Know The Burden Of Proof Is On You
If there is ever a question as to the validity of your marriage, know the burden of proof will fall on you. While its unlikely to ever happen, youll be on the hook for actually proving the wedding happened, should any issues ever arise in the future. To do this, request a triple-seal copy of the marriage record after the wedding. Every couple needs to do this anyways, regardless of who performs the ceremony, but its extra important for those with a self-uniting license. This will allow you to prove the legality of your marriage, should you ever need to.
On the other hand, if you want to stick with tradition and have a religious leader or ordained officiant preside over your marriage, we can recommend some great ones. Check out our favorite Pittsburgh wedding officiants in the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide! Some of these officiants will even write a ceremony for your friend or family member to perform!
A very special thanks to Mark of A Simple Vow for fact-checking this post! You can find him in our Vendor Guide too!
How To Officiate Your First Wedding
You can help a friend or loved one turn their special day into something remarkable, if youre willing but getting ordained is the easy part.
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You dont need to go to seminary to officiate a wedding. In fact, depending on where you live, it may take only a few clicks of a mouse. Heres everything you need to know about officiating your first wedding, from getting ordained to writing the ceremony and why youd even want to in the first place.
Who Can Legally Perform A Marriage Ceremony In Florida
The following persons can perform a marriage ceremony in the state of Florida:
- All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel, elders in communion with a church, or other ordained clergy.
- A minister who has been recognized in the manner required by the regulations of the respective denomination to perform marriage ceremonies.
- All Florida judicial officers, including retired judicial officers.
- Public notaries of the State of Florida. Florida notaries can on their duties when performing marriages here.
- “Quakers” or “Friends,” may perform marriages in the manner and form used or practiced in their societies.
- Captains of a ship, if the captain is a notary and the ship is in Florida waters, which is within three geographic miles from the coastline at the time of the ceremony.
- Clerks of the Circuit Court: Deputy clerks are authorized and available during normal working hours, Monday through Friday, to perform ceremonies at Clerk locations in Plant City and Pierce Street Tampa. Appointments are required and performed during our normal business hours with your valid marriage license. The fee for this service is $30.00.
Return the completed record of marriage to: Marriage Department, Hillsborough County Clerk of Court, PO Box 3249, Tampa FL 33601-3249
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Can You Perform A Wedding That Incorporates Our Religions/cultures
Autumn Pappas of Happy Heart Ceremonies in Greenbank, Washington advises couples to inquire about the type of ceremony their officiant is able to perform, such as religious, non-denominational, interfaith, spiritual, or commitment. If you’re hiring a religious officiant, this should be obvious, but if you’re looking for a secular officiant, you’ll want to bring up any religious or cultural traditions you’d like to include in your ceremony. And for those planning an interfaith ceremony, it’s important to ask a potential officiant if they can blend your and your partner’s cultures into one cohesive event.
Review The Registration Process
As soon as the date of the wedding is set, you’ll want to meet with the couple to discuss their ceremony expectations and review any registration requirements. “If you have to register with the local government before performing a marriage, youll need to make sure you have copies of your credentials and fill out any necessary applications to complete the registration process. Plan ahead so you have extra time to allow for processing the paperwork or any delays,” Anakotta says.
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Most States Use The Term Registration Not License For Officiants
Instead of licensing requirements for wedding officiants, some states have a process called government registration. In these states, ordained ministers register with the government so that those governments can keep track of whos performing marriage, and to regulate who officiates.
The process is different in every state, but generally it involves filling out a registration form, proving that you are an ordained minister, and paying a fee. To prove that youre ordained, theyll ask you to submit copies of your ordination credentials .
Forms You Need Before You Marry
Before you get married, you need either:
- a marriage licence, or
- a banns form that you get from a church when you publicly announce your commitment during a divine service
Banns cannot be published if you or your spouse has been married before. You will need to get a marriage licence.
You and your spouse, witnesses and the person who performed the marriage will need to sign the licence or banns immediately after the ceremony.
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Why Choose Your Own Officiant
Lots of couples are warming to the idea of a family member or friend officiating their wedding. This is especially true for secular couples or those looking for a more casual wedding ceremony.
Asking a close friend to officiate your wedding does offer several important benefits. Not only does it add an even more personal spin to the ceremony, but it’s also another way for couples to incorporate a loved one into your wedding who’s not in the wedding party. Couples on a budget will also appreciate the cost savings of using a friend to officiate.
Are You Available On Our Date And Legally Able To Perform A Marriage In Our Wedding Location
While this first question might sound obvious, its important to double check a prospective officiant is available and legally able to marry you before diving into any further questions. Asking this wedding-planning query upfront will save everyone the hassle of back-and-forth communication if the officiant isnt able to perform the ceremony on your specific wedding date or in your location.
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Selecting Your Wedding Officiant
Start researching the marriage laws in the place youre getting married in. Find out if the state has any restrictions on who can or cant marry you. From there, your officiant search can begin. You might look into wedding ministers or wedding pastors as options non-religious couples can check out tips for choosing a non-religious wedding officiant. Be sure to ask around for references. You can even chat with other couples in our online wedding forums.
Make sure you meet any potential marriage officiant in person before booking. You and your partner should feel comfortable around them, and they should get a sense of the two of you as a couple. Its not uncommon for a wedding officiant to request several counseling sessions to get to know the couple better.
