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Mississippi Wedding Laws

Mississippi is affectionately known as the Magnolia State and has a long, rich cultural history. Rooted in deep tradition, the state is one that is full of rules and regulations, especially when it comes to marriage. There are couples wanting to share forever together through marriage who need your help. You can best help them achieve that dream by getting familiar with the state’s unique laws. The Universal Life Church has created this easy-to-understand guide to help you as well as the celebrants make sure that the union is compliant with all state rules.

How to Become a Wedding Officiant in Mississippi

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Residency:
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Ordination Credential
Online Ordination Recognized:
Yes
Relevant Office of Registration:
Circuit Clerk
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
Before the Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:
No

As with other states, a marriage can be solemnized in Mississippi through civil- or religion-based marriage traditions, as per the preferences of the applicants.

The state recognizes the following persons as legally allowed to solemnize a union:

  • Pastors, rabbis and other clergy who are found to be in good standing with their specific religious organizations
  • Judges of all courts within the state, including the Supreme Court
  • Universal Life Church ministers

The latter are viewed as ordained ‘religious actors.’ Anyone can be ordained online with the ULC, irrespective of gender or religion/creed. As a ULC minister, you may be expected to furnish credentials to a circuit clerk beforehand, depending on the specific county where the ceremony will take place.

Getting Married in Mississippi

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
No
Minister Required to be Present:
Yes
Number of Witnesses Required:
None
Min. Age of Witnesses:
N/A
Couple's Consent Required:
Yes
Pronouncement Required:
Yes

In Mississippi, there are no specific rules with respect to the details of the ceremony, especially as they relate to religious or other cultural traditions. All wedding ceremonies must include a declaration of consent to marry from both members of the union in the presence of a legal officiant.

How to Get a Mississippi Marriage License

Who Picks Up License:
The Couple
Where License is Valid:
Any County in Mississippi
Marriage License Pick-Up:
In Person Only
Cost of License:
$38.00
Accepted I.D. Types:
Valid Official ID Showing Age
Proof of Divorce Required (If Applicable):
Varies by County
Blood Test Required:
No

Applicants wanting to marry in Mississippi must present themselves in front of a circuit court clerk in any county. The application should include names, ages and addresses for both applicants. For minors, names and addresses for parents or guardians must also be provided. It is the clerk’s responsibility to confirm information, so applicants should provide proof with a birth certificate, driver’s license, military ID, record of baptism or school record. Some jurisdictions may also require proof of divorce if either of the applicants were married before.

Once the information has been furnished to the clerk’s satisfaction, he or she will provide a marriage license and file a record with the State Board of Health’s Office of Vital Records. It costs $38 to secure a marriage license in Mississippi.

Applying For a Marriage License in Mississippi

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Religious
Mandatory Waiting Period:
None
License Valid For:
No Expiration
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 5 Days of Ceremony

Unlike many other states, there is no maximum time limit between issuance of the marriage license and the wedding ceremony. This is an advantage for couples who need more time to prepare for their wedding. On the other hand, the Magnolia State requires a copy of the marriage record to be returned within five days of the wedding. This record should be signed by both the officiant and the newlyweds.

Mississippi Marriage Requirements

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 21 or Age 17 with Guardian Consent
Residency:
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
Second Cousins
Marriage Equality:
Yes

Not one for conformity, Mississippi is the one state in which one must be at least 21 years old to consent to marriage. Exceptions to this rule vary based on the gender of the applicants. For men who are at least 17 and women who are at least 15, approval from parents or legal guardians must be provided to the circuit clerk.

LGBTQ+ couples are now permitted to marry given the US Supreme Court’s ruling in 2015; however, these gender-based provisions for minors must be adhered to.

The Magnolia State prohibits marriage between the following family relationships:

  • Siblings
  • First cousins
  • Sons, parents, grandparents, stepparents and aunts/uncles
  • Daughters and parents or grandparents

Interestingly enough, fathers are also forbidden from marrying the widows of their son. Marriages between a man and the children or grandchildren of his wife or any of his nephews and nieces is banned as well. The same rules are true for a woman and the same relationships.

Finalizing the Union

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

After an officiant has formally pronounced the couple as married spouses, he or she is responsible for making sure that the marriage certificate lists the date of the ceremony, pertinent info about the couple, the officiant’s title, the religious organization of ordainment (in your case, the Universal Life Church) and addresses of residence. Remember that it is your responsibility to make sure that the document is properly endorsed. You must remit the marriage license and certificate to the applicable clerk of issuance no later than five days after the ceremony.