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Frequently Asked Legal Questions

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32138 views   |   37   |   Last updated on Oct 26, 2023    Marriage Family Law

There is no requirement to have a wedding officiant’s license or to register as an officiant, but you must be qualified to conduct a marriage ceremony according to Texas law. 

Who can officiate a wedding?

Only certain persons may officiate a marriage ceremony. Texas Family Code Section 2.202 states who qualifies to perform weddings that are valid under Texas state law:

  • A licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest;
  • A Jewish rabbi;
  • A person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony; or
  • A current, former, or retired federal or state judge.

Do I need to register as an officiant?

No. You must be qualified to officiate a wedding according to Texas Family Code Section 2.202. There is no requirement to register with the state before you can perform the ceremony.

Can a friend officiate my wedding?

Only if they meet the requirements described above. Some people choose to become officers of a religious organization specifically for this purpose.

What if an unauthorized person conducts the ceremony?

Under Texas Family Code Section 2.302, the marriage is still valid if certain conditions are met:

  • There was a reasonable appearance of authority by the officiant;
  • At least one party to the marriage participated in the ceremony in good faith and that party treats the marriage as valid;
  • Neither party was a minor prohibited from getting married by law; and
  • Neither party committed bigamy under Texas Penal Code Section 25.01.

If an unauthorized person knowingly officiates the ceremony, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor or a third-degree felony. For more details, see Texas Family Code Section 2.202(c) and Section 2.202(d).

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