How to Officiate a Wedding in Little Rock, Arkansas
A guide to officiating wedding ceremonies in Little Rock
A guide to officiating wedding ceremonies in Little Rock
So, you’re planning a wedding in Little Rock! Most Americans know the Arkansas state capitol as the Clintons’ old stomping grounds, but LR has much going on than its old familial ties with Uncle Bill.
This Southern gem is renowned for its awesome food scene, epic hiking just outside the city, and its plethora of local breweries and wineries -- all of which can be incorporated into your special day. (Picture yourself getting married at Hot Springs National Park, eating Southern barbecue and drinking local craft beer.)
Whatever kind of wedding you’re imagining, Little Rock has what it takes to make your nuptial dreams come true. So let’s get started by taking care of the required paperwork so you can focus on planning your one-of-a-kind Little Rock wedding.
STEP 1: Get ordained with American Marriage Ministries
Let’s start with the ordainment process. According to Little Rock’s website, any officially ordained minister may perform wedding ceremonies, as long as they are registered with an Arkansas county clerk’s office.
If you’re not already an official minister, you can get ordained with AMM. The process is free and takes just a few minutes. We offer proof of your ordination, which you can purchase from out stor, which you can present to the Little Rock county clerk’s office in which the couple applies for their marriage license.
STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Pulaski 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 marriage license, it’s the couple’s responsibility to obtain and complete the marriage license, but just be sure to double check that they have a valid marriage license before the ceremony.
In Arkansas, once you have performed the ceremony and signed the marriage license, you have successfully performed all of your functions as the wedding officiant. The couple will take care of the rest.
File for a Marriage License from the Pulaski County Clerk's Office
To obtain your marriage license, you both members of the couple will have to visit the Pulaski county courthouse at 401 W Markham St.
When you go, just remember to bring:
- $60 in cash or credit
- Either partner that is 18 or older must present a valid government issued photo identification showing their correct name and date of birth; such as a driver’s license, passport or military identification
- If a partners name has changed through a divorce and their photo identification does not reflect this change, he or she will need a certified copy of their divorce decree, and the decree must state that his or her name has been restored to their maiden name.
Below is the fast info pertaining to marriage licenses issued in Pulaski County for reference:
Issuance Office: 401 W Markham St., Little Rock
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 60 days
Return: by Couple
The Basics -- When you’re selecting your wedding date, just make sure to plan around the handful of annual events that create traffic and congestion in the city. The Little Rock Marathon, which takes place in early March, draws in more than 10,000 people per year. The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade also draws major crowds into the downtown area. You’ll want to avoid these dates.
When it comes to choosing your wedding venue, you’ll find that there is a wedding venue for every taste in the LR area, from traditional to rustic to trendy.
If you’re looking for both a rustic Arkansas aesthetic and modern amenities like bride and groom suites, you’ll like the Southern Charm Wedding Venue. Its dance floor accommodates 300 people, so you don’t have to limit your reception guests list if you’re envisioning a massive dance party. For a more urban vibe, you might appreciate The Warehouse, which has brick and concrete interior and exposed wood beam ceilings. So mod.
You can even get hitched at one of the local vineyards, which offer beautiful outdoor settings and delicious local wine. Win, win. Or, ditch traditional venue spaces altogether and plan a wedding at Arkansas’ highest peak, Mount Magazine, with beautiful views of the river, valley and distant mountains.
Transportation -- Little Rock is situated at the intersection of I-30 and I-40, so it’s accessible to all the major nearby cities, namely Dallas, Kansas City and Memphis. Public transportation is rather limited in Little Rock, but the metro runs 22 fixed routes, and taxis and rideshares are available. If you’re in the inner city, you can reach most of the city attractions on foot. But ideally, if you don’t have wheels, it might be worth it to rent a car.
Weather -- Thanks to the Arkansas River, Little Rock stays pretty cool compared to other Southern cities, with just a couple months during the height of summer in which the average temperature climbs over 90 degrees. The winters are quite mild, with occasional snowfall. Many Little Rockers will tell you that Autumn is a great time of year to visit or plan a wedding, due to the temperate weather and the beautiful foliage. There is some concern during tornado season in the spring and early summer, but nothing comparable to the risks in Tornado Alley, so don’t let that stop you from planning a spring wedding.