Keep Records Of Your Ministry Credentials
Though there are no officiant registration requirements in Georgia, you must be an ordained minister to be able to legally perform marriage. Local regulations in Georgia stipulate that wedding officiants under the designation of “Minister” be ordained by a religious organization, such as American Marriage Ministries.While you are not required to register with any Georgia government office as a wedding officiant, it is a good idea to keep personal records of your official Ministry Credentials. Proof of your ordination is essential in the event that the couple, government officials, or the wedding venue request to see proof of your ordination.We recommend that you order your to receive your official ministry credentials. Your package includes your official Ordination Certificate and Letter of Good Standing.Your Letter of Good Standing is signed by a church officer, dated, and notarized. Your Minister Ordination Package also includes your AMM Minister’s Manual, a valuable resource for officiant training information.Part of the proceeds from your order will go towards our . So along with receiving your AMM ministry credentials, you are also helping to support a good cause.
What Are The Wedding Officiant Registration Requirements In Texas
You may be surprised to hear this, but wedding officiants in Texas are not required to register with any government office prior to performing marriage. The Texas State Government has no laws requiring officiant registration or office dedicated to the registration of wedding officiants.Texas does have a law that specifies who can solemnize marriage. This includes all ministers, including online ordained ministers of American Marriage Ministries. However, there are no laws, offices, or procedures requiring officiants to register with any government office.Simply put, once you are an online ordained minister of American Marriage Ministries you immediately have the legal ability to officiate weddings anywhere in Texas. If you have been asked to officiate a wedding in Texas, with AMM today!Ordination with AMM is fast, free, and simple. To learn more about getting ordained in Texas with AMM, check out our page.
Pick Up The Marriage License In Person
Once you have applied, you must visit the specific NC Register of Deeds Office from which you applied for your marriage license in person to pick it up.
You and your spouse will both need to be present and bring the following:
Both spouses valid photo I.D.s
Both spouses social security cards
$60 Fee either cash, money order, debit/credit card or personal check
Double check that both copies of your marriage license are filled out correctly check for any typos or misprints.
Be sure that there is a return envelope provided as well.
Bring both copies of your marriage license to your wedding!
Make sure it is placed somewhere secure and wont succumb to any coffee or food stains.
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Wedding Ceremonies From Around The World
Commonly, wedding ceremonies around the world share rituals that are influenced by various cultural traditions. Among the many rituals practiced during wedding ceremonies, the most essential and constant element is the symbolic expression of the unification between the man and woman. The union can be signified by exchanging rings, joining of hands, tying together the garments owned by the bride and groom, or other gestures that could be a representation of the union between the couple. Likewise, many rituals that are incorporated within the ceremony are done in order to emphasize the wedding as a passage for the foundation of the family. For example, in Hindu wedding ceremonies, the couple circles a sacred fire in order to promote the fertility of their union .
Extending The Expiry Date In Response To Covid
We have extended the expiry date for most marriage licences. Licences are still valid for the timeframes below, unless you require a replacement licence.
If you need a replacement licence, you have until the extended expiry date to apply for a replacement from a municipality that issues marriage licences.
|3 months from date issued|
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Finding A Religious Officiant For Your Wedding
If you desire a religious wedding and have a house of worship, your choice is relatively straightforward. It is still best to meet with that person to discuss the questions below.
Otherwise, you’ll need to decide first what denomination best fits with your beliefs. Once you’ve done that, contact your local house of worship to ask if their religious rules allow them to marry people in secular settings. You might attend some worship services to get a sense of different officiants’ styles, then meet with them to make sure that they are available on your date, and amenable to the type of wedding you envision. Like any important job, don’t just give it to the first interviewee. Talk to a couple of different people and choose the one that you are the most comfortable with.
What Should Your Officiant Wear
It doesn’t hurt to discuss what your officiant will wear to your ceremony. Remember, they will be front and center along with you and your spouse, which means they’ll be in some of the most important pictures of your life. Make sure they don’t overdress or underdress for the ceremony so that their outfit doesn’t distract from the overall magic of your big moment.
Who Can Conduct A Ceremony
Please see our video on this topic:
State law authorizes the following people to conduct a marriage ceremony:
- a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest
- a Jewish rabbi
- an officer of a religious organization authorized to conduct marriage ceremonies
- justices/judges/magistrates/associate judges of:
- federal courts located in Texas
- the Texas Supreme Court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Texas Courts of Appeals
- Texas district, county, probate, and justice of the peace courts
- Texas municipal courts
As per the Department of State Health Services’ guide linked above, there is no official registration for persons authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony. If they review the law, and believe they can perform the marriage ceremony, then they can perform the ceremony.
Who Can Officiate A Wedding
Its not only official clergymen who can officiate weddings. Any friend or family member is chosen by the couple for this role can actually officiate the wedding. While you can pick just about anyone, you would want someone of legal age, well-rounded, and able to give a good speech. This person should know the bride and groom well to a level where he/she is comfortable talking about their relationship.
Consider the speech you want them to give, the location, their availability, and also how welcome they would be to the idea of officiating at the wedding. It might not seem like much of a responsibility, but when wondering, how to ask a friend to officiate your wedding, I think theres another question to ponder. So, who can officiate a wedding?
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How To Get A Marriage Licence
To get a marriage licence, you will need to:
- bring 2 pieces of government-issued identification for each person getting married. One piece of identification must include your photo.Examples of government-issued identification:
- government-issued birth certificate, including any change of name certificates
- valid passport
- valid Ontario Photo Card
Please check the municipalitys website to ensure you have all of the information required to purchase a marriage licence.
A marriage licence is valid for three months from the date it was issued.