How to Officiate a Wedding in Memphis, Tennessee

A Grind City Guide to Performing Weddings and Planning Ceremonies

GET ORDAINED
WITH AMM

Officiate a Wedding in Memphis, Tennessee as an AMM Officiant!

Walking in Memphis?


The home of Graceland and blues is a great spot to have a wedding, especially if the classic Elvis Presley song “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” captures your thoughts about your special someone. Memphis has deep roots and a prominent role in American culture and music and could be the perfect spot to get hitched. Whether you are a music lovers or fan of traditional BBQ, or both, you will have a lot of choice when it’s time to play your ceremony.

 

Whether you’re a native of Tennessee or you plan on marrying one, we feel that Memphis is a superb spot to hold a classic Southern gathering of friends and family and celebrate a new path in life.

 

Before you get involved in planning the fun stuff, let us help you with the technical details, starting with getting your minister of choice ordained and prepared to help you exchange vows.
 

For The
Wedding Officiant

How To Officiate a Wedding in Memphis

STEP 1: Get ordained with American Marriage Ministries

Per the Shelby County Clerk’s website, wedding officiants need to be ordained through a religious organization or meet other requirements such as being a judge. If you’re not a clergy member or affiliated with a religious organization, you are in luck. You can get ordained with AMM -- the process is free and will take just a few minutes. Once you’ve got that box checked, we’ll get to the good stuff. 

 

As of late 2019, legislation barring online-ordained ministers from officiating weddings in the state of Tennessee remains suspended pending a resolution. That means you can still get ordained with us and perform a wedding in Memphis TN. That said, please check with your clerk to make sure this is still the case, and the case is current. 


STEP 2: Prepare for the Ceremony in Shelby County

Now that you’ve got your credentials taken care of, and you’re an ordained minister (right?) we can help you prepare for the wedding ceremony itself. Being asked to officiate a ceremony is a true honor, but requires a bit of preparation. 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 time to sign the marriage license, the couple getting married have the responsibility to obtain and complete the marriage license, but just be sure to double check that they have a valid marriage license before the ceremony.

 

Once you have performed the ceremony and signed the marriage license, you have successfully performed all of your functions as the wedding officiant. As the officiant, it is your duty to return the signed and completed Tennessee Department of Health Marriage License and the bottom portion of the Rites of Matrimony form to the Shelby County Clerk’s office after the ceremony.




For The
Couple

How To Get Married in Memphis

File for the Marriage License from the Shelby County Clerk's Office

To get your marriage license, both members of the couple will have to visit the Shelby County Clerk’s office at:

 

Shelby County Clerk
Attn: Marriage Department Suite 201
150 Washington Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103

 

If you or your partner live in Tennessee, you can apply in one of the counties where either or both of you live. You can hold your wedding in Memphis, or any other county in Tennessee and the marriage license will be valid, just make sure if you obtain a marriage license in Shelby County is must be returned to Shelby County.

 

When you go, remember to bring the following:

- $97.50
- Photo ID if over 21 years old
- Social Security Number
- A certified copy of a birth certificate issued by the state or county where you were born if you are 18-20 years old

 

Once you’ve completed your marriage application and obtained your license you have 30 days from the date of issuance to conduct the ceremony and return the completed form, or you will need to file for a new license.
 

Shelby County Marriage License Info

Below is the fast info pertaining to marriage licenses issued in Shelby County for reference. 

 

Issuance Office:
Shelby County Clerk
Attn: Marriage Department Suite 201
150 Washington Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103


Fee: $97.50 
Waiting Period: No waiting period
Expiration: 30 days
Return: by Officiant
 

Wedding Venue and Planning Tips

The Basics -- Memphis is a classic Southern city, with lots of events throughout the year, even during the winter! May has the most activities, such as a street music festival in early May and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in mid-May.

 

Just check the city’s event pages before you pick your wedding date. It’s also a good idea to check the university’s calendar if your wedding venue is in close proximity to the University of Memphis campus so you don’t wind up fighting the crowds flocking in to see a Tigers game.

 

If you are starting to look at venues, Memphis has plenty of traditional spaces, like the gorgeous antebellum estate Cedar Hall, situated on 10 acres of English gardens, magnolia trees and beautiful brickwork. Another idea is holding your ceremony at the Lichterman Nature Center, a beautiful and affordable option on 65 acres of green forests.

 

You could even have a wedding right by the home of Elvis Presley! You might be interested in Graceland's Chapel in the Woods, another great alternative to a traditional venue space. The options are limitless! Make sure to do plenty of research so you don’t miss any of the hidden gems Memphis has to offer.

 

Transportation -- If you don’t want to get a rental car, it’s easy to get around downtown Memphis on foot or by bicycle. The local bus system MATA is well-liked by residents, with easy access to the downtown area all for only $3.50 per day. Rideshare services are available as well.

 

Weather -- Winters are pretty tolerable in Tennessee, with average highs in the 50s for December and January. During the summer, temperatures can climb to the 80s and 90s and it will be hot and muggy from May till September.


 

GET ORDAINED
WITH AMM

Officiate a Wedding in Memphis, Tennessee as an AMM Officiant!

Weddings in Memphis FAQ

  • Is there a waiting period to get married in Memphis once you’ve applied for the marriage license?

    No, there is not a waiting period before the license is issued, but you must hold the ceremony within 30 days. 
     
  • Are witnesses required in order to get married in Memphis?

    Yes, a legal ceremony consists of at least four people: the officiant, one witness and the bride and groom.
     
  • How long does an applicant have to wait to get remarried after a divorce?

    You may need to present a copy of your divorce decree, but there is no stated time limit after you’ve been divorced before you can remarry.
     
  • Do marriage license applicants need to provide a social security card?

    No, but they do need to be able to provide the social security number.




     
GET ORDAINED
WITH AMM

Officiate a Wedding in Memphis, Tennessee as an AMM Officiant!