So, you’re planning a Maine wedding (or, you’ve been asked to officiate one!) Either way, congratulations are in order! Now, it’s time to start looking at the legal to-do’s you need to have squared away.
Lucky for you, the processes of officiating a wedding and getting married in the Pine Tree State are pretty straightforward, but there are still some bureaucratic hoops that you need to jump through before the big day. We’ve got all that info (plus some tips for planning a wedding in Lew Town) right here in our guide.
Let’s start with the ordainment process. According to Maine.gov, “a person licensed to preach by an association of ministers, religious seminary or ecclesiastical body” are all allowed to officiate weddings.
If you’ve been asked to perform a ceremony, you can get ordained with AMM to become an ordained minister. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.
There is no requirement in Maine to register your ministerial credentials with any state authority, so once you’ve completed the process through AMM, you’re legally qualified to perform weddings in the state.
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.
Before you get to get up in front of everyone to officiate the actual ceremony, there are some legal to-do’s to take care of first. The couple will obtain their marriage license from the county clerk’s office, which you don’t need to be present for.
Your role is to help complete the form (bring a pen with black in!) and make sure there are two witnesses who are physically present during the ceremony to also provide their signatures. Easy, right?
But your job isn’t done just yet! You must also return the completed marriage license to the authority who issued the license within seven days from the date the ceremony was performed. If the couple obtained it from the Androscoggin County clerk’s office, the address is 27 Pine St. in Lewiston.
After you’ve turned it in, you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
The applicants must complete an Intention of Marriage Form, which must be acknowledged before an official, such as a notary public, municipal clerk or the State Registrar.
Then, you and your partner need to return the completed form to the municipality in which at least one party resides or the State Registrar of Vital Statistics. When you go, just remember to bring:
Then, you’ll be granted your marriage license, which you have 90 days to use. Your officiant will help you complete and return to the office to be filed.
Issuance Office: 27 Pine St. Lewiston, ME 04240
Waiting Period: None
Expiration: 90 days
Return: By officiant within seven days of ceremony
There is no place better than Maine for charming New England inns, stunning ocean views and gourmet seafood. You can find dozens of classic venues that offer these features all along the state coastline.
Near Lewiston, there is the Sebasco Harbor Resort, located on the harborside of Casco Bay. The ninety-year-old establishment sits on 450 acres of woodland and gardens and has an epic waterfront view. This one would be ideal for a large reception.
A more low-key option that still exemplifies the maritime spirit of Maine is the Inn on Peaks Island. Only accessible by boat, this small yet elegant venue has a fun, private feel (and great ratings!)
But if you’re not into the nautical theme, there are rustic style venues that have popped up around the Lewiston area, namely the William Allen Farm, the Cunningham Farm, King’s Hill Inn & Barn, and the Linnell Barn. These are all great for the couple that is feeling a more casual wedding day vibe and is over the lighthouse-in-the-background Instagram shots.
Those are just a few of the great options near Lewiston. Remember, you can use your Androscoggin marriage license to get married anywhere in Maine, so make sure to explore all the amazing venues the state has to offer.
Lewiston has a solid public transit system that your out-of-town guests might want to utilize during their stay. Some of the routes are handy and cheap for getting around town. But if the venue is located outside of the city limits, you’re better off renting a car or using Lyft or Uber, as the bus routes are limited and can be slow.
Spring, summer and fall are all lovely seasons for a wedding in Maine, but the downside of living in the Pine Tree State is the long cold winter. November through February, the temperature can drop well below zero at night, and hover around freezing during the day. Temperatures start to thaw in June and heat up significantly in July, which is the peak hottest month in the state. September brings the start of the beautiful foliage while the weather stays nice and warm, around 70 degrees, before cooling down significantly in November. We recommend choosing a wedding in late spring or early fall, but if you want to embrace the beautiful white winter, there are certainly venues that accomodate you (and give you a great rate!)
No. Maine is not a state in which minister registration is required, so once you’re registered with AMM, you’re legally allowed to start performing marriages.
Yes, they just need to file their intentions in any municipal office in the state. It doesn’t have to be the same town that you’re planning to have your ceremony.
Yes, you can have your ceremony anywhere in Maine, but your officiant must return the marriage license to the office in which it was obtained.
Yes. Once you obtain your marriage license, you have 90 days to get married. But once you have your actual ceremony, it is due back to the county clerk’s office within seven days. The officiant is required to turn it in, so make sure they are aware of the cut-off.