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Frequently Asked Legal Questions

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558 views   |   2   |   Last updated on Sep 15, 2020    Family Law Marriage

Section 2.202 of the Family Code sets out who is authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony:

Sec. 2.202. PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO CONDUCT CEREMONY. (a) The following persons are authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony:
  (1) a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest;
  (2) a Jewish rabbi;
  (3) a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony;
  (4) a justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of criminal appeals, justice of the courts of appeals, judge of the district, county, and probate courts, judge of the county courts at law, judge of the courts of domestic relations, judge of the juvenile courts, retired justice or judge of those courts, justice of the peace, retired justice of the peace, judge of a municipal court, retired judge of a municipal court, associate judge of a statutory probate court, retired associate judge of a statutory probate court, associate judge of a county court at law, retired associate judge of a county court at law, or judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state; and
  (5) a retired judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state.

Subsection (c) of that law states that “a person commits an offense if the person knowingly conducts a marriage ceremony without authorization under this section” and classifies the offense as a Class A misdemeanor.

Section 2.302 of the Family Code states that the “validity of a marriage is not affected by the lack of authority of the person conducting the marriage ceremony” if certain conditions are met, including that “there was a reasonable appearance of authority” by the officiant and “at least one party to the marriage participated in the ceremony in good faith and that party treats the marriage as valid”.

The laws regarding marriage ceremonies do not mention or require any registration. No state agency requires officiants to register before they can conduct a marriage ceremony. See the Conducting the Ceremony page of our Marriage in Texas guide for links to additional resources.

See more frequently asked questions about marriage in Texas, which includes a discussion of conducting a ceremony remotely using videoconferencing software like Skype or Zoom.

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