Arizona Wedding Laws
Written and reviewed by the wedding law liaison team at the Universal Life Church.
Welcome to the Arizona marriage laws guide! Officiating a wedding is a huge honor, but presiding also comes with a lot of responsibility. In order to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the big day, we recommend following 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 Arizona.
Here are the basic steps one must follow to officiate a wedding:
How Do I Become Ordained to Marry in Arizona
Becoming a marriage officiant with the Universal Life Church is quite straightforward. Our online ordination process is quick, easy, and entirely free. As a legally licensed minister with the ULC, you'll be able to perform marriages for friends, family, or whoever is in need of an officiant. Think about it: obtain your minister license today, and tomorrow you could be officiating a wedding! It's really that simple. Click the button below to get started.
How Do You Perform a Wedding in Arizona
The first step will be contacting the county clerk's office in the county where the wedding will be held. Identify yourself as a minister and inquire about what documents the 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). You can find any of the required documents at the Minister Store on this website.
Select a county to see contact information for each office:
What Do You Need to Officiate a Wedding in Arizona
After contacting the county clerk, just visit our website, sign in to your account, and order whatever documents or materials you'll need for the ceremony. One of our more popular items in Arizona is the Classic Wedding Set.
While there is no state-level registration necessary in Arizona, county clerks have been known to ask ministers to present an ordination certificate and/or an Official Letter of Good Standing from the church (ULC). In general, we recommend having these documents on hand, just to be safe. The couple will thank you for it. Make sure to place your order with plenty of time to spare to avoid any potential hiccups.
How to Get a Arizona Marriage License
In Arizona, the marriage license is issued by the office of the county clerk. While it is up to the couple to obtain the license, the wedding minister should understand the rules regarding marriage licenses in Arizona and its individual counties. For example, let's say the wedding couple is planning to get a Maricopa County marriage license. The minister should check if there are any unique rules pertaining to marriage licenses in Maricopa County that the couple might not be aware of.
In Arizona, the marriage license will be valid for 1 year. There is no mandatory waiting period - meaning the couple does not need to wait after receiving the license before a ceremony can legally be performed. After the ceremony has been completed, the signed marriage license will need to be returned within 20 days.
Arizona's Top Wedding Venue
How Do You Officiate a Wedding?
Once you have all of the paperwork in order, you're ready to conduct the ceremony! If you need any advice on this topic, please utilize the resources below. These specialized tools provide useful tricks and tips on all aspects of performing a wedding ceremony. Crafted with our wedding officiants in mind, they contain everything you'll need to plan the perfect wedding.
Finalizing the Marriage
Almost there! The final step will be to sign the marriage license (along with the couple and two witnesses). Your official title will be "Minister"; for ceremony type, put "Religious"; for the religious denomination, write "Non-Denominational".
For the address of ministry, put your personal ministry or home address. Do not put the address of ULC headquarters. Lastly, make sure the marriage license is returned to the issuing office before the deadline ends!
Arizona Marriage Laws
Arizona marriage laws are governed by Section 25 of the state code. This section explains who is legally authorized to officiate weddings in the State of Arizona. Among those with authorization are ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church. The relevant section is displayed below:
25-124. Persons authorized to perform marriage ceremony; definition
A. The following are authorized to solemnize marriages between persons who are authorized to marry:
Duly licensed or ordained clergymen.
Judges of courts of record.
Municipal court judges.
Justices of the peace.
Justices of the United States supreme court.
Judges of courts of appeals, district courts and courts that are created by an act of Congress if the judges are entitled to hold office during good behavior.
Bankruptcy court and tax court judges.
United States magistrate judges.
Judges of the Arizona court of military appeals.
B. For the purposes of this section, "licensed or ordained clergymen" includes ministers, elders or other persons who by the customs, rules and regulations of a religious society or sect are authorized or permitted to solemnize marriages or to officiate at marriage ceremonies.