Michigan Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Michigan

Despite using some terminology that has fallen out of fashion in the legal language of many states, Michigan wedding law is still fairly straightforward. Weddings in Michigan only require a license, a qualifying officiant, and two adult witnesses.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Michigan

Michigan law states that a "minister of the gospel" may officiate at weddings. The language used may give the impression that the right is restricted to clergy of a specific religion, but it's actually just an older phrasing than most states use today - ministers of any religion are afforded equal rights in Michigan. Any clergyperson authorized by his or her religious organization to solemnize marriages may perform weddings in Michigan. This includes ministers who have been ordained online by the Universal Life Church Monastery.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Michigan

The only requirement for the form of a wedding ceremony in Michigan is that it include a verbal agreement between the bride and groom to take one another as husband and wife. There is, however, a provision that allows people to use whatever language they wish if doing so is in accordance with their particular beliefs. We provide a variety of resources for ministers who are asked to perform a variety of ceremonies: from the most traditional wedding to highly personalized and unique ceremonies. In addition to the bride, groom and officiant, all Michigan weddings must include two witnesses who are at least 18 years of age.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Michigan

Wedding officiants in Michigan must complete a marriage certificate with two copies. One copy must be presented to the newly married couple and the other must be filed within 10 days of the wedding with the County Clerk's office that issued the marriage license. The marriage license itself is only valid for 33 days.

Michigan Marriage Laws

 

See Also:

A Charter May No Longer be Required: It was called to our attention that the state of Michigan may no longer require individuals to file a charter in order to perform marriages. From the website of the Michigan State government:

To perform marriage ceremonies a person should be an ordained minister, magistrate (a civil officer with power to administer and enforce law -- Justice of the Peace), mayor of a Michigan city or a judge. An ordained minister of the gospel recognized by a church may perform marriages whether or not the church has filed a charter with the State of Michigan, Department of Labor & Economic Growth, Corporation Division or an elected government official. To determine if a church has filed a charter, telephone: (517) 241-6470.

Please check with your local county clerk to determine what steps you will need to take in order to register as officiant. If your clerk does require a charter, you will find instructions on how to obtain this below.

If a Charter is required: In the past, the state required that a charter be filed before an ordination could be recognized, for the purposes of officiating weddings. "An ordained minister of the gospel recognized by a church that has filed a charter with the State of Michigan, Corporation and Land Development Bureau or an elected government official may perform marriages. To determine if a church has filed a charter (517) 241-6470. Contact the Department of Community Health, Vital Statistics at (517) 335-8677 for marriage statistics. When forming a religious organization, there is a tax guide available from the IRS, publication "tax Guide For Churches and Other Religious Organizations; Publication 1828 Catalog Number 21096G; address: IRS, Freedom of Information Reading Room, P.O. Box 795, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, D.C. 20044; telephone: (800) 829-3676. Many churches are required to have a "Church Copyright License." For further information about this license call (800) 234-2446. Marriage licenses are obtained at the county clerk's office. This may not be required if you are only intending to officiate weddings.

Act 327 of 1931: Ecclesiastical corporations: 450.178 Ecclesiastical corporations; incorporation; purpose. Sec. 178. Ecclesiastical corporations. Any number of persons, not less than 3, may incorporate for the purpose of establishing any church organization for the purpose of teaching and spreading their religious beliefs and principles. Every such corporation shall be a non-profit corporation and subject to the provisions of this act relating to non-profit corporations generally except as specifically otherwise provided. The term "church? and/or "church organization? used in this act shall be construed to include any church, denominational unit, or church society as the term is commonly used and understood but shall not apply to such organizations as Sunday schools, Epworth Leagues, Young People's Unions, Bible classes and similar societies organized by and affiliated with the parent churches. Whenever any number of churches or other corporations organized for religious purposes desire to unite in a central organization for the accomplishment of any common purpose they may incorporate such organization by severally adopting, at meetings specially called for the purpose, resolutions expressing their desire to become members of such corporation; and by filing duly attested copies of such resolutions together with a copy of the articles of such corporation, as provided for the filing of articles in section 5 of this act. The corporations formed under this section are hereinafter called ecclesiastical corporations.

