take a screenshot or print it out so that the clerks’ office can check you in when you arrive.
When you and your partner go to the city clerk’s office to get your marriage license, just remember to bring:
If you bring all the required documentation, the office will issue you your marriage license. You can use it that very same day to get married, up to one year. (After a year, the license expires and you must purchase a new one.)
If you want to avoid going in person altogether, the clerk’s office is now allowing couples to send in their application via mail due to COVID-19. More info on that process is available here.
Central Office: 601 W Jackson St.
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 1 year
Return: By officiant within 30 days
When it comes to the wedding planning itself, one of the first decisions you should make is your wedding date, which can be tricky. Not only do you need to plan around family members’ schedules, but you should also consider the events that take place in town.
In a college town like Tempe, it’s a good idea to take a look at ASU’s events calendar if your wedding venue is located in town before committing to a venue. You don’t want to end up competing for parking on a game night!
Speaking of venues, there are some awesome spots right in town that you’ll definitely want to check out if you’re planning a Tempe wedding. The Historic Hackett House, close to the ASU campus is one of the most popular wedding venues in the downtown area. This space has everything you need, including a ceremony area, reception area, bridal suites, catering, and clean-up.
Nearby, there is also the Graduate Tempe -- a luxury hotel venue that has two spaces for couples to choose from: a rooftop perch overlooking “A” Mountain, or its sleek and modern (air-conditioned!) ballroom.
But if you want to go a little farther away from the ASU campus, the Ashley Castle, 20 minutes south, in Chandler, is that classic, fairytale venue you’ve probably been dreaming about since you were a kid.
Generally speaking, you need a car to get around town in Tempe, which is true in most places throughout the valley. If you’re coming in from out of town and you don’t want to rent a car, you can easily get around using Lyft and Uber.
More often than not, Tempe is warm and sunny, like the rest of Arizona. Temperatures stay in the 90s and above from April through October, but in July and August, you can expect temps to exceed 100 degrees on the daily. Tempe has no real winter. In November, it gets pleasantly cool and cloudy, with occasional rain and wind. Spring and fall are the most popular wedding seasons in the state, but if you want to score better deals on wedding venues by choosing an off-season date, choosing an indoor venue during a winter or summer month is the way to go.
Yes. All online ordained ministers, including those ordained through AMM are recognized in Arizona.
No. Arizona does not require ministers to register their credentials with the state, so once you have been ordained, you can start performing wedding ceremonies?
No. Since COVID-19, couples can now apply for a marriage license via mail! More info on that process is available here.
Yes, you can have your wedding anywhere in Arizona as long as your officiant returns the marriage license to the clerk’s office that issued it.
Your marriage license is valid for use for one year from its issue-date, but once you hold your actual ceremony, it must be returned by the officiant within 30 days. Otherwise, it expires!