Independence, Missouri Wedding Guide

Become a Wedding Officiant in Independence as an AMM Ordained Minister. Learn more about getting ordained in Missouri, officiant training, wedding ceremony planning, and more.

How to Officiate a Wedding in Independence, Missouri

Known for its welcoming community and deep roots in American history, Independence is one of the most unique places to host your wedding. Independence was known as the “Queen City of the Trails” because it was the departure point for settlers heading off to the Pacific Coast. From its inception, this city has been a hub for travelers and adventurers creating a new chapter in their lives. Whether you are planning your wedding, or asked to officiate a wedding ceremony, if you are looking for a place to start the next chapter of your life and create amazing memories, you could ask for no better place.


When you’re in town, make sure to check out the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum - Independence is the birthplace of our former president. While you’re checking out this slice of American history, we recommend taking a look at two of the best wedding venues in the city: A Secret Garden and The Rhapsody. As you’re getting an idea of all the amazing places in the city, work your way through the steps in this guide so the couple and the officiant-of-choice can work together to create the perfect ceremony.

Missouri Wedding Tips and Tricks

Become a Wedding Officiant

For The
Wedding Officiant

Step 1: Get Ordained with American Marriage Ministries


Let’s begin with the ordainment process. Missouri marriage law states:


“Marriages may be solemnized by any clergyman, either active or retired, who is in good standing with any church or synagogue in this state.”


Don’t worry if you don’t think you fulfill these requirements yet. All you need to do to solemnize a marriage is to become ordained by AMM! We are the only IRS Certified 501c3 Non-Profit that offers free online ordination. The process just takes a couple minutes and is valid for life.


Once you get ordained with AMM, you’re all set. There aren’t any government offices you need to file paperwork with in Missouri, so you can head out to the town and perform your first marriage right away!


Step 2: Prepare for the ceremony in Jackson County


Now that you have finished the easy part (getting ordained), it’s time to get ready for the ceremony. We know that it is very exciting to be asked to officiate your first wedding, but you’re probably feeling the pressure. Relax though, we are here to help you through the process. It doesn’t matter if you are a first-time officiant or a seasoned professional; you will appreciate our wedding training pages.  


You will find a plethora of useful info here -  from sample wedding ceremony scripts and brainstorming ideas, to insider planning tips and info, and more.


Step 3: Officiate the Wedding and Complete the Marriage License


The couple will pick up the marriage license from their local county clerk’s office, so don’t worry about doing that. You’ll just want to double check and make sure they have it with them the day of the ceremony because it is against the law to perform the wedding without having the marriage license ready.


Make sure that it is filled out correctly and completely, and that the license is still valid (it must be used within 30 days of being issued). After checking to make sure the names and dates are accurate, your only responsibility is to sign the license after officiating the ceremony. As soon as you have completed the ceremony and signed the marriage license, you have performed all of your duties as the wedding officiant. Make sure the completed marriage license is returned to the county clerk’s office in Kansas City within 15 days of the marriage.

Missouri Wedding

How To Get Married in Independence

For The

The other half of performing a successful ceremony falls upon the couple. The couple will need to apply for their marriage license from the Jackson County Courthouse. The license goes into effect the same day you apply and is valid for 30 days. In order to save time at your appointment, first complete the online marriage license application.


When you go to the Recorder of Deeds Department in the courthouse to pick up your license, ensure that both parties are present and 18 years of age. You can also start the application process online to save some time.


When you go, remember to bring:


  • License Fee of $50.
  • One form of valid, government issued photo ID (driver's License, state ID, passport, military ID, etc.).
  • Printout of the confirmation email (if you filed for an application online).
  • Your social security number on hand.
  • The month, date and year, county and state in which a previous marriage or civil union ended if either party has been married before.


After that, you are done! Just return the completed and signed license within 15 days of the completion of your ceremony.

Jackson County Marriage License Info

Important Facts to know before filing for a marriage license in Independence, Missouri.

Issuance Office: Historic Truman Courthouse, 112 W Lexington 

Fee: $50.00 

Waiting Period: None

Expiration: 30 days

Return: By couple within 15 days of ceremony.

Independence Wedding Tips and Tricks

Wedding Venue and Planning Tips

For The Couple
& Officiant

The Basics


Independence is a stone’s throw away from Kansas City. But, you don’t need to drive that far to have a good time. Independence packs a punch with its storied history, rustic trails, and awe-inspiring museums. It is worth taking a look at the National Frontier Trails Museum or exploring the Bingham-Waggoner mansion (also a great place to hold your wedding).


And since we know wedding venues are on the top of your mind, here are our top picks:


The Rhapsody - If your goal is to have an elegant wedding with peace of mind, they should be your top choice. The Rhapsody prides itself on being all-inclusive - they have wedding consultants, decorators, DJs, and everything else you need all in-house. And on top of that, the magical atmosphere of the ballroom and garden will leave your guests in awe.


A Secret Garden -  Reminiscent of the secret hideaways in nature we all imagined as kids, this venue boasts over an acre of botanical gardens covered in blooming flowers. Because it is a natural setting, you will have to be cognizant of the weather, but they have you covered with outdoor air conditioning, fans, heaters, and firepits. Did we forget to mention that they also have a 23-foot tall waterfall?





If you are flying in for the wedding, Independence does have a bus system called IndeBus. However, it is important to note that their transportation system isn’t as extensive as big cities. You will probably be better off renting a car, or using a ride-share service like Uber and Lyft. 




Missouri has a humid, subtropical climate. It has cooler winters but the summers are long, hot, and humid. If you are having an outdoor wedding, you will want to pay particular attention to the season. Luckily, the venues we recommend are great in any type of weather. However, we recommend visiting in the autumn to enjoy the picturesque foliage and preferable temperatures. Summers can be very hot, so choose a venue with air-conditioning if you are planning a summer wedding.

Independence Officiant FAQ

Independence Officiant & Couples FAQ

For The Couple
& Officiant

Are online ordained ministers recognized in Missouri?

Yes. All online ordained ministers, including those ordained through AMM, are recognized in Missouri.


Can we get married anywhere in the state of Missouri?

With your Jackson County marriage license, you can get married anywhere in the state lines as long as you deliver the completed license back to the office of issuance.


Do we need to provide witnesses for our ceremony to be legal?

No, witnesses are not required by law in Missouri.


How much time do we have to get married once we’ve obtained the marriage license?

You have 30 days to use the marriage license (i.e., to hold the ceremony itself) until the marriage license expires.


How much does a marriage license cost in Independence.

For in town residents, the price is $50.00.


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