Colorado Wedding Laws
Written and reviewed by the wedding law liaison team at the Universal Life Church.
You've arrived at the Colorado state marriage laws page! Officiating a wedding ceremony can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Using our resources, we've put together a comprehensive guide to marriage laws in Colorado. By following the outline below, you can ensure that the big day goes off without a hitch. Among other things, we'll explain how to become a wedding minister, how to marry someone, and how to make sure the marriage is legal in Colorado.
Here are the basic steps ministers must follow to officiate a wedding:
How Do I Become Ordained to Marry in Colorado
Becoming a marriage officiant with the Universal Life Church is easier than you might think. Did you know that legally licensed ministers of the ULC perform countless marriages in Colorado each year? Our online ordination process is simple, fast, and entirely free. Once you have your minister license in hand, officiating a wedding is not too far away! Click the button below to get started.
How Do You Perform a Wedding in Colorado
For starters, you'll need to contact the marriage licensing office in the county where the wedding will take place. 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). 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 Colorado
Once you've spoken with county marriage officials, simply visit our website, sign in to your account, and order whatever materials you might need. One of our more popular items among ULC ministers in Colorado is the Classic Wedding Set.
In general, minister registration is not required in the state of Colorado. That being said, it's not uncommon for the county clerk to ask for proof of your ordination before giving the "go-ahead" to perform marriage ceremonies. Plus, the couple will have peace of mind knowing that their wedding minister has an ordination certificate and other official documents on hand, just in case. As requested by county officials, please order your materials well in advance of the ceremony.
How to Get a Colorado Marriage License
In Colorado, marriage licenses are issued by the county clerk's office. Although it is the couple's job to pick up the license, the minister should have a solid understanding of the rules governing marriage licenses in Colorado and its individual counties. Let's say the couple is planning to get an El Paso County marriage license, for example. As the minister, you ought to double-check if there are any specific rules for getting married in El Paso County that the couple might not be aware of.
In Colorado, marriage licenses are valid for 30 days. There is no mandatory waiting period - meaning that a ceremony can be legally performed as soon as the license is issued. After the ceremony has been completed, the signed marriage license must be returned by the expiration date listed on the license.
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The Pinery At The Hill
How Do You Officiate a Wedding?
Once all the paperwork is 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
Now there's just one final step - but it's a vital one! After performing the wedding, you must sign the marriage license. Your official title will be "Minister"; for ceremony type, put "Religious"; for denomination, write "Non-Denominational".
If prompted to provide an address of ministry put your personal ministry or home address. Do not put the address of ULC. Lastly, remember that the signed license must be turned in to the marriage office before the deadline passes!
Colorado Marriage Laws
Colorado marriage laws are primarily governed by Title 14 of the state's general statutes. It explains who is authorized to perform a marriage in the State of Colorado, a group that includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church. We've displayed the relevant section below:
14-2-109. Solemnization and registration.
(1) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court, by a court magistrate, by a retired judge of a court, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by the parties to the marriage, or in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination or Indian nation or tribe.
Either the person solemnizing the marriage or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, a party to the marriage shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the county clerk and recorder within sixty days after the solemnization.
Any person who fails to forward the marriage certificate to the county clerk and recorder as required by this section shall be required to pay a late fee in an amount of not less than twenty dollars. An additional five-dollar late fee may be assessed for each additional day of failure to comply with the forwarding requirements of this subsection (1) up to a maximum of fifty dollars.
For purposes of determining whether a late fee shall be assessed pursuant to this subsection (1), the date of forwarding shall be deemed to be the date of postmark.