Atlanta, Georgia Wedding Guide
Become a Wedding Officiant in Atlanta as an AMM Ordained Minister. Learn more about getting ordained in Georgia, officiant training, wedding ceremony planning, and more.
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Atlanta is one of the fastest growing cities in the US, and that means lots of young people falling in love and starting new families. Hot ‘Lanta was ranked among the top cities in the US to tie the knot in WalletHub’s 2018 list of best places to get married in America.
There’s no shortage of great venues, skilled wedding planners, and much more to make your day a memorable experience. That most certainly includes having a friend or family member get ordained online to perform the wedding ceremony. AMM has thousands of ordained ministers in the Atlanta area, and we are excited to have you join our movement. Our ordinations are also legally valid anywhere in Georgia, so why not ask someone you love and trust to officiate your wedding?
You are reading this because there are important facts you need to get straight before you can perform a legally-binding wedding ceremony in Atlanta. You want to make sure the wedding is legal! Here at AMM, we help you dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s so that you can focus on choosing between a classic southern soiree or a sophisticated night on the town. Here in our guide, we have all the need-to-know info. Let’s start with getting your officiant-of-choice ordained.
If you plan on asking a friend to officiate your wedding ceremony, or you yourself have been asked to perform a ceremony, you’re in luck. The process of getting ordained in the state of Georgia is as easy as a slice of peach pie.
All you have to do is get ordained with AMM to fall within the priest or minister category. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.
The Georgia state government does not license, register, or certify ministers or wedding officiants, so once you’re signed up with us, you’re ready to start performing wedding ceremonies!
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.
When it comes to the marriage license, it’s the couple’s responsibility to obtain it from the Fulton County Probate Court’s Office, but just be sure to double check that they have a valid marriage license in their possession before you perform the ceremony. Afterward, to help them complete it and notarize it correctly.
It’s also your job as the officiant to return the completed marriage license to the Probate Court’s office as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the ceremony.
Additional Atlanta, Georgia officiant facts: Georgia marriage law stipulates that licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, or pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace. As an ordained minister of American Marriage Ministries, you may legally perform weddings in Atlanta, and in the State of Georgia. Since local government officers may ask for proof of your credentials, we recommend that you purchase a Minister Ordination Package, which contains full proof of accreditation, as well as detailed document filing and officiating instructions.
After getting ordained, the state of Georgia does not require any additional registration process. This means that your next step is to prepare for the ceremony. That requires meeting with the couple (either in-person or via email) to get a feel for what kind of ceremony they want, and collecting important details like how they fell in love, what kind of life they want to build together, and how they want the ceremony to reflect their worldview. For more information on this, check out our wedding training section.
Finally, you will need to perform the actual ceremony. That also means signing the marriage license after the ceremony. Since the marriage license is an important legal document, ensure that all the information is presented correctly before you sign your signature. Want more details? We’ve got lots of tips on our blog, and across the website that will help you feel prepared and calm when the moment comes. Good Luck!
To obtain your marriage license, both members of the couple will have to visit one of the Fulton County’s three locations: the Probate Court’s Office, the North Service Center, or the South Service Center.
When you go, just remember to bring:
If you bring all required documentation, you will be issued your marriage license on the day that you apply. Your officiant will help you complete it correctly on the day of the ceremony.
It is the couple’s responsibility to request a copy of their marriage license at their local county probate court. Click here to find the court closest to you. Marriage licenses are issued on the same day as they are applied for. While some counties in Georgia allow partners to marry at 16 years of age, you must be at least 18 years old to get married without parental consent.
You will need to visit the nearest county probate court in order to obtain a copy of your marriage license. Make sure you have your driver's license, passport, or birth certificate as evidence of your identity. If your identifying documents are printed in a language other than English, Georgia courts require a notarized and certified translation.
If either partner has been divorced, you'll will be required to present to the court with a copy of your divorce decree.
Marriage license fees vary by county, and some counties only accept cash payment. We advise that you call ahead, and check the fees and payment options at your county probate court.
Georgia courts allow couples to bypass the license fees if they earn a premarital education program certificate. This requires sitting for a 6-hour class that reviews basic marriage lessons such as budgeting and conflict resolution.
