Wedding Ceremony Requirements
- Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
- Minister Required to be Present:
In order for a marriage to be legally binding in the state of Kentucky, the ceremony must be performed by an authorized minister in the physical presence of both the couple and two adult witnesses. It’s also crucial that each member of the couple declare their formal intent to take each other as spouses, and that the minister then pronounce the couple married, for the marriage to be officially solemnized.
The person solemnizing the marriage or the clerk of the religious society before which it was solemnized shall within one (1) month return the license to the county clerk of the county in which it was issued, with a certificate of the marriage over his signature, giving the date and place of celebration and the names of at least two (2) of the persons present.
(2) At least two (2) persons, in addition to the parties and the person solemnizing the marriage, shall be present at every marriage.
Requirements for the Couple
- Min. Age of Couple:
- Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
- Not Required
- Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
- Second Cousins
- Marriage Equality:
The legal age to marry in Kentucky stands at 18. Persons aged 16 and 17 require the written consent of a parent or legal guardian. Any minor 15 or younger can only request a judge’s permission to be granted a marriage license if they are pregnant.
Kentucky also prohibits the marriage of any person deemed mentally disabled by a court, that still has a living husband or wife they didn’t officially divorce, or who is nearer to kin to the person they’re looking to marry than second cousins, whether by the whole or half blood. Although state laws technically bar members of the same sex from getting married in the same section, this is in contravention to recent federal laws on marriage equality reinforced by the US Supreme Court and are therefore irrelevant.
§402.020 Other prohibited marriages.
(1) Marriage is prohibited and void:
(a) With a person who has been adjudged mentally disabled by a court of
(b) Where there is a husband or wife living, from whom the person marrying has
not been divorced;
(c) When not solemnized or contracted in the presence of an authorized person or
(d) Between members of the same sex;
(e) Between more than two (2) persons; and
(f) Except as provided in KRS 402.210, with a person who at the time of
marriage is under eighteen (18) years of age.
(1) No marriage shall be contracted between persons who are nearer of kin to each other by consanguinity, whether of the whole or half-blood, than second cousins. (2) Marriages prohibited by subsection (1) of this section are incestuous and void.
Requirements for the Minister
- Min. Age of Minister:
- Age 18
- Not Required
- Document(s) Required:
- Varies by County
- Online Ordination Recognized:
- Relevant Office of Registration:
- County Clerk
- Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
- Varies by County
- Minister I.D. # Issued:
Among the list of officials authorized to solemnize weddings in the state of Kentucky are justices and judges (either serving or retired who haven’t been removed or convicted of a felony), ministers of the gospel or priests of any denomination in regular communion with their religious societies, or those religious societies without an officiating minister or priest who perform marriages in the presence of their members.
As religious actors, ministers ordained online by the Universal Life Church may need to present their credentials and a letter of good standing to the clerk, either before or after the ceremony, depending on the county where the ceremony will take place.
(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.
Marriage License Facts
- ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
- Mandatory Waiting Period:
- License Valid For:
- 30 Days
- License Must Be Submitted:
- By Expiration
A Kentucky marriage license is valid in any county in the state for a period of 30 days. Regardless of where it is issued, that license must be uniform in the information it provides, and must be returned to the same clerk who issued it before it expires.
§ 402.105 A marriage license shall be valid for thirty (30) days, including the date it is issued, and after that time it shall be invalid.
§ 402.110 The form of marriage license prescribed in KRS 402.100 shall be uniform throughout this state, and every license blank shall contain the identical words and figures provided in the form prescribed by that section. In issuing the license the clerk shall deliver it in its entirety to the licensee. The clerk shall see to it that every blank space required to be filled by the applicants is so filled before delivering it to the licensee.
Marriage License Requirements
No one can legally marry in the state of Kentucky without a marriage license. Both parties of the couple must present themselves before a county clerk, and specifically in the county in which the female resides in the event she is less than 18 years old. Please note that certain counties will not accept a passport as valid ID, while others may require divorce documents to verify any person is free to remarry.
The fee for a marriage license can run as high as $50 in Jefferson County.
No marriage shall be solemnized without a license therefor. The license shall be issued by the clerk of the county in which the female resides at the time, unless the female is eighteen (18) years of age or over or a widow, and the license is issued on her application in person or by writing signed by her, in which case it may be issued by any county clerk.
- Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
- Church/Ordaining Body:
- Universal Life Church Ministries
- Address of Church:
- Minister's Home Address
It is the minister’s job to fill in the marriage certificate: to record the date when the ceremony took place, the name of the couple and the witnesses, as well as to ensure their own name, title and religious society (the Universal Life Church, in this case) are included before it is returned to the county clerk before its 30-day expiration.
The certificate shall be filed in the county clerk's office. The county clerk shall keep in a record book a fair register of the parties' names, the person by whom, or the religious society by which, the marriage was solemnized, the date when the marriage was solemnized, and shall keep an index to the book in which the register is made.