When it comes to officiating your wedding, one of the most frequently asked questions I receive from my couples as their wedding planner is “How can my friend or family member officiate my wedding?” In fact, I love it when I get this question! It tells me two things about the couple. It tells me that they value their relationships and that they want their wedding day to be one of the most special times of their lives. Two things we seek out most with the couples that join the Simply Breathe Events family 🙂
If you’re interested in doing the same for your wedding continue reading to make sure your wedding is legit:
If you’re having a Wedding in Maryland:
The state of Maryland does not require your friend/family member to register with the state, however it’s super important that they properly validate the couple’s marriage license and sign the marriage certificate. One copy of the certificate is required to be delivered to the couple, while the other is to be returned by the officiant (your friend/family member) to the clerk who issues the license, within 5 days of the ceremony.
Keep in mind, each county has a different procedure to apply so be sure to research your county’s clerk office. SN: This would also be the county in which you’re getting married in, NOT the county you reside in.
If you’re having a Wedding in DC:
A “temporary officiant” can complete an application in the Marriage Bureau of the Moultrie Courthouse with the application fee of $25. Their authority to officiate your marriage will expire as soon as your marriage license is filed.
If you’re having a Wedding in Virginia:
Friends or family members wishing to perform a wedding ceremony in Virginia must obtain prior court authorization. Any circuit court judge may issue an order authorizing one or more persons, resident in the circuit in which the judge sits, to celebrate the rites of marriage in the Commonwealth.
Each county has a different procedure to apply so make sure to check your circuity court’s directory for complete rules and procedures, as well as how to pay the $500 fee as a one-time applicant.
Whether your friend or family member is offiating your wedding or you’re hiring a professional, always remember to play by the rules. Last thing you want to discover coming back from your honeymoon is that you’re not officially married – gasp!