Article of Incorporation Form with Instructions: (Note: Adobe Acrobat will be required.) The form is fairly basic, requiring an address for the church (can be your address), details about how often meetings will be held ("once per week, or as necessary"), details on your church structure (you could say "under the rules of the Universal life Church Monastery" or mention the basis of your beliefs), and will require three notarized signatures. The filing fee, to the state, is currently only $20.00.

CHAPTER 83 - Chapter 83. Of marriage and the solemnization thereof.

(EXCERPT) 551.7 Persons authorized to solemnize marriage; records; returns; disposition of fees charged by mayor or county clerk.

Sec. 7. (1) Marriages may be solemnized by any of the following: (h) A minister of the gospel, anywhere in the state, if the minister is ordained or authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usages of the denomination, and is a pastor of a church in this state, or continues to preach the gospel in this state. (i) A minister of the gospel, anywhere in the state, if the minister is not a resident of this state but is authorized to solemnize marriages under the laws of the state in which the minister resides.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Michigan you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as an ordination credential, wallet credential, or a letter of good standing from the church.

ULC The Monastery's foreign corporation state filings

Michigan Wedding Laws by County

Alcona County

Alcona County Offices
106 5th Street
Harrisville, Michigan
48740,
 
Phone: (989) 724-9410
Alcona County website »

Alger County

101 Court St
Munising, Michigan
49862,
Phone: (906) 387-2076
Alger County website »

Allegan County

2243 33rd St
Allegan, Michigan
49010,
Phone: (269) 673-0450
Allegan County website »

Alpena County

720 W. Chisholm Street Suite #2
Alpena, Michigan
49707,

Phone: (989) 354-9520
E-mail: friedrib@alpenacounty.org
Alpena County website »

Antrim County

P.O. Box 520
Bellaire, Michigan
49615,
 
Phone: (231) 533-6353
Antrim County website »

Arenac County

120 N Grove Street
Standish, Michigan
48658,
 
Phone: (989) 846-4626
Arenac County website »

Baraga County

16 N. 3rd Street
L'Anse, Michigan
49946,
Phone: (906) 524-6100 ext. 2
Fax: (906) 524-7017
Baraga County website »

Barry County

Barry County Courthouse - Floor 1
220 W State St
Hastings, Michigan
49058,
Phone: (269) 945-1285
Fmx: (269) 945-0209
Barry County website »

Bay County

Bay County Building
515 Center Avenue, Ste. 101
Bay City, Michigan
48708,
 
Phone: (989) 895-4280
Fmx: (989) 895-4284
Bay County website »

Benzie County

Upper Level
448 Court Place
Government Center
Beulah, Michigan
49617,

Phone: (231) 882-9671
Benzie County website »

Berrien County

701 Main Street,
St. Joseph, Michigan
49085,

Phone: (269) 983-7111 ext. 8368
alternate phone: ext. 8233
Fax: (269) 982-8642
Berrien County website »

Branch County

Courthouse
31 Division St.
Coldwater, Michigan
49036,
 
Phone: (517) 279-4306
Fax: (517) 278-5627
Branch County website »

Calhoun County

County Building
315 W. Green Street
Marshall, Michigan
49068,
Phone: (269) 781-0730
Calhoun County website »

Cass County

Cass County Building
Room 123
120 N. Broadway
Cassopolis, Michigan
49031,

Phone: (269) 445-4464
Cass County website »

Charlevoix County

Office of the County Clerk
203 Antrim Street
Charlevoix, Michigan
49720,
 
Phone: (231) 547-7200
Fmx: (231) 547-7217
E-mail: clerk@charlevoixcounty.org
Charlevoix County website »

Cheboygan County

Cheboygan County Clerk/Register
870 S. Main Street
Cheboygan, Michigan
49721,

Phone: (231) 627-8808
alternate phone: (231) 627-8866
Cheboygan County website »

Chippewa County

319 Court Street
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
49783,
 
Phone: (906) 635-6300
E-mail: dcork@chippewacountymi.gov
Chippewa County website »

