Chattanooga, Tennessee Wedding Guide

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

How to Officiate a Wedding in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Nestled between the majestic mountains of Southeast Tennessee along the beautiful Tennessee River is one of the south’s most underrated cities -- Chattanooga. It may be small, but this community was named by Lonely Planet as the "Best in the U.S.,” and was called one of the "Top 45 Places to go" in the World by the New York Times. So, what better place to get hitched?


If you’re planning to get married in Hamilton County, you’ve come to the right place. Here in our guide, we have everything you need to know -- from applying for your marriage license to getting your officiant of choice ordained. So without further ado, let’s get into it!

Tennessee Wedding Tips and Tricks

Become a Wedding Officiant

For The
Wedding Officiant

Step 1: Get Ordained with American Marriage Ministries


Let’s start with the ordainment process. According to Hamilton County Clerk’s website, “ministers of the gospel, rabbis, Christian Science practitioners, and various civil officials are authorized by law to solemnize a marriage.”


If you do not fall into any of these categories, no sweat. You can get ordained with AMM to fall within the priest or minister category. The process is free and takes just a few minutes.


The Tennessee 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!


Step 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Hamilton 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 to the marriage license, it’s the couple’s responsibility to obtain it from the county clerk’s office, but just be sure to double check that they have a valid marriage license in their possession before you perform the ceremony. After the ceremony, be sure to help them complete it and notarize it correctly.


It’s also your job as the officiant to return the marriage license to the clerk’s office so that it can be recorded and filed with the Tennessee Vital Records Office.

Tennessee Wedding

How To Get Married in Chattanooga

For The

Now let’s turn our attention to the couple’s responsibilities.


You can save time at the clerk's office by completing your application online. Once you’ve entered in all your information, you and your partner will need to head down to the Hamilton County Clerk’s Office to finish the application process.


When you go, just remember to bring:

  • Valid, state-issued ID
  • $97.50 for the marriage license fee


You will also need to provide your parents’ full names (including maiden name of mother), your parents’ state of birth and address (if living), applicants’ number of prior marriages, and the date the last marriage ended (if applicable).


At the end of your visit, you will be granted your marriage license. On the day of your wedding, your officiant will help you complete it correctly.

Hamilton County Marriage License Info

Important Facts to know before filing for a marriage license in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Issuance Office: 625 Georgia Avenue, Room 201

Fee: $97.50

Waiting Period: None

Expiration: 30 days

Return: By Officiant

Chattanooga Wedding Tips and Tricks

Wedding Venue and Planning Tips

For The Couple
& Officiant

The Basics


When narrowing down your wedding date, be sure to take into account the many events that Chattanooga puts on, like the Lookouts games, which take place from April through August, or Fireworks Friday. Be mindful that these special occasions could cause parking problems if you plan your wedding on the same day. But if your venue is far enough away from the commotion, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

The Turnbull, conveniently situated in downtown between the southside and scenic riverfront, is one of Chattanooga’s most popular venues. In 2018, it was featured on The Venue Report’s 2018 Hottest New Venue Opening Across the Globe. The third and fourth floor of this historic warehouse loft feature brand new hardwood floors, exposed brick and original wood beams. Its simple architecture serves as a perfect blank slate for you to design your own theme.

If you’re not into the industrial chic vibe, you might prefer Stratton Hall. Located in the heart of the city, it claims to be Chattanooga’s most elegant and versatile event venue. And we have to agree -- its 10,000 square feet of white columns and dazzling chandeliers certainly provide an elegant backdrop for a classic southern soirée. And if you’re thinking about hosting a summer wedding, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of its serene outdoor area, where you will find a large arbor and surrounding greenery strung with lights.

If you’d rather get out of the city for your big day, there are plenty of other options available in the beautiful outskirts of Chattanooga. Howe Farms is home to six unique venues: the Vineyard Hall, the Apple Barn, the Highlands Chapel, the Loft at Five Gables, the Pavilion at Five Gables, and the Woodlands at Five Gables. One of them is sure to tickle your fancy!




If you’re trying to get around Chattanooga on the cheap, you may find that the city’s public transportation service (CARTA) suits your needs. It has 17 routes to help citizens commute around town and reach all of the major points of interest. But if you need to get from point A to point B in a hurry and you don’t have access to a car, you may find it’s more efficient to utilize ride-sharing services like Lyft or Uber.




Chattanooga’s weather is typical of the rest of Tennessee. By March, temperatures begin to warm up and can reach about 60 degrees. By the end of the spring season, maximum temperatures range from the high 70s to the mid-80s. Summer is the best season to get outdoors, with temperatures reaching their high with an average of about 90 degrees Fahrenheit in July. However, this is also the wettest and stormiest month of the summer. Come October and November, you can expect temperatures to range from lower 50s to upper 60s. Winter begins in December with an average temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature and wraps up in March with an average of 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chattanooga Officiant FAQ

Chattanooga Officiant & Couples FAQ

For The Couple
& Officiant

Are Internet ministers legal in Tennessee?
As of November 2019, ministers ordained by churches online are still allowed to legally solemnize weddings in the state of Tennessee. A law banning such weddings has been suspended pending a resolution, and all weddings held up to that point will be recognized in the event the law withstands legal challenges. This means that as of the time of publication, online-ordained ministers may still perform weddings in Tennessee.
Can I get a discount on the marriage license application fee?
Yes, you can have the fee lowered from $102.50 to $40 if you take a premarital education course! The course must not be less than four hours and completed no more than one year prior to the date of application for the license. 


Which forms of ID does the county clerk’s office accept when applying for a marriage license?
You can apply for your marriage license by presenting a driver license, state issued ID, certified birth certificate, military ID or passport.


Which payment methods are accepted for the marriage license fee?
VISA, MasterCard or Discover accepted by the clerk’s office.


What do we do with the marriage license after the ceremony?
It’s the officiant’s job to return the completed marriage license to the county clerk’s office after the ceremony so that it can be filed.


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Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Our premiere package contains everyting you need to officiate like a pro.

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

It's finally here! Timeless scripts and heartfelt vow inspiration to bring life to your ceremony.

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