Marriage laws are often vague and vary from state to state and county by county. And misimpressions are rampant.
Morales, who is a lawyer in Chicago, where his wife is in law school. For some couples, the legality of the marriage is a secondary consideration. They see their wedding as a public celebration of their commitment to each other and little more than that. So, with their encouragement, friends and relatives with no more interest in ministering than the looming wedding date sign up with online ministries, where they can become ordained just by typing in their name and address. The Universal Life Church alone has ordained more than 18 million ministers since it was founded in in Modesto, Calif.
Eighty percent join the fold solely to perform weddings, he said. Somehow forgotten is that marriage is a legal contract.
And three states besides Connecticut — Alabama, Virginia and Tennessee — as well as other jurisdictions, prohibit weddings performed by ministers who do not have active ministries. In many other states, including New York, the rules about ministers ordained online are less clear. Often, even city, county and state officials are uncertain of the parameters. Wedding announcements may generate more confusion. The New York Times has a policy of publishing articles only about weddings in which it can confirm that the officiant is legally empowered to perform the ceremony. Nonetheless, confusion over which jurisdictions permit what officiants has led to the publication of articles about at least a dozen weddings in recent years that in retrospect appear questionable.
Annemarie Juhlian, Seattle Wedding Officiant, Celebrant & Contemporary Non-Denominational Minister
The laws regarding officiants are there to ensure that only people of sufficient standing perform a ceremony that is a keystone of society. Elnora Douglas, the office coordinator of the St. Louis County marriage license department, finds it odd that couples would want to circumvent them. View all New York Times newsletters. A county clerk later told a Times reporter that it was legal. Marriage Certificate. Returning a Marriage Certificate. Search for a Marriage Certificate.
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Contact Us. Copyright Notices. Arrow Left Arrow Right. Any ordained or licensed clergymen who have obtained a certificate of permissions to perform marriages, and justices of the peace. Non-residents clergy need to receive a special license from the Secretary of State. Ship captains cannot perform marriage ceremonies in New York State.
Any ordained or licensed clergymen who have presented their ordination credentials to the county probate judge, and justices of the peace. Judges, County Clerks or their Deputies, Justices of Peace, and ministers, pastors, priests, rabbis may perform wedding ceremonies in Oregon. Mayors of cities and boroughs are also authorized to perform marriage ceremonies. Persons authorized to perform weddings in Texas include licensed or ordained Christian ministers, priests, Jewish rabbis, officers authorized by religious organizations, justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of criminal appeals, justices of the courts of appeals, judges of the district, county, and probate courts, judges of the county courts at law, judges of the courts of domestic relations, judges of the juvenile courts, retired justices or judges, justices of the peace, retired justices of the peace, and judges or magistrates of a federal court of Texas.
Authorized persons to perform weddings in Vermont are judges, supreme court justices, assistant judges, justices of the peace, and ordained or licensed clergymen. Any ordained minister who can show proof of ordination. Any ordained minister who has received authorization to perform marriages in the state of West Virgina. The court in each city and county has appointed persons who are eligible to perform civil weddings. Ordained member of the clergy, a judge, a court commissioner, or certain religious appointees.
RCW Who may solemnize.
You and your prospective spouse may officiate under established customs or rules of some religions. Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, or pastors of recognized religious societies. Ministers must have their credentials recorded in one of Arkansas' 75 counties.