Issuance Office: Fulton County Clerk's Office
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: No Expiration
Return: Within 30 Days from the Wedding
For The Couple
When choosing your wedding date, it’s important to be mindful of the many highly-attended events that Atlanta hosts each year. You don’t want to choose a hotel venue on same weekend as Dragon Con! (Unless you want to share your big day with bands of cosplayers.) So, be sure to check some local events calendars before you commit to a date with a wedding venue.
Speaking of wedding venues, Atlanta truly has it all: indoor venues, outdoor venues, charming courtyards, luxury hotels, old mansions, and everything in between. We’ve chosen some unique picks to help you get your search started.
If you want to take advantage of Atlanta’s stunning skyline on your big day, look no further than the Peachtree Club. Its rooftop terrace is the perfect spot for a sunset ceremony, followed by a sophisticated night of celebration among the sparkling city lights.
Another great option is The Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, which boasts a Gothic-Tudor style mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Situated on a 12.5-acre estate of landscaped gardens and wooded grounds, this is the perfect place for a couple of history buffs to say their “I do’s.”
But if you’re looking to break the traditional wedding venue mold, Zoo Atlanta may be the place to do it! Imagine saying your vows in the heart of the Zoo's African Savanna habitat, featuring a 360-degree view, elephants and all! Decision made!
These are just some of the major gems that Atlanta has to offer. Good look in continuing your search from here.
If you’re coming in from out of town and you don’t want to take on the extra expense of renting a car, the city’s public transit system MARTA is a quick and easy way to get to some of Atlanta’s most prominent event venues. But if you find that its routes don’t suit your needs, Lyft and Uber are your next best bet for getting around on the cheap.
Spring in Atlanta brings temperatures in the 60s into the mid 70s, the perfect time to schedule an outdoor ceremony. By the end of April, temps already begin to reach into the 80s and 90s. Atlanta summers are known for the humidity, which sticks around through September. If you’re planning a summer wedding, you might want to consider an indoor venue with climate control.
Temperatures begin to fall back to the pleasant 70s for a few weeks in October, which is another great opportunity to schedule an outdoor celebration.
Wedding season in Atlanta occurs in spring and fall, so these are considered the best times to get married. However, if you choose a date outside of these times, you may be able to score a better deal on a wedding venue.
Wedding officiants in Atlanta, Georgia must either be justices of the peace, or be “licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, or pastors of recognized religious societies.” In the event that local clerks request proof of ordination, we recommend that you purchase your Minister Ordination Package to make sure that you don’t get caught without your required credentials when it’s time to perform a wedding.
In order to be issued a marriage license in Atlanta, Georgia, both partners must be at least 18 years of age and single. In addition, the Probate Courts require government issued identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate.
If either partner has been married previously, you will need to present documentation relating to your previous marriage. That includes documents such as a divorce decree or death certificate.
No, the county probate courts do not require blood tests as part of the marriage license application.
To be issued a marriage license in Atlanta, Georgia, the couple are required to pay the marriage license fee of $56.00. This fee can be waived if the couple has completed a qualifying premarital education program before applying for your marriage license. The couple must still pay a reduced marriage license fee of $16.00.
There is no waiting period before being issued a marriage license in Atlanta, Georgia. The couple can have the ceremony and use the marriage license as soon as the license has been issued.
In many counties in Georgia, marriage licenses are valid for a period of 6 months. Contact your local County Probate Court for more information and factor the expiration date into your wedding planning. You don’t want to perform the wedding only to find out that your license has expired!
Any authorized officiant is allowed to perform wedding ceremonies in Atlanta, Georgia. AMM ministers meet this requirement and can perform legally binding wedding ceremonies across the state. Many other religious clergy members are authorized. We recommend that the couple ask for proof of ordination, and that the minister have a copy of his or her credentials on hand.
After the wedding ceremony has been performed and the marriage license has been signed and returned to the County Probate Court in Atlanta, the Court will issue your marriage certificate. For additional copies, the court charges a fee of $10.00. In order to have additional copies of your marriage certificate mailed to you, you must provide a self-addressed stamped envelope.
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