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Kentucky Wedding Laws

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

Planning to tie the knot in Kentucky? You have lots of scenic and historic venues to choose from. From charming picturesque barns to Churchill Downs, the Bluegrass State has much to offer for the soon-to-be-wed. But before you race to book your big day, you should know the state’s marriage laws. With this helpful guide from the Universal Life Church, you’ll learn how to apply for a Kentucky marriage license. We also explain requirements for your ceremony, officiant, and other details. You’ll cross the finish line with confidence, knowing your marriage is legal and valid.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Kentucky

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

Both religious clergy and secular officials may solemnize weddings in Kentucky. Secular officiants include currently serving and retired justices and judges. Ordained clergy must be in regular communion and good standing with their religious organizations.

Universal Life Church ministers are considered religious actors. Therefore, they’re permitted to perform marriages in Kentucky. Officiants do not have to register with any government office. However, ULC ministers should have their credentials and letters of good standing just in case they’re asked to present them. Also, officiants do not need to be Kentucky residents to solemnize weddings within the state.

Getting Married in Kentucky

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
Minister Required to be Present:
Number of Witnesses Required:
Min. Age of Witnesses:
Couple's Consent Required:
Pronouncement Required:

Like many states, Kentucky has a few specific requirements for wedding ceremonies. First, an authorized minister must perform the ceremony. The officiant, the couple, and two adult witnesses must be physically present. Proxy marriages are not legal in the state of Kentucky.

While couples can personalize their wedding ceremonies, the vows must contain certain language to make the marriage legally binding. Each half of the couple must formally declare consent to marrying the other. The marriage is officially solemnized once the officiant pronounces the couple as legally married.

How to Get a Kentucky Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Kentucky
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
Accepted I.D. Types:
Government Issued ID
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
Varies by County
Blood Test Required:

To get married in Kentucky, you must obtain a marriage license. You and your spouse-to-be will need to visit a county clerk’s office to apply for your license. There are no residency requirements to marry within the state. Also, you may obtain your license in one county and marry in another.

When applying for a license, both of you must bring proper documentation. This includes a valid government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, state ID, or passport. Depending on the county, you may need additional documents such as divorce decrees from prior marriages. License fees vary by county, but they usually range between $35 and $50.

Applying For a Marriage License in Kentucky

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Mandatory Waiting Period:
License Valid For:
30 Days
License Must Be Submitted:
By Expiration

Once a Kentucky marriage license has been issued, it is valid for 30 days. Before it expires, your license must have all fields completed and be returned to the office of the issuing county clerk.

Kentucky Marriage Requirements

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

Almost anyone aged 18 or older can get married in Kentucky. There are a few exceptions, however. Those judged to be mentally disabled by a court cannot marry. If you have a former spouse that’s still living, you must have obtained an official divorce. You also cannot marry anyone closer to you than a second cousin, whether by whole or half-blood.

Kentucky has different rules for minors who want to marry. Those aged 16 or 17 must get written consent from a parent or legal guardian. Minors age 15 or younger may marry only if they are pregnant. Even then, they must obtain permission from a judge.

State laws previously prohibited same-sex couples from getting married. These statutes were rendered obsolete by the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision on June 26, 2015.

Finalizing the Union

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

Once a wedding ceremony is over, the officiant’s work is almost done. Completing the marriage certificate is the last step. The minister must fill in the ceremony’s date, the couple’s names, and the names of the two witnesses. The certificate must also bear the name, title, and religious society of the officiant. ULC ministers should use “Universal Life Church” as their ordaining body. Finally, the minister must return the certificate to the issuing clerk before its 30-day expiration.

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