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Columbus, Ohio Wedding Guide

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  1. How To Officiate Weddings in Columbus
  2. How To Get Married in Columbus
  3. Columbus Weddings FAQ

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How to Officiate a Wedding in Columbus, Ohio

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Columbus, known fondly as the “Heart of it All,” has so much to offer couples looking to take that big step into matrimony. The capital of Ohio, Columbus is a vibrant city, home to the University of Ohio and its famous football team, the Buckeyes. But somehow, it’s retained that small-town homey Midwestern feel, despite its growing population.

 

Most couples that tie the knot in Columbus prefer a more formal affair; of weddings in the area are semi-formal or black tie. If you fall into this category, you’ll drool over the gorgeous ballrooms, wineries and hotels, which are perfect for a formal ceremony or reception. Venues like the High Line Car House and La Navona, with their carpentry-driven architecture, lay the perfect foundation for a couple chasing that ethereal, picturesque wedding. 

 

But there are plenty of options for couple’s that want to be a little closer to nature. Columbus is known for its numerous parks. Check out the famousWhetstone Park of Roses, a unique, Eden-sque sanctuary that is a favorite of local couples. The park has three wedding areas to choose from on site, so you’ll likely be able to secure a date that fits your schedule and a location that meets your requirements. 

 

Whatever your style, Columbus has something for offer. So, if you’re ready to commit to a wedding in Columbus, sit back and relax. We’ll walk you through the logistics of planning a Columbus wedding.




Ohio Wedding Tips and Tricks

Become a Wedding Officiant

For The
Wedding Officiant

First, you will need to get ordained online with American Marriage Ministries.

 

To perform a wedding ceremony in the state of Ohio, you’ll need to apply by sending in a completed copy of the Ohio Secretary of State’s form, which you can find here. Once you’ve printed the form and filled it out, send it with a $10 filing fee in the form of a check or money order, as well as a copy of your ordination certificate, which AMM can help you obtain Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through that process. 

These documents will need to be sent to the Ohio Secretary of State Minister's License office at 180 East Broad Street, Suite 103 Columbus, OH 43215. It should take about 3-5 business days to process. If you’d like to check if a license is approved, you can use their minister search engine by entering in your last and first name and clicking “run report.” If your name appears, the secretary’s office says that you can rest assured that it has been approved.

 

How to complete the marriage license

 

The couple must appear together at the Franklin county clerk’s office at 373 South High Street on the 23rd Floor 60 days or less from the marriage date to sign the application in person to provide identification. To get a jump on the process, the couple can fill out the preliminary online license request form here, or just start the process when they visit in-person.


Residents of Ohio will need to obtain a marriage license in one of the counties that either applicant resides. So, to register to marry in Columbus, at least one of the applicants must be a resident of Franklin County, but the license is valid anywhere in the state.


Out-of-state residents couples will simply need to register in the county where the ceremony is set to take place.


You can find Franklin County’s marriage laws in AMM’s marriage law library. The state allows the following persons to perform a wedding in Ohio, according to the Franklin County Probate Court’s website: “An ordained or licensed officiant who is registered with the Secretary of the State of Ohio, a judge, a mayor, or the Superintendent of the State School for the Deaf may solemnize a marriage.”


And of course, as an AMM ordained minister, you will fall under the category of “licensed officiant.”



Ohio Wedding

How To Get Married in Columbus

For The
Couple

When you visit the Franklin county clerk’s office to obtain your marriage license, don’t forget to bring a valid photo ID, like a driver’s license, and the social security numbers of the couple.


The fee for the marriage license is $65 and cash or credit/debit cards (Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted.) Note the 3% service fee for card transactions.

 

Tips For Finding The Right Wedding Officiant

 

It’s important to consider the kind of wedding ceremony you want to have as you pare down your options for an appropriate officiant. An intimate ceremony may call for a family member or close friend of one of the spouses. Perhaps a larger ceremony would call for someone who is more experienced in public speaking. Consider these bullet-points when choosing candidates for your officiant:

 

  • You want an officiant who is compatible with the ceremony you are planning. That means someone who is articulate, who is not afraid to speak in front of an audience, and who understands the honor of being asked to deliver your ceremony.
  • Find an officiant who shares your values and beliefs. You want someone who will work with you to create a ceremony that is meaningful and personal to you. Consider asking someone who has known you since you were both kids, has grown with you, and who shares your vision and spiritual disposition.
  • Make sure to give the family member or friend time to think about their answer, and (this is a tough one!) don’t take it personally if they say ‘no.’
  • Seek guidance and assistance, especially if this is the friend or family member’s first time delivering a wedding ceremony.

Franklin County Marriage License Info

Important Facts to know before filing for a marriage license in Columbus, Ohio.

See above.

Columbus Wedding Tips and Tricks

Wedding Venue and Planning Tips

For The Couple
& Officiant

The Basics

 

Columbus locals are known to enjoy their fair share of spirited events, the most obvious being their affinity for football. Columbus is home of the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the team’s fans are dedicated. When there is a home-game at Ohio Stadium, all bets are off as far as traffic is concerned, before and after the game. So, be sure to factor this information into your wedding plans.
 

The city is also famous for having one of the oldest gay pride parades, which has been around since the early 1980s. It now ranks among the largest in the Midwestern region, and rallies about 500,000 spectators each year. It occurs in mid-June, so be sure to mark your calendar as you are planning your nuptial events. 

 

Another highly-attended event is the annual Doo Dah Parade, which falls on July 4, giving Columbus residents the opportunity to celebrate “liberty and lunacy.” According to the event’s website, the parade has been helping to “slay political dragons with humor” for more than 35 years. You may want to choose a wedding date that doesn’t overlap, as some streets are shut down for the wacky block party. 

 

If you must plan your event on the same day as one of these Columbus traditions, just be sure that guests are aware to allocate extra time for transportation. 

 

Transportation

 

If you have a spread-out group of wedding attendees, Columbus’ central location is another good reason to choose the city for the site of your wedding; about half of the U.S. population lives within 600 miles of the city. Your guests from Chicago, New York City and Atlanta will be able to make the drive in less than a day.

 

It’s possible to get around Columbus using its bus system, the Central Ohio Transit Authority, or “COTA,” however, locals tend to complain that the system’s geographic network isn’t comprehensive enough. In addition, Columbus is not considered the most walkable or bikeable city, so you should advise your guests to drive or use Lyft or Uber to ensure timely arrival to your wedding.

 

Weather

 

Ohio's climate tends to teeter-totter from one extreme to the other, from season to season. Summer temperatures reach up to 90°F and can get somewhat humid, while winters get quite cold and see plenty of snowfall. Your best bet for landing good weather on your wedding day would be planning a date sometime in mid-Spring or early-Fall, avoiding the peak of summer heat in July and the cold winter months.




Columbus Officiant FAQ

Columbus Officiant & Couples FAQ

For The Couple
& Officiant


Is there a waiting period between the office’s acceptance of the marriage application and receiving the marriage license?

No. Once the application is accepted by Franklin county probate court, there is no waiting period. The license will then be valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.

 

Is there a formal registration process to register as an official ordained minister in Franklin county?

Yes. Unlike some other states, you will need to provide the Secretary of State’s office with your ordination certificate. See the above section “Information for the Officiant” for details.

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