As a newly ordained minister how can I make sure that a marriage ceremony is legal?

UPDATED: Aug 21, 2011

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As a newly ordained minister how can I make sure that a marriage ceremony is legal?

My father-in-law and his fiance are getting married in 2 months. They want me to marry them so I got ordained. I was wondering if there was anything I needed to do legally? I have ordered marriage certificates that I can issue but I wondered if I need to have that notarized by the county or something. Is there something I need to do to ensure their marriage is legal or will the marriage license take care of that?

Asked on August 21, 2011 Alabama


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The best thing for you to do is to check with the county clerk's office in your area and ask about this matter as well as maybe calling the state attorney general's office to see if it is necessary for you to file anything with the state or county prior to the ceremony.  If you have been legallly and properly ordained by a recognized ministry then you were issued a license, correct?  That really should be enough.  Under Alabama law I believe that after you perform the ceremony Ministers must provide a certificate of the marriage to the judge of probate within one month after the marriage.  Good luck to all.

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