Clare County

225 W. Main St.
Harrison, Michigan
48625,
Phone: (989) 539-7131
Fax: (989) 539-6616
Clare County website »

Clinton County

100 E. State Street, Suite 2600
St. Johns, Michigan
48879,
 
Phone: (989) 224-5140
E-mail: clerk@clinton-county.org
Clinton County website »

Crawford County

200 W Michigan Avenue
Grayling, Michigan
49738,

Crawford County website »

Delta County

310 Ludington Street
Escanaba, Michigan
49829,
Phone: (906) 789-5105
Fmx: (906) 789-5196
E-mail: clerk@deltacountymi.org
Delta County website »

Dickinson County

705 S. Stephenson Ave.
Iron Mountain, Michigan
49801,

Dickinson County website »

Eaton County

1045 Independence Blvd.
Charlotte, Michigan
48813,

Phone: (517) 543-4335
Fmx: (517) 543-4475
Eaton County website »

Emmet County

200 Division Street, Suite 130
Petoskey, Michigan
49770,

Phone: (231) 348-1744
Fmx: (231) 348-0602
E-mail: gmartin@co.emmet.mi.us
Emmet County website »

Genesee County

County Courthouse
900 S. Saginaw St.
2nd Floor
Flint, Michigan
48502,

Phone: (810) 257-3225
Genesee County website »

Gladwin County

401 W. Cedar Avenue
Gladwin, Michigan
48624,
 
Phone: (989) 426-7351
Fmx: (989) 426-6917
E-mail: countyclerk@www.gladwinco.com
Gladwin County website »

Gogebic County

200 N. Moore St.
Bessemer, Michigan
49911,
 
Phone: (906) 663-4518
Fmx: (906) 663-4660
Gogebic County website »

Grand Traverse County

Vital Records & Elections
400 Boardman Ave.
Traverse City, Michigan
49684,

Phone: (231) 922-4760
E-mail: gtcclerk@co.grand-traverse.mi.us
Grand Traverse County website »

Gratiot County

214 E Center St
Ithaca, Michigan
48847,
Phone: (989) 875-5215
Gratiot County website »

Hillsdale County

Hillsdale County Courthouse
Room 1
29 N Howell Street
Hillsdale, Michigan
49242,
Phone: (517) 437-3391
Fmx: (517) 437-3392
Hillsdale County website »

Houghton County

Houghton County Courthouse, 2nd Floor
401 E. Houghton Ave.
Houghton, Michigan
49931,
Phone: (906) 482-1150
Houghton County website »

Huron County

250 East Huron Avenue, Room 201
Bad Axe, Michigan
48413,

Phone: (989) 269-9942
Fax: (989) 269-6160
Huron County website »

Ingham County

Mason Courthouse
341 S. Jefferson
Mason, Michigan
48854,
 
Phone: (517) 676-7201
Fax: (517) 676-7254
Ingham County website »

Ionia County

Ionia County Clerk's Office
100 W. Main Street
Ionia, Michigan
48846,
Phone: (616) 527-5322
Fax: (616) 527-8201
E-mail: clerk@ioniacounty.org
Ionia County website »

Iosco County

422 W. Lake Street
Tawas City, Michigan
48764,
 
Phone: (989) 362-3497
Fmx: (989) 984-1012
Iosco County website »

Iron County

2 South 6th Street Suite 7
Crystal Falls, Michigan
49920,
Phone: (906) 875-3301
E-mail: jluhtanen@iron.org
Iron County website »

Isabella County

County Clerk's Office - Rm 240
200 N. Main Street
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
48858,
Phone: (989) 317-4070
Fax: (989) 772-6347
Isabella County website »

Jackson County

312 S. Jackson street
Jackson, Michigan
49201,

Phone: (517) 788-4601
Jackson County website »

Kalamazoo County

Kalamazoo County Clerk/Register Office
201 W. Kalamazoo Ave.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
49007,
Phone: (269) 383-8840
Kalamazoo County website »

Kalkaska County

605 N. Birch Street
Kalkaska, Michigan
49646,
Phone: (231) 258-3300 option 3
Fmx: (231) 258-3337
Kalkaska County website »

Kent County

County Administration Building
300 Monroe Avenue NW
Grand Rapids, Michigan
49503,
 
