Kentucky Wedding Laws
Written and reviewed by the wedding law liaison team at the Universal Life Church.
Welcome to the marriage laws guide for the state of Kentucky. Performing a wedding is a wonderful honor, but it also comes with a good deal of responsibility. That's why we've created this page - to provide guidance to couples and ministers alike. To ensure that everything goes according to plan on the big day, we urge you follow the steps laid out below. It will explain how to become a wedding minister, how to marry someone, and how to make sure the ceremony is legal in Kentucky.
Here are the basic steps for officiating a wedding:
How Do I Become Ordained to Marry in Kentucky
Becoming a marriage officiant with the Universal Life Church is easier than you might expect. Our online ordination process is straightforward, quick, and entirely free. Once you have your minister license in hand, officiating a wedding is right around the corner. Legally licensed ministers of the ULC perform countless marriages in Kentucky each year. Click the button below to get started!
How Do You Perform a Wedding in Kentucky
After getting ordained, you'll need to contact the marriage licensing office in the county where the wedding will take place. Give them a call, identify yourself as a minister, and ask what documents are required to verify your ordination. You may be asked to present a number of items to prove that you are indeed ordained. Be aware that these requirements can vary from county to county. 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 Kentucky
Once you've spoken with county marriage officials, simply sign in to your account on our website and order the necessary documents. Most ministers in Kentucky choose to order an Ordination Set along with an Official Letter of Good Standing.
For the most part, Kentucky doesn't require minister registration. However, it's not uncommon for the county clerk to request ordination proof before giving the "go-ahead" to perform marriage ceremonies. Plus, it gives the couple peace of mind knowing that their wedding minister has all the official documents, such as the ordination certificate, on hand. As requested by county officials, please order your materials with plenty of time to spare before the ceremony.
How to Get a Kentucky Marriage License
In Kentucky, 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 Kentucky and its individual counties. Let's say the couple is planning to get a Jefferson County marriage license, for example. As the minister, you ought to double-check if there are any specific rules for getting married in Jefferson County.
In Kentucky, marriage licenses are valid for 30 days. There is no mandatory waiting period before the marriage can take place. Once the ceremony is completed, the signed marriage license must be returned before it expires.
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How Do You Officiate a Wedding?
After all the paperwork is in order, you'll be ready to perform the wedding! If you'd like any guidance in this area, please navigate to the tools found below. These carefully-tailored resources include helpful tips and information on all aspects of officiating a wedding ceremony. Created with our wedding officiants in mind, many ministers have relied on these same resources becoming professional officiants!
Finalizing the Marriage
Almost there! After performing the wedding, you'll need to sign the marriage license along with the couple and two witnesses. Your official title will be "Minister"; for ceremony type, put "Religious", and for denomination, put "Non-Denominational". If asked to submit an address of ministry, list your personal ministry or personal ministry or home address. Do not put the address of ULC. No license number is required. Lastly, remember that the signed license must be turned in to the marriage office prior to its expiration!
Kentucky Marriage Laws
Kentucky marriage laws are governed by Chapter 402 of Title 50 of the state code. This section explains who is legally authorized to officiate weddings in the State of Kentucky. Among those with authorization are ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church. The relevant section is displayed below:
402.050 Who may solemnize marriage -- Persons present. (1) Marriage shall be solemnized only by: (a) Ministers of the gospel or priests of any denomination in regular communion with any religious society; (b) Justices and judges of the Court of Justice, retired justices and judges of the Court of Justice except those removed for cause or convicted of a felony, county judges/executive, and such justices of the peace and fiscal court commissioners as the Governor or the county judge/executive authorizes; or (c) A religious society that has no officiating minister or priest and whose usage is to solemnize marriage at the usual place of worship and by consent given in the presence of the society, if either party belongs to the society. (2) At least two (2) persons, in addition to the parties and the person solemnizing the marriage, shall be present at every marriage. Effective:July 15, 1996