Making it Official, Your Guide to Officiants & Marriage Licensing

bride and groom hugging at ceremony

Congratulations, you are engaged and ready to be married! Of course, guest lists, dresses, and decor are probably at the top of your priority list. However, let’s not forget that we need to make this official too! We are here to assist and have provided our guidance for selecting your officiant and the instructions on how to apply for your marriage license. 

bride and groom at ceremony laughing Photo Credit: Max Grudz 

Officiant Recommendations

The person who officially marries you has a very important job, they must be able to make your ceremony special, keep your guests engaged, and they must be ordained. Finding an officiant can be a daunting task, yet it doesn’t have to be! We suggest asking your recently married friends or family members for referrals or asking your wedding vendors for recommendations. Our qualified go-to officiants are Rev. Chris Lewis, Wendy Duncan Ministries, and Weddings With Heart

bride and groom after Brasada ceremony

Photo credit: Ely Roberts Photography

Friends or Family as Officiants

Of course, you could always ask a loved one that you trust to become ordained and officiate your wedding as well. We recommend Universal Life Church for becoming ordained online. Please note this is a complimentary service and you are not required to purchase a certificate upon completion.

With having a friend or family member as your officiant, there are a few things to consider. Don’t be afraid to script the ceremony (typically starting with processional, welcome, readings, vows, kiss, pronouncement, and boom – you’re married!) or at least guide the flow with your officiant ahead of time. Also, we recommend the officiant jumps out of the scene during your first kiss, your photos will look a lot better with just the two of you! Lastly, the officiant can mention such things as cell phone courtesy at the start of the ceremony or they can guide your guests to the next phase of the wedding celebration, whether that is to the transportation or directions to the reception.

bride groom first kiss after ceremony

Photo Credit: The Soft Season

Marriage License

Next up, the marriage license! This is essentially your permit for eternal love, the legal confirmation that you and your partner are eligible to marry one another. Each states’ requirements vary, yet in Oregon, there is a window as far out as 60 days to up to 3 days prior to your wedding date for you to apply for your marriage license. This can be done in any county in Oregon, not necessarily the one you are getting married in. For Deschutes county marriage licenses, regardless of whether you submit your marriage license application form online or complete it in their office, you must visit their office at least 3 days prior to your wedding ceremony in order to complete the application process. (Please note during the Covid-19 pandemic, their office is offering mail-in services, yet make sure you allow enough time for mailing and returning prior to the big day.) 

Marriage license signing


We hope these suggestions about officiants and marriage licenses assist you along your wedding planning journey! After all, the ceremony and the commitment you make to each other is the most important part of your special day. 

For more wedding day tips, design and information about The Indigo Bride, check out our portfolio and blog and follow us @theindigobride.

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