Booking a wedding date

Whether you are getting married right away or planning for a future date, I always recommend to couples that they schedule their preferred wedding date on my calendar as soon as they know what it is. You may want to get married on a specific, special day, or have future commitments or travel planned.

While I always try to accommodate requests for certain days or times, the only way to guarantee your preferred time and date is to be sure to book it as soon as you know what it is. Holidays and weekends are popular and may fill up, and I also have personal time commitments where I will be unavailable. Last-minute elopements are welcome!

Getting the marriage license

The Utah County Clerk’s website has a FAQ section which tells you all about how to get married with online ceremonies. You may wish to visit these pages before beginning your journey here. I have tried to simplify some of the info and provide answers to questions that couples often ask.

You will both fill in the license information.
One person can start the process and then enter the other person’s email. Both members of the couple will be able to see the entire process. The information can be filled in any order, and can be filled independently by each person using the link provided when you initiate the application and verify your email address. Both members of the couple must use their own separate email address.

You will be required to complete the ID verification.
If you are entering your application information on a desktop, you will be asked to use a mobile device to complete the identity verification step. Using a mobile device, you will use your device’s camera to take the photos live. Only the identity step requires you to use a mobile device. All other steps can be completed on either a mobile device or on a computer or tablet.

Each person must show the front and back of an official government issued identification document such as a passport or drivers license as well as taking a current selfie during the application process which is used to match you to the identification.

If you have problems uploading your documents or photos, don’t worry! – Just fill out the Manual Identity Verification request and they will attend to the issue when their offices are open. It can take up to three business days to complete this request. This verification process is a live capture of your identity documents as well as the reading of a statement (the verification affidavit).

Bright but even lighting without harsh shadows and using a mobile device with a high resolution camera can help this process.

You must read the affidavit text in English, so non-native English speakers may wish to practice reciting the affidavit phonetically.

Affidavit text – “I am (state your full name as it appears on your ID). My date of birth is (month – day – year). I am applying for a marriage license to marry (state their full name). I have captured images of my government ID showing my correct legal name and date of birth.”

You must pay for the completed license.
Most couples pay $71.75 for the license. ($70 fee + $1.75 card surcharge) Basic USPS shipping within the US is free, but US customers can also request expedited or overnight shipping. International shipping fees vary by country and region. If you are shipping your document internationally, they also charge a $15 processing fee in addition to the shipping and other document fees. The Utah County Clerk has posted a complete table of shipping fees on their website.

The $20 discount for attending marriage counseling is optional, but be aware that completing the course and obtaining the certificate to get the discount can take a few days, and may add unwanted delays to getting the license.

The wedding license fee covers BOTH individuals in the couple, you need only pay once.

You will both get an email with your license from Utah County with the subject line beginning: “Completed! You have been issued Utah County Marriage License #” (be sure to check spam folders or junk mail if you don’t see it).

Forward this email to me when you get it. You can also send the license to me during the application process or afterward using the button embedded into the license email. My email is license () (Note, the .online replaces .com in this email address)

If you have any problems at all with this process please contact Utah County for help – they are great at customer service and very responsive.

Utah County Clerk / Auditor – Marriage License Office
Marriage Clerks: 801.851.8108
Marriage Supervisor: 801.851.8226
Hours of Operation:  Mon-Fri: 8:00 am to 7:30 pm, Sat: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm (Mountain Time)

Cost – $71.75 per couple for a Utah County marriage license, with additional fees based on final certificate shipping address. These fees can vary from the most expensive ($120) to least ($0 – USPS) based on country or area.

“Utah is a Destination Wedding Hot Spot, No Travel Required”

– New York Times, Sept. 17, 2021

From the website of the Utah County Clerk –

“All certificates of completed marriages issued and certified by Utah county have gone through all three of these steps:

  • The couple has legally applied for and been issued a marriage license
  • A valid wedding ceremony within the state has taken place
  • The marriage has been registered with the county

Any couple with certified copy of their marriage certificate has been legally married according to Utah law and the laws of the United States.”

In essence, this means that the marriage is valid according to both state and federal laws in the United States. Using a Utah County marriage license over a video conference wedding is NOT a proxy marriage. It is a real, valid marriage ceremony just as if you appeared before me in person.

The Utah County marriage certificate may be recognized by most countries, as subject to local laws and membership in the Hague Convention. Thus, I can perform an online ceremony for any couple, but legality outside the US may or may not be accepted. Please contact a local immigration specialist or attorney if you are concerned about legality in your country.

What about international couples?

I will preface all of this by saying I am not an immigration attorney and any questions about the legality in your specific country should be answered by someone specializing in that area.

For US based immigration – Rev. Heron recommends contacting Megan Pastrana at Immigration For Couples . She also has extensive blog posts, a podcast interviewing various experts (including Rev. Heron) videos, and online resources for those needing to do research.

For couples in Israel Natalie El Al and her law firm staff have extensive knowledge of how to register your marriage there, and speak several languages including Hebrew and Russian.

However, in general this new way of getting married online is being treated just as if the couple had traveled to another country, in this case the United States, gotten married there, and then traveled to one or the other’s country afterward. Because it is such a new way of getting married, and since much of the globe may still be subject to border or other restrictions, there may be exceptions being made that have not been in the past, or legal questions that are still under review in some areas.

Do I need an Apostille?

