Delaware Marriage Laws

Written and edited for accuracy by the Delaware marriage law researchers at the Universal Life Church on

Delaware marriage laws and regulations governing the performance of marriages are unique to the state. We have gathered all the information you will need to get married in the state, or to perform a wedding in one convenient location for you. Our detailed guide has all of the rules and steps that need to be followed in Delaware to make sure any wedding performed is legally binding.

Requirements for the Couple

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
Second Cousins
Marriage Equality:

In Delaware, only adults 18 years of age or older can legally be issued a marriage license, and there are no exceptions.

You may be a resident of Delaware or be a resident from anywhere outside of the state and still be granted a marriage license. Even citizens of foreign countries may marry in Delaware.

Like all U.S. states, Delaware recognizes marriage equality so same-sex wedding may legally take place in the state.

Marriage License Requirements

Min. Age of Witnesses:
18 Years
Couple's Consent Required:
Pronouncement Required:

The couple must go in-person to the county clerk’s office to apply for the wedding license. They need to bring a government issued photo ID to show proof of age and identity at the time of application. They will also need to bring proof of a previous divorce if applicable. This means a certified legal copy of the divorce decree in most cases.

The cost of the license is $70 for residents of Delaware and $120 for out-of-state residents. Once issued, it may be used for a wedding that takes place in any county in the state.

States no longer require blood tests from the couple in order to obtain a marriage license.

Marriage License Facts

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Mandatory Waiting Period:
1 Day
License Valid For:
30 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 4 Days of Ceremony

If there is a choice for the couple between a marriage license for a “religious ceremony” and for a “civil ceremony”, make sure that the couple chooses the “religious ceremony”. Even if the wedding is not going to contain religious elements or any faith-based traditions, the distinction comes by the authority of the officiant.

A minister of the Universal Life Church is able to solemnize religious ceremonies based on their authority given by the church’s ordination. Alternatively, a civil ceremony would be a secular ceremony performed by a judge, notary, or some other type of civil celebrant.

There is a one day window from when the couple submits their application and when they are able to obtain the marriage license. In Delaware when the license is issued, it is valid for a period of 30 days. After the ceremony takes place, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office for filing within 4 days to be legally recorded.

Requirements for the Minister

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Credentials of Ministry
Online Ordination Recognized:
Relevant Office of Registration:
County Clerk
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
Before Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:

ULC ministers who are officiating weddings in Delaware must be 18 years of age. It does not matter where the minister is a resident, their gender, or what their faith is.

Ministers planning to perform a ceremony in Delaware must first register with the state. If the minister is a resident of Delaware they will be required to register in the county where they reside. If they are from anywhere out of state, they will need to register in the county where the wedding is going to physically take place.

The minister will be required to provide an ordination credential and may need to provide additional information or documents. As they are still in the process of implementing this registry, please reach out to the county office directly for more details. ULC ministers in Delaware who have performed weddings in there the past report that the Classic Wedding Package worked well for registration purposes.

The Clerk of the Peace maintains a publicly searchable statewide database of ministers who are registered. They will issue a license with a ministerial ID number to each applicant to the registry. The minister will need this registration ID to enter on any marriage licenses that they fill out, so they must register prior to solemnizing.

Wedding Ceremony Requirements

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
Minister Required to be Present:

It is essential that all legally relevant parties be present for the ceremony. This means the officiant, couple, and two witnesses age 18 or over must all be physically in the same place to sign the documents.

The ceremony may be styled and customized to the complete preference of the couple. The legally required portion of the ceremony that will need to be included somewhere is known as the couple’s consent and the pronouncement. The exact verbiage does not matter as long as both members of the couple verify that they consent to be married, commonly taking the form of an “I do” exchange. This needs to be followed by the minister pronouncing the couple married.

Final Steps

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

Once the wedding is over, the minister should oversee the final steps to ensure they are completed.

There is a section on the marriage license that needs to be filled in by the wedding officiant. In this section when they ask for the name, please give your legal name without any titles. They may have an additional section asking for title, which should be given as “minister”.

Make certain that the license is filled out correctly and fully by all parties. It can be costly and time consuming to try and fix mistakes, and a new license may need to be issued by the state in some cases.

In Delaware the license must be returned within 4 days of the wedding to the office that issued it.

We strongly suggest that any minister performing a wedding would keep accurate records of any ceremonies in their personal files. This is especially the case if they are monetarily compensated for any services.

Have a wonderful time! Weddings are some of the happiest celebrations and times of our lives and we hope that everyone involved gets to truly appreciate and soak in the joy of the day.

Interested in Performing a Delaware wedding?

Be a DE Wedding Officiant

Are you Considering Becoming a Minister in Delaware?

See the Steps to DE Ordination

Proceed to your Ordination Application

Become Ordained