Alaska Wedding Laws
Written and reviewed by the wedding law liaison team at the Universal Life Church.
Welcome to the Alaska marriage laws guide! While officiating a wedding is a huge honor, presiding also comes with a lot of responsibility. In order to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the big day, we encourage you to follow the guide below. Designed to inform ministers and couples alike, this page will explain how to become a wedding minister, how to marry someone, and how to make sure the ceremony will be legal in Alaska.
Here are the basic steps one must follow to officiate a wedding:
How Do I Become Ordained to Marry in Alaska
Becoming a marriage officiant with the Universal Life Church is easier than you might think. Our online ordination process is straightforward, fast, and entirely free. Legally licensed ministers of the ULC perform countless marriages each year. Once you have your minister license in hand, officiating a wedding is right around the corner! Click the button below to get started.
How Do You Perform a Wedding in Alaska
The first step will be to contact the Bureau of Vital Statistics in the county where the wedding will be conducted. Identify yourself as a minister and inquire about what documents officials will need to see from you. You may be asked to show a number of items to verify your ordination status. Be aware, however, that these requirements often vary from county to county (which is why it's best to contact officials beforehand). Any documents or materials you might require are available in the Minister Store here on our site.
Select a county to see contact information for each office:
What Do You Need to Officiate a Wedding in Alaska
Once you've spoken with Alaska marriage officials, simply visit our website, sign in to your account, and order whatever materials you need via our online catalog. Based on feedback from our ministers in Alaska, we recommend picking up Classic Wedding Set
In general, ministers are not required to register in Alaska. That being said, it's not uncommon for marriage officials to ask for proof of your ordination before giving the "go-ahead" to perform marriage ceremonies. Plus, it gives the couple peace of mind to know that their wedding minister has all the official documents, like your ordination certificate, on hand. As requested by county officials, please order your materials well in advance of the ceremony.
How to Get a Alaska Marriage License
In the state of Alaska, all marriage licenses are issued by the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Although it is the couple's job to pick up the license, a minister should have a solid understanding of the rules pertaining to marriage licenses in Alaska and its individual counties. As an example, let's say the couple is planning to get an Anchorage County marriage license. The minister should double-check if there are any specific rules for getting married in Anchorage County that the wedding couple might not be aware of.
In Alaska, marriage licenses are valid for 90 days. Please also note that there is a mandatory 3-day waiting period - this means that the couple must wait a minimum of 3 days after receiving the license before a ceremony can legally be performed. Once the ceremony has been completed, the signed marriage license must be returned before it expires.
Alaska's Top Wedding Venue
How Do You Officiate a Wedding?
With all the paperwork in order, you're ready to perform the wedding! If you need any guidance in this area, don't hesitate to utilize the tools found below. These carefully-tailored resources provide helpful tips and information on all aspects of performing a wedding ceremony. Constructed with our wedding officiants in mind, they contain everything you'll need to plan the perfect ceremony.
Many ULC ministers have used these same resources for guidance when becoming professional officiants!
Finalizing the Marriage
There is one last step in the process. After performing the wedding, you must sign the marriage license (along with the couple and their two witnesses). Your legal title will be "Minister"; under ceremony type, put "Religious"; for denomination, write "Non-Denominational".
If an address for the church is requested, list your personal ministry or home address. Do not put the address of the ULC. Lastly, just remember that the signed license will need to be submitted back to the marriage office before the deadline is over!
Alaska Marriage Laws
Alaska marriage laws are governed by Section 1 of the state code. This section explains who is legally authorized to officiate weddings in the State of Alaska. Among those with authorization are ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church. The relevant section is displayed below:
Sec. 25.05.261. Who may solemnize. (a) Marriages may be solemnized (1) by a minister, priest, or rabbi of any church or congregation in the state, or by a commissioned officer of the Salvation Army, or by the principal officer or elder of recognized churches or congregations that traditionally do not have regular ministers, priests, or rabbis, anywhere within the state; (2) by a marriage commissioner or judicial officer of the state anywhere within the jurisdiction of the commissioner or officer; or (3) before or in any religious organization or congregation according to the established ritual or form commonly practiced in the organization or congregation. (b) This section may not be construed to waive the requirements for obtaining a marriage license.