How to get married at The Coleman A. Young Building | Detroit, Michigan

bride and groom walking and laughing in the spring on top of the z lot in Detroit

Big weddings aren’t for everyone.

Some people just want to keep it small and about them.

Intimate elopements are near and dear to me, as my husband and I did this ourselves. We wanted just our parents and siblings there, keeping it low key. Everything and everyone we loved. That’s all that mattered to us.

If you are thinking of or planning on eloping here are some hints on how to make it happen at The Coleman A. Young Building in Downtown Detroit.

What makes a marriage legal in the state of Michigan?

You must be 18 years of age to apply for a marriage application in Michigan.

In order to get married in Michigan, couples must apply in person, with current valid driver’s license or state I.D. to obtain a marriage license from the County Clerk of the COUNTY in which either applicant resides.

The marriage license fee is $20.00 for residents of Michigan. $30 for non-residents.

There is a three-day waiting period after the application before the license may be issued and used.

Michigan requires two witnesses (who must be at least 18 years of age).

Marriage license is valid for 33 days.

What makes it “officially official”?

The witnesses signatures. And getting married at the court house you dont have to worry about mailing anything in! They will file the marriage license for you right after the ceremony.

The Wayne County Clerk’s Office performs PRIVATE, small, civil marriage ceremonies, where the office PROVIDES YOUR WITNESSES. Please note that:

  • You are allowed to bring a MAXIMUM of 6 (six) guests with you for a PRIVATE civil ceremony.
  • The fee for a PRIVATE civil ceremony is $150.00 (includes their witnesses).
  • These ceremonies are ONLY performed at our Downtown Detroit Office.
  • If you call ahead and make an appointment, please have your ENTIRE PARTY PRESENT at your designated time, or you will have to wait until another opening is available.
  • To make an appointment, call (313) 224-4680.
  • Walk-in PRIVATE civil ceremonies are offered Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Please DO NOT arrive ANY LATER THAN 2:15 PM if you would like to participate in a walk-in PRIVATE civil ceremony.

The Wayne County Clerk’s Office also performs MASS, civil marriage ceremonies (i.e. multiple couples at once) ON FRIDAYS ONLY at 3:00 PM, where the office PROVIDES YOUR WITNESSES. Please note that:

  • You are allowed to bring a MAXIMUM of 4 (four) guests with you for a MASS civil ceremony.
  • The fee for a MASS civil ceremony is $100.00 (includes their witnesses).
  • These ceremonies are ONLY performed at our Downtown Detroit Office.
  • You must arrive or register by 1:00 PM on Friday to participate in a MASS civil ceremony.
  • Please call (313) 224-4680 with any further questions.

How much does it cost for me to be your photographer for a weekday elopement?


2 hours of coverage (ceremony and private portrait session before or after around downtown)

Same day sneak peek sent privately to you, so you can announce it yourselves.

Fully edited online gallery within 5 days of the ceremony that you can download, share and print!

How do you book?

By clicking HERE!

  1. Cathy says:

    My question is if you don’t wanna have witnesses or people coming to your wedding just your husband and your wife do you still have to pay

  2. Bryon McDowell says:

    If I have a private ceremony with two witnesses that I bring does the $150.00 cover the cost of the magistrate or whomever marries me and my fiance as well as everything needed?Also can I have my witnesses take pictures without a charge?

  3. Hello good afternoon, I wanted to ask you if you put the justice of the peace with the service. I have a date to get married but I don’t know where I can find a judge. If you know or can help me, I would appreciate it.

    • You would have to contact them for any and all questions. I am just a wedding photographer who shoots weddings there. I am hired privately by my clients. I am not in any way affiliated with nor work for the Coleman A Young building.

  4. Vivian Nabors says:

    What type of packages do you offer with the cost please and thanks.

  5. Sabrina Pittman says:

    I’m Getting Marry August 9,2022

  6. Misha says:

    This should be edited to add that this no longer applies as of Covid. There are no in person ceremonies being performed at the county clerk.

  7. bethany says:

    Is there a fee you can pay to get your marriage license immediately instead of the 3-day waiting period?

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