If you are using your wedding certificate outside the US, you almost certainly will need one. Although many countries honor the Hague Convention Instrument, acceptance is not guaranteed. You may need to research the procedures required to present a foreign marriage certificate for the country you wish to use it in, before ordering an apostille.

Again quoting from the Utah County Clerk’s website –

Most countries recognize marriages solemnized in other countries, but that is a question for the individual country. However, when recognizing a certified legal document from another country additional authentication may be required. One form of additional certification is called an apostille. The government agency that provides apostilles for Utah marriage licenses is the Utah Lt. Governor’s office. Additional information at:”

The process to request an Apostille is not digital at this time. I have tried to take this information and distill it into concrete steps to follow.

Please see my pages How to Apostille your Utah Wedding Certificate or Ordering your Apostille Step-by-Step

Here are a few articles I have found about couples using Utah Online Weddings to get married:

Couple become the first in the world to get legally married over Zoom while in different countries

Utah Online Weddings – Australian Government Feedback

Online Weddings – Australian and Philippines Weddings

Do we have to be together, or in the US?

No, you can be located anywhere. Both members of the couple can be located in different countries. You do not need to be a US citizen to use this service. The witnesses can also attend from other locations. However, wedding party participants (the couple and the witnesses) MUST all have a stable connection to the internet and be able to join the conference from a device that supports both video and audio. Please test your equipment prior to the ceremony.

The key to the Online Weddings magic is that the officiant MUST be physically located in the state of Utah and must be the host of the online conference.

If you are intending to marry for immigration purposes, please note that most international laws require the couple to physically consummate the marriage at some point after the ceremony. (Disclaimer: I am not an immigration lawyer, but there are a lot of smart people who are much more informed about these things that you can contact to ask.)

“Utah Marriage over Zoom is Valid for Immigration Purposes”

– Chodorow Immigration Law, Sept. 23, 2021

When Proxy or Skype Marriages are valid for Green Card purposes

Zoom weddings for partners living in different countries

How does it all work?

The step-by-step requirements to fulfill an online wedding are as follows:

  • One person MUST be located geographically in Utah (that’s me!). Be wary of sites advertising online weddings that do not have a Utah-based officiant. The Utah County Clerks office has begun verifying Utah residency for their approved remote wedding officiants. Ask to see their “Utah County Designee Officiant” certificate (here’s mine) which is issued only to their vetted officiants.
  • The couple books an appointment for an online wedding with me.
  • My system will automatically generate a Zoom conference and that is included in your booking appointment.
  • The couple MUST obtain their license ONLY from the Utah County Clerk.
  • The couple MUST send the officiant (forward to me) via email the link to the wedding license from the Utah County Clerk. The ceremony will not begin until I have this link available.
  • The couple MUST provide two witnesses over the age of 18 and they need to be able to tell me their full legal names. It is not necessary for them to speak English.
  • If the couple needs to hire witnesses due to privacy, logistical or other concerns, please see my page about hiring professional wedding witnesses from Online Wedding Witnesses.
  • ALL wedding party participants MUST be visible and audible to begin the conference. This refers only to the couple and their legal witnesses. The ceremony can be streamed to non-participating wedding guests that do not appear on-camera. You can invite guests – 50 streams for a Simple wedding and 90 streams for a Custom ceremony.
  • The persons getting married will answer in turn when I ask the question “Do you ________ come here of your own free will and accord to be joined in marriage to _____” (This is the “I Do” part) PLEASE NOTE – It is very important that when you are asked this question, that you answer in the affirmative. DO NOT JOKE or PAUSE, AND SAY NO, NAH, or MAYBE, or even pretend to want to say no or have any doubt about it. Doing this will end the ceremony immediately. If there is any doubt that a participant is under duress to marry, then I cannot proceed. Both participants MUST say “I do”, “Yes” or some other appropriate affirmative during this part.
  • Following the ceremony, I will fill in the wedding license affirmations stating the location and witness names.
  • Once the license has been registered, a digital copy will be sent via email from the Utah County Clerk. This does not come from me, it is issued by the government of Utah County.
  • After the ceremony is completed and your license recorded, you will also be sent an original paper certified copy within 1-3 weeks, depending on US or international shipping times.
  • Once you have your certified wedding license via email, you can then proceed to request an apostille if necessary or begin any needed document change.

How do I get a certified copy of the license?

To be clear – the PDF that the couple will get via email and following the license being submitted to the Utah County Clerk is a fully valid and certified copy that can printed by you and can be used for various legal purposes (excepting getting the apostille). However, the couple will also receive one certified paper copy of their license from the Utah County Clerk as part of their initial application. This paper license has a stamp and signature on the back of the license and an embossed seal on the front, but is just as official as the certificate that you will receive via email for most purposes. You may request additional paper copies as needed. I do not have the authority to issue licenses, my role is only to verify and attest that the wedding has been performed according to Utah county and state law.

If the couple needs additional authentication of the license (an apostille) for international law, you can read all about how to apostille your Utah Wedding Certificate.

TL;DR – what I can and can’t do for you

I can: Officiate a legal wedding as per the laws of Utah County and the United States, and include anything in the wedding service that you would like to have in it, such as participation with family members or other requests. I can digitally sign the official certificate form and verify that you and your witnesses are present in the call and over the age of 18. I can perform a destination wedding at nearly any location within the geographical boundaries of the state of Utah.

I cannot: Provide a wedding license or assist in obtaining one, provide an apostille, answer legal questions about immigration or visa processes in any country, or change anything on your wedding license before or after you apply for it.