Wedding Officiants – Episode #204
We received an email asking about wedding officiants and who can marry you. We have some answers for you.
I’m getting married this summer and have been listening to your podcast for about a year now! Thank you for all your advice it’s been really helpful.
I was wondering, do you have an episode that talks about having a friend/family member officiate the ceremony?? We want a close friend of ours to officiate our wedding but he has never done one before and I have only been in one other wedding so I’m not an expert either. We are doing a very casual, non–religious ceremony but I still want to make sure we are legally married by the end of it Any advice or sources you have would be greatly appreciated!!
Who can officiate
- Preacher or Religious leader
- Sea Captain
Recognized officiants by state: https://www.thespruce.com/recognized-marriage-officiants-2300735
Tips for having a friend officiate:
- Let them add to the ceremony, or give input
- Give them instruction on what to wear
- In order for the marriage to be legal, your officiant has to include the declaration of intent, or the “Do you take…” and “I do” vows portion of the ceremony.
- Your officiant must complete the marriage license
- Members of the clergy, judges, justices of the peace, and some notary publics are all qualified to perform weddings.
- Oddly enough, in some states, an officiant isn’t required at all. In Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, a couple can simply marry in front of witnesses and submit the required paperwork to the state, no officiant needed.
Here's how much the average wedding costs in every state: