Ceremonies & Officials

Once you have obtained your marriage license, your marriage must be solemnized (performing a ceremony such as a wedding), and then your marriage application and certificate must be recorded with the Clerk and Recorder.

A marriage may be solemnized by a member of a clergy recognized by a religious denomination, a judge of a court, a retired judge, a court magistrate, a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, or a Native American tribal official. Colorado law does not allow a friend or relative to solemnize a marriage (sign the certificate as officiant) unless they are qualified as a wedding officiant. Alternatively, you and your intended spouse may solemnize your own marriage (see below for more detail on self solemnization). Clergy from out of state do not need to be registered in Colorado to perform a wedding.

The solemnizing official will complete your marriage certificate, attesting that your marriage solemnization has been performed lawfully. (Note: The marriage license and marriage certificate are two distinct instruments that appear on the single form. Please do not separate them.)

Marriage By Proxy
If you or your intended spouse is unable be present at the solemnization, the absent party may authorize a third person to act as proxy. You can find a Marriage Ceremony Proxy Power of Attorney form for this purpose on our Forms page.

Self Solemnization

Colorado law allows couples to self solemnize, or perform their own marriage (C.R.S. §14-2-109(1)). To do this, a couple need only indicate such on the marriage certificate form on the third line, indicating "themselves." The couple must both sign below where the clergy or judicial officer would otherwise sign, and then sign again as "bride" and "groom." Neither witnesses nor officiant are required for a valid self solemnization.

You may choose to solemnize your marriage while in the building and return the certificate to the Clerk and Recorder immediately. In any event, you must return the marriage certificate for recording no later than 63 days from the date of solemnization.

Note: Couples choosing to self solemnize should be aware that only Colorado and one or two other states recognize a self-solemnized ceremony. This does not necessarily mean the marriage is not valid in other states; however, insurance companies or other entities may require a certified copy of the marriage certificate.

Finding a Judge

Denver County Court maintains a list of judges who perform weddings during the week, on weekends, and in the evenings.

Name Change

If you plan on changing your name after marriage, please reference this 7 step checklist.