How to Perform a Wedding in New Jersey

Created and reviewed for accuracy by researchers at the Universal Life Church Ministries

New Jersey Outline

Congratulations! If you've found yourself at this page it is likely that you are either planning to be married or have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in New Jersey. Ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in New Jersey. The information provided below will walk you through the steps one must follow to become a minister and perform a valid wedding ceremony in the state of New Jersey.

Quick Facts
  • ULC Ordination Accepted: Yes
  • Minister Registration Required: Sometimes
  • Minister's Residency: Irrelevant
  • Minister's Minimum Age: 18
  •  
  • Marriage License Waiting Period: 3 Days
  • Marriage License Valid For: 30 Days
  • Marriage License Return Within: By Expiration

1 How to Become an Ordained Minister in New Jersey

If you haven't already, you should get ordained online with the Universal Life Church. Ordination is free and can be completed in just a matter of minutes. Thousands of legally valid marriages are performed by ULC ministers around the world every year. Begin the process by clicking the big blue button below!

2 Officiating a Wedding in New Jersey

Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk). Let them know that you are a minister of the Universal Life Church in Seattle, and ask what they will require of you to officiate a legal marriage.

Select your County Clerk to quickly generate the contact information for your local marriage authority.



Select a county contact

New Jersey's Top Wedding Spot

New Jersey's Top Wedding Spot

Cape May, where venues include the town's Victorian gazebo and bed-and-breakfasts like Hotel Macomber

3 License to Marry in New Jersey

After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our online store to purchase whatever documentation will be required. We typically advise ministers in New Jersey to get an Ordination Package. Minister registration may be required for ministers who are not residents of the state, but even if you are a resident you may be asked to display proof of your ordination. Additionally, please attempt to leave at least 30 days between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials in advance.

Please note that while minister registration is not codified statewide, we often hear from ULC Ministers and wedding officiants in New Jersey that they are asked by clerks in some counties to display proof of their ordination. The documents included in the Ordination Package should provide sufficient proof for any inquiring marriage authority.

4 How to get Married in New Jersey

Now that you've done all of the above, you are ready to perform the wedding! Be sure that the couple has picked up their New Jersey marriage license from the appropriate office. This license is valid for 30 days, and there is a 3-day waiting period between when the couple picks up the marriage license and when the ceremony may legally be conducted. The signed license must be returned to the issuing office by its date of expiry.

At the Universal Life Church we receive several calls from wedding officiants in New Jersey, after they've received their license to marry by getting ordained online, asking for guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony. Once the legal matters have been taken care of, officiating a wedding (while a sometimes-daunting task) can be a great deal of fun. We would suggest that new New Jersey wedding ministers concerned about the ceremony peruse one of our helpful wedding guides. The minister training section of our website should offer a helpful refresher for more experienced ministers.

5 How to Plan a Wedding in New Jersey

Have you been asked to officiate a wedding in New Jersey? If so, there are some things to take into account before you perform a marriage in the Garden State. The first thing to consider is the season that the wedding will be held in. The most popular season is the autumn, with nearly half of all ceremonies in the state taking place during. With a number of distinct climates throughout the state, you may encounter a hot summer rain storm or cold winter snows. Fall tends to be the driest season, hence its popularity, but the unique regions of New Jersey will lend itself to unpredictable weather so make sure you prepare for any eventuality. People are often curious how much a wedding minister should charge in New Jersey, but the truth is there’s no simple answer – fees can vary widely based on experience level, amount of involvement, and other responsibilities the couple might need covered. New Jersey has the highest average cost of a wedding ceremony in the United States at $36,700 per ceremony, with northern and central New Jersey ceremonies being significantly more expensive than those held in the south – so you will need to consider the couple’s financial commitments when setting a price for your services.


New Jersey Flag

New Jersey Marriage Code

Marriage laws in New Jersey are primarily directed by Title 37 of the New Jersey statutes, which defines the persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of New Jersey. This includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced a portion of this code below.

37:1-13 Authorization to solemnize marriages 37:1-13. Each judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, each judge of a federal district court, United States magistrate, judge of a municipal court, judge of the Superior Court, judge of a tax court, retired judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court, or judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court, the former County Court, the former County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, or the former County District Court who has resigned in good standing, surrogate of any county, county clerk and any mayor or the deputy mayor when authorized by the mayor, or chairman of any township committee or village president of this State, and every minister of every religion, are hereby authorized to solemnize marriage between such persons as may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation; and every religious society, institution or organization in this State may join together in marriage such persons according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization. View the New Jersey Statutes on the official state site.

To view the in-depth wedding laws for New Jersey state:

New Jersey Marriage Laws
⇓ Show the rest

Atlantic County

1301 Bacharch Blvd. Room 105
Atlantic City, New Jersey
08401

Phone: (609) 347-5410
Atlantic County website »

Bergen County

One Bergen County Plaza
Hackensack, New Jersey
07601

Phone: (201) 336-7000
Fax: (201) 336-7002
Bergen County website »

Burlington County

50 Rancocas Road, 3rd Floor
Mount Holly, New Jersey
08060

Phone: (609) 265-5122
Fax: (609) 265-0696
Burlington County website »

Camden County

520 Market Street City Hall, Room 103
Camden, New Jersey

Phone: (856) 757-7087
Camden County website »

Cape May County

9 North Main Street
Cape May, New Jersey

Phone: (609) 465-1010
Cape May County website »

Cumberland County

60 W. Broad Street
Bridgeton, New Jersey

Phone: (856) 453-4860
Fax: (856) 455-1410
Cumberland County website »

Essex County

465 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., Room 246
Newark, New Jersey

Phone: (973) 621-4921
Essex County website »

Gloucester County

1 North Broad Street
Woodbury, New Jersey

Phone: (856) 853-3237
Fax: (856) 853-3327
Gloucester County website »

Hudson County

257 Cornelison Ave., 4th Floor
Jersey City, New Jersey
07302

Phone: (201) 369-3470
Hudson County website »

Hunterdon County

71 Main Street
Flemington, New Jersey

Phone: (908) 788-1221
Fax: (908) 782-4068
Hunterdon County website »

Mercer County

640 South Broad Street
Trenton, New Jersey

Phone: (609) 989-6998
Mercer County website »

Middlesex County

75 Bayard Street
New Brunswick, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 745-3827
Fax: (732) 745-3642
Middlesex County website »

Monmouth County

33 Mechanic Street
Freehold, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 431-7324
Monmouth County website »

Morris County

10 Court Street
Morristown, New Jersey

Phone: (973) 285-6120
Morris County website »

Ocean County

118 Washington Street
Toms River, New Jersey
08754

Phone: (732) 929-2018
Fax: (732) 349-4336
Ocean County website »

Passaic County

401 Grand St.
Paterson, New Jersey
07505

Phone: (973) 225-3690
Fax: (973) 754-1920
Passaic County website »

Salem County

110 Fifth St., Suite 200
Salem, New Jersey
08079

Phone: (856) 935-7510
Salem County website »

Somerset County

140 East Front Street
Trenton, New Jersey
08876

Phone: (609) 292-4087 - New Jersey DOH
Fax: (908) 575-3930
Somerset County website »

Sussex County

83 Spring St., Suite 304
Newton, New Jersey

Phone: (973) 579-0900
Fax: (973) 383-7493
Sussex County website »

Union County

2 Broad Street
Elizabeth, New Jersey
07207

Phone: (908) 527-4787
Union County website »

Warren County

413 2nd St #1
Belvidere, New Jersey

Phone: (908) 475-6211
Fax: (908) 475-6208
Warren County website »