1. How to Become a Minister in Dakota County

Before you do anything, your first move will be to become ordained (in case you haven't already done so). How does it work? Get Ordained™ offers legal ordination via the Universal Life Church, and the process is completely free. The ULC welcomes anyone who feels called to ministry, and does not discriminate based on identity, creed, or any other characteristics. You can become ordained online in just a few minutes, right from your device. With this important step complete, you'll have the power to officiate legal weddings! To start the application, follow the link below.

Important Info for Ministers in Dakota County

ULC Ordination Accepted:
Minister Registration Required:
Documents Required:
Minister's Residency:
Minister's Minimum Age:

2. Learn Dakota County Marriage Requirements

Your next action item is to contact the office in charge of issuing marriage licenses in Dakota County. Politely explain that you're an ordained minister planning to perform a wedding ceremony in their jurisdiction, and you'd like to know what credentials or official documents you need to show prior to officiating. Below you'll see contact information for this office in Dakota County.

Office Address:
1590 West Highway 55 floor 2
Hastings, MN 55033
Office Phone Number:
(651) 438-4313

3. Who Can Officiate a Wedding in Dakota County?

How about you! (Once you are ordained, of course). Weddings have a reputation for being pretty spendy, and couples are always looking for ways to reduce costs. One way to do that, while also injecting extra meaning to the proceedings, is by selecting someone they know personally to officiate. This could be a friend, a loved one, or even a mentor.

Regardless of your relationship to the couple, being asked to officiate is a tremendous honor. It shows that the couple has deep trust in you, and that they find confidence in having you standing alongside them on the big day. It's worth noting, however, that not everyone planning a wedding knows this is an option! If you are close to an engaged couple, you could always present the idea of you becoming ordained and officiating, just in case it hadn't occurred to them.

Average Cost of a Wedding in Dakota County:

4. What You'll Need to Officiate in Dakota County

After contacting the Dakota County office that handles marriages, you should have a solid idea of what you will need to order from our website. Based on conversations with our ministers in Dakota County, the Ordination Kit is the most popular option. However, your selection may depend on the specific requirements for officiating in your area.

Once you receive the items you need, you'll be ready to officially perform the wedding! If it's your first time officiating, (or even if it's not!) we'd encourage you to visit our wedding training center, which features a suite of resources and tools you may find helpful when preparing for the ceremony.

5. How Dakota County Marriage Licenses Work

Once you finish the ceremony, your final (and most crucial) responsibility is to correctly fill out and return the marriage license. A Dakota County marriage license is valid for 6 months, and after the document has been issued, there is no mandatory waiting period before the marriage can take place. Please note that a marriage license in Dakota County must be returned to its issuing office before it expires.

Remember that this is a legal document, so always double-check all fields have been properly completed before returning it. The license itself can be a bit confusing, so if you need tips for how to fill out a marriage license, please check out our marriage license training page.

Marriage License Waiting Period:
0 Days
Marriage License Valid For:
6 Months
Return Within:
5 Days

6. Performing a Wedding in Dakota County

Dakota County may not be the largest in Minnesota, but it could be a serious contender for most beautiful. Whether you're enjoying the sound of Vermillion Falls at the banks of the river in Hastings, or simply enjoying the sprawling gentle hills and prairie lands around Lakeville, there's something for everyone to enjoy. If couples are making plans for a Minnesota wedding, they certainly can't go wrong in Dakota County.

7. What You Should Do Now for a Wedding in Dakota County

Dakota County enjoys comfortably warm but somewhat humid summers; while it's great to visit year-round, remember to dress warm for weddings in the winter months.

Well that about does it! You are now an expert on Dakota County weddings! Even if your ceremony isn't for a while, a friendly reminder that it's never too early to become a minister (ordination is good for life, after all). Go ahead and click the button below to get started.

Once you've completed this all-important step, performing a legal wedding ceremony in Dakota County will be within your reach!