Florida Wedding Laws
Written and reviewed by the wedding law liaison team at the Universal Life Church.
Welcome to the Florida marriage laws guide! Officiating a wedding can be an incredible honor, but presiding also comes with plenty of responsibility - which is why we've created this page to provide guidance to couples and ministers alike. In order to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the big day, we encourage you to follow the guide below. It will explain how to become a wedding minister, how to marry someone, and how to make sure the ceremony is legal in Florida.
Here are the basic steps one must follow to officiate a wedding:
How Do I Become Ordained to Marry in Florida
It's easier than you might think to become a marriage officiant with the Universal Life Church. 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 bend! Click the button below to get started.
How Do You Perform a Wedding in Florida
First, you will 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 you will need to provide to the officials. 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 Florida
Once you've spoken with your county marriage officials, simply visit our website, sign in to your account, and order whatever materials you need via our online catalog. Most ministers in Florida choose to order our href="/minister-store/classic-wedding-set">Classic Wedding Set.
Ministers are not generally required to register in Florida. However, 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, it gives the couple peace of mind to know that their wedding minister has all the official documents, such as the ordination certificate, on hand. Please order your materials well in advance of the ceremony to avoid potential hiccups.
How to Get a Florida Marriage License
In Florida, 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 Florida and its individual counties. For example, let's say the couple is planning to get a Miami-Dade County marriage license. As the minister, you should double-check if there are any specific rules for getting married in Miami-Dade County of which the couple might not be aware.
Marriage licenses in Florida are valid for 60 days. Note that there is a mandatory 3-day waiting period - this means that the couple must wait a minimum of 3 days to be wed after receiving the license. Once the ceremony has been completed, the signed marriage license must be returned within 10 days.
Florida's Top Wedding Venue
How Do You Officiate a Wedding?
With all the paperwork in order, you'll be 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 resources for guidance when becoming professional officiants themselves!
Finalizing the Marriage
Now there's just one final step - but it's an important one! After performing the wedding, you and the couple must sign the marriage license. Your official title will be "Minister"; for ceremony type, put "Religious"; for 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, remember that the signed license must be returned to the issuing office before the deadline passes!
Florida Marriage Laws
Florida marriage laws are governed by Chapter 741 of Title 43 of the state code. This section explains who is legally authorized to officiate weddings in the State of Florida. Among those with authorization are ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church. The relevant section is displayed below:
741.07"Persons authorized to solemnize matrimony."
(1)"All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church, or other ordained clergy, and all judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state may solemnize the rights of matrimonial contract, under the regulations prescribed by law. Nothing in this section shall make invalid a marriage which was solemnized by any member of the clergy, or as otherwise provided by law prior to July 1, 1978.
(2)"Any marriage which may be had and solemnized among the people called "Quakers," or "Friends," in the manner and form used or practiced in their societies, according to their rites and ceremonies, shall be good and valid in law; and wherever the words "minister" and "elder" are used in this chapter, they shall be held to include all of the persons connected with the Society of Friends, or Quakers, who perform or have charge of the marriage ceremony according to their rites and ceremonies.