How to Officiate a Wedding in Delaware City, Delaware

A guide for officiating weddings and planning ceremonies in Delaware

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Officiate a Wedding in Delaware City, Delaware as an AMM Officiant!

Why the Diamond State is a true gem...

When you think of Delaware, you may not think “dream wedding destination,” but the fact that it’s not a big tourist stop on the East Coast is one of the Diamond State’s biggest strengths.


Delaware’s low density population means lower vendor prices for you, so your budget will go farther. Plus, its collection of spread out venues offer a more exclusive vibe than an urban setting ever could, yet the state is still easily accessible by all the nearby metropolises, so your spread-out guests won’t have too much trouble coming out for your big day.

But the cherry on top? There’s no sales tax in the state, which will save you thousands of dollars on your venue rental. It’s truly the mid-Atlantic region’s best kept secret in the wedding world. (Don’t tell!)

If you’re getting hitched yourself or you’ve been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in Delaware, you’ve come to the right place. We have all the need-to-know legal info (and some bonus tips) for both the couple and the officiant right here in our guide. Let’s get into it!
 

For The
Wedding Officiant

How To Officiate a Wedding in Delaware City

STEP 1: Get ordained with American Marriage Ministries


 

Let’s start with the ordainment process. In Delaware, “a clergyperson or minister of any religion” may perform a marriage, and that includes ministers of AMM. If you’ve been asked to officiate a wedding ceremony, you can get ordained with us for free in just a few minutes!
 

In Delaware, ministers are not required to register their credentials with the government, so once you’ve finished the online ordination process, you’re legally capable of performing weddings in the state! But before you perform your first ceremony, there’s some prep work to do first if you really want to impress the guests.

 

STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in New Castle 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 obtain the marriage license, it’s the couple’s responsibility to apply and pick it up from the government center. As the officiant, your job is to help the couple fill it out, notarize it, and file it on their wedding day.


After the wedding, head down to the government center at 87 Read’s Way as soon as you can so that the government can record the marriage. There is no specified deadline in which the officiant must return the license, but just make sure that you do it ASAP to avoid an eventual fine.


Once you’ve turned it in, you’re all good! Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
 




For The
Couple

How To Get Married in Delaware City

File for the Marriage License from the New Castle Government Center’s Office


Now let’s turn our attention to the couple’s responsibilities. You can start the application process for the marriage license online, but once you’ve completed it, both members of the couple will still need to appear in person to present the New Castle County government center with your identifications and pay the fee.


So, head down to 87 Read's Way in New Castle and when you go, just remember to bring:


- Valid state-issued ID (driver’s license or passport)
- Divorce or death certificates of previous spouses, if applicable
- $70 for in-state residents or $120 if neither applicant is a resident of Delaware for the marriage license fee (cash or credit card)
- Your parents’ birth names and current addresses
 

Once the marriage license is in your possession, there is a 24 hour waiting period before you can have your ceremony.
 

New Castle County Marriage License Info

Issuance Office: 87 Read's Way, New Castle
Fee: $70 - 120 (depending on whether or not you are an in-state resident)
Waiting Period: 24 hours
Expiration: 30 days
Return: by Officiant

Wedding Venue and Planning Tips

The Basics -- With rolling farmlands, forested valleys and beautiful beaches, it’s no surprise Delaware is home to some awesome wedding venues. With your New Castle marriage license, you can get married anywhere in Delaware, so feel free to branch out when researching wedding venues. Speaking of which, we have some ideas to kick off your research.


If you vacationed every weekend on Rehobeth or Dewey Beach in the summer growing up, why not have your ceremony on the same sands? You just need to contact the local City Hall and complete a beach wedding permit application. Afterward, you could move to one of the nearby hotel or restaurant venues for the reception.


But if you’d rather stay closer to New Castle, Thousand Acre Farm (which is only 110-acres, just FYI) is a great option right on the water, minus the crowds of Rehobeth or Dewey Beach. The interior of its reception barn features exposed brick, unfinished warm wood, a glitzy chandelier and an over-looking mezzanine, setting the scene for a country-theme wedding with a touch of glamour. It also has convenient bridal and groom suites onsite. Catering isn’t provided, but the venue has a list of recommended vendors to make your life easier.


For the couple dreaming of a regal venue fit for a formal affair, check out the Belmont Hall, down in Smyrna, just half an hour from Delaware City. The 18th-century manor’s manicured grounds, ornate gardens and on-site catering are some of its biggest draws. (Tip: try to get a date in March, when the beautiful weeping cherry trees are in bloom!)


Transportation -- Delaware is situated near Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York via the I-95 and the Amtrak line, so your guests spread throughout the East Coast will be able to make the trip without much trouble. Once in Delaware, you can drive from one end of the state to the other in about two hours. The public transit system DART can get you to many of the high-density areas, so it’s worth checking the route map to plan your trip. However, if navigating via bus doesn’t seem like a convenient option, using Lyft or Uber -- or taxi, if you prefer -- are always reliable options.


Weather -- If you’re from Delaware, you know there’s a bit of a difference in weather between Sussex County and New Castle County -- the former has a milder climate in general, while the ladder can be a bit colder and snowier in the winter. But in general, the state has a classic, four-season continental climate. On the whole, the average temperature in the summer months, from end of May to mid-September, is about 75 degrees -- perfect for a wedding. Temperatures along the Atlantic Coast are about 10 degrees warmer in winter and 10 degrees cooler in summer. 
 

GET ORDAINED
WITH AMM

Officiate a Wedding in Delaware City, Delaware as an AMM Officiant!

Weddings in Delaware City FAQ

  • Can we get our marriage license online?

    You can fill out your application online, but both members of the couple must go to the government center to present your IDs and obtain the marriage license before the wedding.


     
  • Once we have the marriage license, when does it expire?

    Once you’ve successfully obtained your marriage license, you must wait 24 hours before you hold your ceremony. After 30 days, it expires.


     
  • After the wedding, how do we submit our marriage license?

    The officiant is tasked with delivering back to the same county government center in which the couple obtained it.


     
  • If we obtain a marriage license in New Castle County, do we have to get married in the same county?


    No, you can use your marriage license anywhere in Delaware, but return it to the same office in which you applied.


 

GET ORDAINED
WITH AMM

Officiate a Wedding in Delaware City, Delaware as an AMM Officiant!