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Who is a legal wedding officiant in Georgia?

When it comes to getting married in Georgia, many couples wonder who is a legal wedding officiant in the state. This is an important question to ask before planning your big day, as you’ll want to make sure that your marriage is recognized as legally valid. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at who can legally officiate weddings in Georgia, including the requirements for becoming an ordained minister.

What is a Wedding Officiant?

First, let’s define what a wedding officiant is. A wedding officiant is the person who performs the wedding ceremony and legally binds the couple in matrimony. In Georgia, wedding officiants can be religious officials, judges, or other public officials who have the power to solemnize marriages. However, not just anyone can be a legal wedding officiant in the state.

Who is a Legal Wedding Officiant in Georgia?

To be a legal wedding officiant in Georgia, you must be an ordained minister. This means that you have been granted the authority to perform religious ceremonies, including weddings. There are no officiant registration requirements in Georgia, but you must have been ordained by a religious organization or have a recognized online ordination.

Requirements for Becoming an Ordained Minister

Becoming an ordained minister is a relatively easy process. There are several religious organizations that offer ordination online, including American Marriage Ministries, which is recognized by the state of Georgia. To become an ordained minister, you’ll typically need to provide some basic personal information, such as your legal name and mailing address, and pay a small fee. Once you’ve completed the ordination process, you’ll be able to legally perform weddings in Georgia.

Other Wedding Officiant Options

While ordained ministers are the most common type of wedding officiant in Georgia, there are other options available as well. For example, judges and certain public officials, such as notaries and clerks of court, can also solemnize marriages. However, it’s important to note that these officials have limited availability and may not be able to perform weddings on weekends or outside of normal business hours.

Choosing Your Wedding Officiant

When choosing your wedding officiant, it’s important to consider your personal preferences and beliefs. If you’re religious, you may want to choose an ordained minister who can perform a religious ceremony. On the other hand, if you prefer a more secular ceremony, you may want to consider a judge or other public official.


In conclusion, to be a legal wedding officiant in Georgia, you must be an ordained minister. This means that you have the authority to perform religious ceremonies, including weddings. While there are other options available, such as judges and public officials, ordained ministers are the most common type of wedding officiant in the state. By choosing the right wedding officiant for your ceremony, you can ensure that your marriage is legally valid and reflects your personal beliefs and preferences.


Who can officiate a wedding in Georgia?

In the state of Georgia, there are various individuals who are authorized to officiate a wedding ceremony. The choices available typically include a judge, a justice of the peace, or an ordained or licensed minister. Additionally, clergymen, pastors, and other religious leaders are also able to be chosen to officiate a wedding ceremony.

The role of a judge or justice of the peace is quite clear. They are authorized by law to perform marriage ceremonies and have the legal right to sign the marriage license, making it official. In addition, they require no religious affiliation, making them a popular choice for couples who prefer a secular ceremony.

For those who would like a religious wedding ceremony, an ordained or licensed minister is another option. Religious leaders have the freedom to perform wedding ceremonies and sign the marriage license. However, in Georgia, the minister must be licensed or ordained by a recognized religious society. An unlicensed minister has no power to officiate a wedding ceremony in the state of Georgia.

It is also important to note that Georgia requires a minimum of two witnesses to be present at the wedding ceremony. The witnesses must be present during the signing of the marriage license by the officiant. As long as the couple meets this requirement, it is up to them to determine who they would like to officiate their wedding ceremony.

Judges, justices of the peace, licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors, and other religious leaders are all authorized to officiate wedding ceremonies in Georgia. Couples should ensure that their chosen officiant is licensed or ordained, and if they wish to have a religious ceremony, that their religious leader is affiliated with a recognized religious society. the couple has the agency to choose who they would like to have officiate their wedding ceremony as long as it meets the legal requirements of the state.

How do you get certified to marry someone in Georgia?

In the state of Georgia, in order to perform a marriage ceremony, you must first become a certified, licensed marriage officiant. Becoming certified to marry someone in Georgia is a straightforward process, and can typically be achieved in a matter of weeks.

To get started, you will need to apply for a marriage license from your county probate court. This process typically involves filling out an application form, submitting identification documents such as a driver’s license or passport, and paying a fee.

In order to be issued a marriage license, you must meet certain requirements. You must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. Additionally, you cannot have a living spouse from a prior un-dissolved marriage. If you are 17 years old, you can be issued a marriage license if you meet certain conditions, such as obtaining written consent from your parent or legal guardian.

Once you have obtained your marriage license, you will need to become certified to perform the marriage ceremony itself. In Georgia, this is typically achieved through a simple online course, which covers the basics of performing a marriage ceremony and ensures that you are aware of the legal requirements and responsibilities of being a marriage officiant.

After completing the online course, you will receive a certificate of completion. You can then present this certificate, along with a copy of your marriage license, to your county probate court in order to officially register as a licensed marriage officiant.

The process of becoming certified to marry someone in Georgia is relatively simple and straightforward. If you are interested in becoming a marriage officiant in the state, simply contact your county probate court to begin the process.

Who traditionally pays for the officiant?

Traditionally, the cost of the wedding is split between the bride’s family and the groom’s family, with each family taking on certain expenses. However, when it comes to paying the officiant, the groom is typically the one responsible for covering the fee. This cost typically includes the officiant’s time and any expenses that may be required, such as travel or lodging if the wedding is taking place outside of the officiant’s local area.

In addition to paying the officiant, the groom also has a number of other expenses that he is traditionally responsible for. These include purchasing the marriage license, buying the bouquet for his “date” (the bride), as well as her engagement and wedding rings, and a gift for her. The groom is also responsible for purchasing boutonnieres and gifts for his groomsmen.

While the above is the traditional breakdown, it’s important to note that many couples today have moved away from these traditions and adopted a more modern approach to wedding planning. It’s always important to have open and honest communication with your partner, as well as with both families, to determine what works best for everyone involved. what matters most is that the couple is happy and able to celebrate their love in a way that feels authentic to them.