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Colorado Wedding Laws

Written and updated for precision by the Colorado marriage law research team at GetOrdained™ on

With 58 mountain peaks soaring above 14,000 feet, Colorado has thousands of postcard-worthy vistas. Where the Great Plains turn into the majestic Rocky Mountains is an ideal place to hold an elegant or low-key marriage celebration. A marrying couple can also choose to wed in the exciting bustle of Denver, in the picturesque ski town of Steamboat Springs or somewhere along Colorado's vast acreage of prairies and grasslands. Whether you are planning to marry the love of your life or officiate a wedding, you must understand Colorado's unique marriage laws and requirements. This primer should help you ensure the ceremony and marriage are legally binding.

Getting Married in Colorado

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
Minister Required to be Present:
Number of Witnesses Required:
Min. Age of Witnesses:
Not Applicable
Couple's Consent Required:
Pronouncement Required:

The wedding ceremony can basically include anything the minister and couple want. For the ceremony to be legally binding, however, it must include a statement of each spouse's consent. The minister must also proclaim the couple to be married. Witnesses are not necessary. Unlike many other states, Colorado allows for marriage by proxy if one member of the couple is unavailable due to active military service. The county Clerk and Recorder or an attorney can better explain the ins and outs of by-proxy marriage in the Centennial State. After all, if a Universal Life Church minister or a couple plans to go through a by-proxy wedding, it is important to meet all related legal requirements.

Colorado Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
First Cousins
Marriage Equality:

Colorado has no residency requirement for marrying in the state. Therefore, either intending spouse may be from another state or even live outside the US. Still, to apply for a marriage license and wed in the Centennial State, one must be at least 18. Those between the ages of 16 and 18 may marry with a parent or guardian's consent or a judicial decree. While Colorado law permits first cousins to marry, any closer kin may not apply for a marriage license or marry within their borders. Additionally, as with other states, Colorado recognizes same-sex marriages. Therefore, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, a person who meets all other requirements may apply for a marriage license and marry in Colorado.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Colorado

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Online Ordination Recognized:
Relevant Office of Registration:
Office of Clerk and Recorder
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
After Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:

Colorado law allows ministers who receive the ordination online to conduct marriage ceremonies without any issue. A minister must be at least 18 but does not have to reside in Colorado. The Universal Life Church's Classic Wedding Package provides the necessary documentation, which the minister may or may not have to provide to the Clerk and Recorder after the marriage takes place. Therefore, it is important for the minister to carry a copy of all Universal Life Church ordination records.

Applying For a Marriage License in Colorado

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Mandatory Waiting Period:
License Valid For:
35 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 65 Days of Ceremony

When applying for a marriage license, the couple should request a license for a religious ceremony. This is true even if the ceremony has little or no religious aspects, as Universal Life Church officiants are ordained ministers. Once the couple obtains the marriage license, there is no waiting period, so the couple may marry immediately. Marriage licenses in Colorado are only good for up to 35 days, so advance planners should not apply too early. After completing the ceremony and signing the marriage certificate, it is critical to return the document to the Clerk and Recorder who issued it within 65 days.

How to Get a Colorado Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Colorado
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
Accepted I.D. Types:
Photo ID or Birth Certificate
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
Blood Test Required:

One member of the marrying couple must appear in person to apply for a marriage license. To do so, the individual goes to the Clerk and Recorder's Office in any of Colorado's 64 counties. The fee is $30. Regardless of which Clerk and Recorder issues the marriage license, it is valid to marry anywhere in Colorado. State law does not require marriage license applicants to provide prior divorce decrees or to submit the results of a blood test. Consequently, applying for a marriage license is usually a straightforward process.

Finalizing the Union

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

After finishing the marriage ceremony, the minister and the couple must complete and sign the marriage license. It is important to do so carefully and accurately, as mistakes or omissions may trigger additional fees and delays. Then, the minister or the couple must return the completed marriage license to the Clerk and Recorder who issued it within 65 days. Then, the Clerk and Recorder should provide the married couple with a marriage certificate. For Universal Life Church ministers, it is a good idea to keep a written record of all marriages performed, especially if the minister receives compensation. Ministers who perform wedding ceremonies in the Centennial State should also have a copy of their credentials to provide to the Clerk and Recorder upon request.

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