Phone: (616) 632-7640
Fmx: (616) 632-7645
E-mail: mary.hollinrake@kentcountymi.gov
Kent County website »

Keweenaw County

5095 4th Street
Eagle River, Michigan
49950,
 
Phone: (906) 337-2229
Fmx: (906) 337-2253
Keweenaw County website »

Lake County

800 Tenth St
Suite 200
Baldwin, Michigan
49304,

Phone: (231) 745-2725
Fmx: (231) 745-8632
E-mail: clerk@co.lake.mi.us
Lake County website »

Lapeer County

255 CLAY STREET
LAPEER, Michigan
48446,

Phone: (810) 667-0356
Fax: (810) 667-0362
Lapeer County website »

Leelanau County

8527 E. Government Center Drive, Suite 103,
Suttons Bay, Michigan
49682,
Phone: (231) 256-9824
Fmx: (231) 256-8295
Leelanau County website »

Lenawee County

25 N. Main St.
Judicial Bldg. 3rd Floor
Adrian, Michigan
49221,
Phone: (517) 264-4599
Fax: (517) 264-4790
Lenawee County website »

Livingston County

Courthouse
200 E Grand River Ave
Howell, Michigan
48843,

Phone: (517) 546-0500
Fax: (517) 546-4354
Livingston County website »

Luce County

407 West Harrie St.
Newberry, Michigan
49868,
Phone: (906) 293-5521
Fax: (906) 293-5553
Luce County website »

Mackinac County

100 S. Marley, Rm 10
St. Ignace, Michigan
49781,
Phone: (906) 643-7300
Fmx: (906) 643-7302
Mackinac County website »

Macomb County

Clerk's Office
40 North Main. 1st Floor
Mount Clemens, Michigan
48043,

Phone: (586) 469-5120
Fax: (877) 443-9505
E-mail: clerksoffice@macombgov.org
Macomb County website »

Manistee County

415 Third Street
Manistee, Michigan
49660,
Phone: (231) 723-3331
Fmx: (231) 723-1492
Manistee County website »

Marquette County

Courthouse Annex
234 W. Baraga Ave.
Marquette, Michigan
49855,

Phone: (906) 225-8330
Fax: (906) 228-1572
E-mail: CountyClerk@mqtcty.org
Marquette County website »

Mason County

Mason County Clerk
304 E. Ludington Avenue
Ludington, Michigan
49431,
Phone: (231) 843-8202
Fax: (231) 843-1972
Mason County website »

Mecosta County

Room 131
400 Elm Street
Big Rapids, Michigan
49307,
Phone: (231) 592-0783
Fax: (231) 592-0193
Mecosta County website »

Menominee County

Courthouse - 2nd Floor
839 10th Avenue
Menominee, Michigan
49858,

Phone: (906) 863-9968
Fax: (906) 863-5819
Menominee County website »

Midland County

220 W Ellsworth St
Midland, Michigan
48640,
 
Phone: (989) 832-6739
Fmx: (989) 832-6680
Midland County website »

Missaukee County

Clerk's Office
111 South Canal
Lake City, Michigan
49651,

Phone: (231) 839-4967 Ext 201
Fmx: (231) 839-3684
E-mail: missaukee@miqvf.org
Missaukee County website »

Monroe County

106 E First Street
Monroe, Michigan
48161,

Phone: (734) 240-7020
Fmx: (734) 240-7045
Monroe County website »

Montcalm County

Administrative Building
211 W. Main St.
2nd Floor
Stanton, Michigan
48888,

Phone: (989) 831-7339
Montcalm County website »

Montmorency County

12265 M-32
Atlanta, Michigan
49709,
Phone: (989) 785-8022
Fax: (989) 785-8023
Montmorency County website »

Muskegon County

Muskegon County Clerk
990 Terrace Street, 1st floor
Vital Records Office
Muskegon, Michigan
49442,

Phone: (231) 724-6221
Muskegon County website »

Newaygo County

1087 Newell St
White Cloud, Michigan
49349,
Phone: (231) 689-7235
Fax: (231) 689-7241
E-mail: laurie@co.newaygo.mi.us
Newaygo County website »

