While choosing wedding dresses and canapes is fun, there’s a serious aspect to asking someone to officiate. This individual is responsible for the marriage’s legal aspect, and all expenses go by the wayside if the legal obligations aren’t met in full. A fairytale becomes a nightmare in a heartbeat.
Where to Start
Do some preliminary research to ease any confusion about the process.
Step One: investigate with the county clerk’s office about who has the authority to officiate at the wedding. Each state has its unique regulations that must meet for a legal and binding union. Make sure the marriage license doesn’t expire before you say I do.
Clergy or Spiritual Representative
If you’re opting for the traditional church wedding it is prudent to ask the priest, pastor, minister, rabbi, or shaman, or church official in person. It’s about etiquette.
Book an appointment and ask the individual to meet in person. What’s great about asking a church representative, they know the process and save you the paperwork hassle. Follow up with a thank-you note, perhaps a donation to emphasize a church/spiritual wedding is important.
Did You Know?
Captains are not automatically granted the authority to marry you. They must be given the right to officiate or also be a judge, a justice of the peace, a minister, a notary public.
State Officials Who May Marry
Justice of the Peace, notary public, a judge, a minister, or professional marriage officials may marry you. They’re in the business and know the process. Ask friends or call city hall for a referral. While it may not seem crucial to meet these representatives in person, invest the time.
There is an application fee, a marriage license, and a lengthy application form for those asking for permission to receive the authority to officiate with each marriage application. And a ceremony must be a declaration of intent. That’s where the ‘I do’ comes into play. It’s serious.
On the Beach
If it’s a dream wedding on the beach, ask the local wedding planner to provide a detailed list of necessary documents. Ask for a video call with the person who will be officiating.
Asking Someone Special
Asking someone special to officiate at a wedding means entrusting them with something sacred.
To make sure everything runs smoothly, offer to help with the paperwork and the entire application process. Providing pamphlets and information about their role as they are standing in to represent the marriage laws puts everyone at ease.
Perhaps enjoying an exclusive lunch or dinner with that particular person is a perfect opportunity to express truthful and genuine expectations.
This isn’t just a person who will be in the photographs. They take on the responsibility of performing a significant rite but also a legally binding contract.
It’s also wise to rehearse the ceremony. If your officiating host is not familiar with the process, provide them with an occasion to share their ideas and meet your expectations. Marriage vows and ceremonies are a declaration of love and truth.