How to Officiate a Wedding in El Paso, Texas
An El Paso Wedding Guide for Wedding Ministers and Couples
An El Paso Wedding Guide for Wedding Ministers and Couples
The city of El Paso, nestled right on the Texas and Mexico border, is a rock solid location for your Texas wedding. And with the traditional Texas separation of church and state, it’s surprisingly easy to get ordained and perform weddings, despite the conservative bent of local government.
Whether you’re a native of Texas or you are planning on marrying a Texan, we think that El Paso is a perfect spot to gather your friends and loved ones for a simple ceremony, or perhaps even an elaborate event with live country and world-class BBQ -- whatever your style we are here to help!
But before you jump into planning the fun stuff, let us help you with the technical details, starting with getting your minister of choice ordained.
According to the El Paso County Clerk’s website, the wedding officiant should be a minister or member of the clergy, and you do not need to register with the county. If you’re not ordained by a religious organization, you’re in luck. You can get ordained with AMM -- the process is free and takes just a few minutes. Once you’ve got that box checked, we’ll get to the good stuff.
Now that you’ve got your credentials taken care of, 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. Don’t worry, with hundreds-of-thousands of successful AMM weddings and counting, we’ve seen it all and our training tools are all you need! 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.
When it comes time to sign the marriage license, it’s the couple’s responsibility to obtain and complete the marriage license, and the officiants responsibility to return the completed license to the county clerk. El Paso County requires a 72 hour waiting period from the issuance of the marriage license and the wedding ceremony, and the wedding ceremony must be completed within 90 days of issuance or the marriage license will expire.
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, your duty is to return the completed marriage license to the county clerk’s office before 90 days from the date of issuance, and within 30 days of the date the ceremony is conducted. Ideally, the license should be returned right away, since that’s when the marriage is recorded into government records.
File for the Marriage License from the El Paso County Clerk's Office
To get your marriage license, both members of the couple will have to visit the County Clerk’s office at:
El Paso County Courthouse
500 East San Antonio Suite 105
El Paso, Texas 79901
There is not a requirement by El Paso County that you are a Texas resident, however there is a 72 hour waiting period if you and your spouse obtain the marriage license from the El Paso County clerk before the ceremony can take place. This waiting period is waived if you or your spouse are active duty military, or if you complete the Twogether in Texas premarital education 8 hour course.
When you go, remember to bring the following:
- Photo IDs
- Social Security Numbers (if applicable)
Once you’ve completed your marriage application, there is a three-day waiting period before you can use it -- so make sure you complete this process a week before the ceremony.
Below is the fast info pertaining to marriage licenses issued in El Paso County for reference.
Issuance Office: El Paso County Courthouse, 500 East San Antonio Suite 105 El Paso, Texas 79901
Waiting Period: 3 days
Expiration: 90 days
Return: by Officiant
The Basics -- El Paso is a remarkable city with historical roots tracing back before Europeans first arrived. There is an abundance of natural beauty and traditional Mexican culture to be explored, and worth visiting on its own merits. Be sure to take a look at the city’s event pages before you select your wedding date, since large events draw crowds and will quickly fill up hotels.
When it comes time to select a wedding venue here are a few suggestions to get you started. El Paso has a lot of variety, like the beautiful adobe Los Portales Venue, built in 1932 and located in the vineyard area of the Upper Rio Grande, Los Portales has served many purposes, including a women's club in the 1940s, and later a church for over 20 years, and has been lovingly restored with respect for the buildings historical significance and original architecture.
Grace Gardens is home to a lovely campus with 6 different venues, depending on the size of your wedding party. It’s located in El Paso wine country, providing an opportunity for a wonderful day with your friends touring wineries and scouting out wedding venues as well. El Paso has quite a few options to choose from all with their own appeal, as well as exclusive connections to the local culture and landscape.
Transportation -- A rental car is suggested for out of town guests for getting around downtown area and visiting wine country in northern El Paso. For exploring downtown El Paso there are rideshare options as well, if guests are staying in the city. Located within a short drive from some parts of New Mexico, guests visiting from other states can fly into El Paso International Airport.
Weather -- El Paso offers a desert climate and short winters. Summers in El Paso experience the hottest weather, with high temperatures around or above 90 degrees from May until September. During the winter it will approach freezing at night but 50s to 60s during the day. You can expect to see sun over 300 days a year if you visit El Paso.