Video:Who Can Officiate Marriages?with Jonathon Stewart
Want to know who can legally officiate marriages? Here, learn about who can officiate for weddings.See Transcript
Transcript:Who Can Officiate Marriages?Not everyone who gets married goes for the traditional church wedding with a religious officiant. But before you go get your best friend to oversee your marriage, it's probably a good idea to make sure they are on the list of acceptable parties who can legally marry you.
Information About Who Can Officiate MarriagesAn officiant is defined as a person who has been given the authority to perform a marriage. Typically, this is a recognized member of the clergy that can include a Priest, Cantor, Imam, Rabbi, Minister or Ethical Cultural Leader. Other commonly recognized authorities are a judge, justice of the peace, or a court clerk.
Who Can Officiate MarriagesIn some states, the laws says that a clergy member must be licensed or certified like other authorities before they can officiate a marriage. But what about your Unlce Lewy?If you're considering any other individual who means something to the both of you or if you wish to be able to marry people yourself, you can apply for permission in certain states to get a license to perform marriage ceremonies. For example, in California, you can apply to become a Deputy Commissioner of Marriages. However, you often only have authority for a single day in order to officiate the wedding.
More Information About Who Can Officiate MarriagesThanks to modern technology, you can also become an ordained minister online through various certification processes, which allows you to conduct as many weddings as you want within the state guidelines in which you become certified. Then you too can say, "by the power vested in my by www.universalministries.com…" There are many websites that provide a summary of the various guidelines for each state about who can officiate marriages. Head to marriage.about.com for more information.
The process of officiating a same-sex marriage is essentially the same as any other marriage, although laws about marriage continue to be debated in various states. Where same sex marriages are permitted, the same choices of officiating still apply, including a court clerk, member of the clergy, or certified individual.If you're in Vegas, you might find just about everyone is able to marry you – just be careful, those marriages count, too. As you plan your wedding, be sure to know the rules for your state well in advance to make sure the process of getting married is smooth one. I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.
About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.