Oakland County

1200 N. Telegraph
Building 12 East
Pontiac, Michigan
48341,
 
Phone: (248) 858-0581
E-mail: clerk@oakgov.com
Oakland County website »

Oceana County

100 S. State Street
Suite M-10
Hart, Michigan
49420,

Phone: (231) 873-3977
Fmx: (231) 873-1943
E-mail: readie@oceana.mi.us
Oceana County website »

Ogemaw County

Ogemaw County Clerk
806 West Houghton Ave - Room 101
West Branch, Michigan
48661,
Phone: (989) 345-0215
Fax: (989) 345-7223
E-mail: ogemawcoclerk@journey.com
Ogemaw County website »

Ontonagon County

Ontonagon County Clerk
725 Greenland Rd
Ontonagon, Michigan
49953,

Phone: (906) 884-4255
Fax: (906) 884-6796
Ontonagon County website »

Osceola County

301 W. Upton
Reed City, Michigan
49677,
Phone: (231) 832-3261
Osceola County website »

Oscoda County

311 S. Morenci St
Mio, Michigan
48647,
Phone: (989) 826-1110
Oscoda County website »

Otsego County

225 West Main St.
Gaylord, Michigan
49735,

Phone: (989) 731-7500
Fmx: (989) 731-7519
Otsego County website »

Ottawa County

12220 Fillmore Street
Room 130
West Olive, Michigan
49460,
Phone: (616) 994-4531
Fax: (616) 994-4538
E-mail: countyclerk@miottawa.org
Ottawa County website »

Presque Isle County

P.O. Box 110
Rogers City, Michigan
49779,

Phone: (989) 734-3288
alternate phone: (800) 334-5698
Presque Isle County website »

Roscommon County

500 Lake St.,
Roscommon, Michigan
48653,
Phone: (989) 275-5923
Fax: (989) 275-8640
Roscommon County website »

Saginaw County

111 S. Michigan Avenue, Room 101
Saginaw, Michigan
48602,
 
Phone: (989) 790-5251
E-mail: skaltenbach@saginawcounty.com
Saginaw County website »

Sanilac County

Courthouse, Room 203,
60 West Sanilac
Sandusky, Michigan
48471,

Phone: (810) 648-3212
alternate phone: ext. 8221
Fax: (810) 648-5466
E-mail: lkozfkay@voyager.net
Sanilac County website »

Schoolcraft County

300 Walnut Street, Room 164,
Manistique, Michigan
49854,

Phone: (906) 341-3618
Schoolcraft County website »

Shiawassee County

208 North Shiawassee Street
Corunna, Michigan
48817,

Phone: (989) 743-2242
Fax: (989) 743-2241
Shiawassee County website »

St. Clair County

St. Clair County Clerk
201 McMorran Blvd. Room 1100
Port Huron, Michigan
48060,
Phone: (810) 985-2200
Fax: (810) 985-4796
E-mail: mdunn@stclaircounty.org
St. Clair County website »

St. Joseph County

County Clerk's Office - General Division
125 W. Main St.
Historic Courthouse - Second Floor
Centreville, Michigan
49032,
Phone: (269) 467-5602
Fax: (269) 467-5596
St. Joseph County website »

Tuscola County

440 N State St
Caro, Michigan
48723,
Phone: (989) 672-3780
Tuscola County website »

Van Buren County

Van Buren County Clerk
212 E. Paw Paw Street
Courthouse Main Floor
Paw Paw, Michigan
49079,

Phone: (269) 657-8218 Ext 6
Fmx: (269) 657-8298
E-mail: learyt@vbco.org
Van Buren County website »

Washtenaw County

Clerk/Register of Deeds
200 N. Main
Ann Arbor, Michigan
48107,

Phone: (734) 222-6700
Fax: (734) 222-6528
Washtenaw County website »

Wayne County

Woodward Avenue, Rooms 201 Sz. 207
Detroit, Michigan
48226,

Phone: (313) 224-62622
Wayne County website »

Wexford County

County Clerk
437 East Division Street
Cadillac, Michigan
49601,
Phone: (231) 779-9450
Fmx: (231) 779-0447
Wexford County website »