New Hampshire Marriage Laws

Created and reviewed for accuracy by researchers at the Universal Life Church Ministries
New Hampshire 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 Hampshire. Ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church have successfully performed thousands of legal marriages in New Hampshire. 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 Hampshire.

Quick Facts
  • ULC Ordination Accepted: Yes
  • Minister Registration Required: Sometimes
  • Minister's Residency: Relevant
  • Minister's Minimum Age: 18
  • Marriage License Waiting Period: 0 Days
  • Marriage License Valid For: 90 Days
  • Marriage License Return Within: By Expiration

1 How to Become an Ordained Minister in New Hampshire

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 How to Officiate a Marriage in New Hampshire

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

Select a county

New Hampshire's Top Wedding Spot

New Hampshire's Top Wedding Spot

Mount Washington Valley's Brass Heart Inn set on a 1746 colonial-era farm

3 License to Marry in New Hampshire

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 Hampshire to get an Ordination Package. Minister registration is 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 3 weeks between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials in advance.

Officiating a wedding in New Hampshire is fairly straightforward. Thousands of Universal LIfe Church ministers have successfully solemnized marriage in the state. Simply follow the instructions provided to you by the county clerk using the documents provided by the Universal Life Church and you'll be fine.

4 How to Perform a Wedding in New Hampshire

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 Hampshire marriage license from the appropriate office. This license is valid for 90 days, and there is no 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 Hampshire, 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 Hampshire 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.

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New Hampshire Marriage Code

Marriage in New Hampshire is governed by Chapter 457 of Title 43 of the New Hampshire statutes. Ministers ordained online with the Universal Life Church, in addition to a select group of other individuals, are legally permitted to perform marriage in the state. Below, you will find that we have reproduced one portion of this code.
457:31 Solemnization of Marriage. " A marriage may be solemnized in the following manner:

I. In a civil ceremony by a justice of the peace as commissioned by the state, by a state supreme court justice, superior court judge, or circuit court judge, and by judges of the United States appointed pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution, by bankruptcy judges appointed pursuant to Article I of the United States Constitution, or by United States magistrate judges appointed pursuant to federal law; or

II. In a religious ceremony by any minister of the gospel in the state who has been ordained according to the usage of his or her denomination, resides in the state, and is in regular standing with the denomination; by any member of the clergy who is not ordained but is engaged in the service of the religious body to which he or she belongs, and who resides in the state, after being licensed therefor by the secretary of state; or within his or her parish, by any minister residing out of the state, but having a pastoral charge wholly or partly in this state.

View the New Hampshire Statutes on the official state site
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Belknap County

64 Court Street
Laconia, New Hampshire

Phone: (603) 527-5420
Fax: (603) 527-5429
Belknap County website »

Carroll County

95 Water Village Rd
Ossipee, New Hampshire

Phone: (603) 539-4872
Carroll County website »

Cheshire County

33 West St.
Keene, New Hampshire

Phone: (603) 352-0403
Fax: (603) 352-7678
Cheshire County website »

Coos County

55 School Street, Suite 103
Lancaster, New Hampshire

Phone: (603) 788-2392
Fax: (603) 788-4291
Coos County website »

Grafton County

3855 Dartmouth College Highway - Box 4
North Haverhill, New Hampshire

Phone: (603) 787-6921
Fax: (603) 787-2363
Grafton County website »

Hillsborough County

19 Temple Street
Nashua, New Hampshire

Phone: (603) 882-6933
Fax: (603) 882-7527
Hillsborough County website »

Merrimack County

163 N. Main St., P.O. Box 248
Concord, New Hampshire

Phone: (603) 228-0101
Fax: (603) 226-0868
Merrimack County website »

Rockingham County

Your Town Hall
Kingston, New Hampshire

Phone: (603) 642-5526
Fax: (603) 642-5930
Rockingham County website »

Strafford County

259 County Farm Road, Suite 202
Dover, New Hampshire

Phone: (603) 742-1741
Fax: (603) 749-5130
Strafford County website »

Sullivan County

Your Town Hall
Newport, New Hampshire

Phone: (603) 863-2110
Fax: (603) 863-0013
Sullivan County website »