Last Updated: October 5th, 2023

10 Essential Facts to Know Before Officiating a Wedding in West Virginia

The facts below cover all the important aspects of what requirements you need to meet to be able to legally officiate a wedding ceremony in West Virginia.


Who Can Officiate Weddings in West Virginia?

This is the relevant exerpt from the West Virginia Code § 48-2-401.

" A religious representative who has complied with the provisions of section 2-402, a family court judge, a circuit judge or a justice of the supreme court of appeals, is authorized to celebrate the rites of marriage in any county of this state. Celebration or solemnization of a marriage means the performance of the formal act or ceremony by which a man and woman contract marriage and assume the status of husband and wife.

For purposes of this chapter, the term "religious representative" means a minister, priest or rabbi and includes, without being limited to, a leader or representative of a generally recognized spiritual assembly, church or religious organization which does not formally designate or recognize persons as ministers, priests or rabbis. "

Basically, this means that as long as you are ordained through any church, you can officiate weddings.


Are Online Ordinations Recognized in West Virginia?

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

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Is Government Registration Required to Officiate a Wedding in West Virginia?

Yes. All officiants must register with the West Virginia Secretary of State before they officiate a wedding.


What Office Do I Register with Before Officiating a Wedding in West Virginia?

The Secretary of State in West Virginia is responsible for officiant registration.


What is the Minimum Legal Age to Officiate a Wedding in West Virginia?

All Wedding Officiants in West Virginia must be at least 18 years old.


Does my Residency Affect the Registration Process?

No. Your state or country of residence is irrelevant to the officiant registration process in West Virginia.


Does the West Virginia Government Provide an Application I Need to Complete?

Yes. You must complete the Secretary of State's online Online Marriage Celebrant Application.


Do I Need to Submit Proof of my Ministry Credentials to the West Virginia Government?

Yes. You are required to submit an official copy of your Ministry Credentials to the Secretary of State.


How Much Does the Officiant Registration Process Cost in West Virginia?

It will cost you about $25 to register as a wedding officiant in West Virginia.


How Long Does it Take to Register as a Wedding Officiant in West Virginia?

You should receive notice of approval from the Secretary of State in about Up To 7 Days.

West Virginia Officiant Registration Step-by-Step Instructions

For a more detailed guide on how to complete the officiant registration process in West Virginia, check out our West Virginia Officiant Registration page by clicking the button below.



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