FAQ: Officiating Weddings

Congratulations on becoming ordained! If you plan to officiate a wedding for a friend or family member, or to make a business of solemnizing vows, in order to help you "dot your i's and cross your t's" we've listed information for each state below. Typically you simply show the credentials, included with your Ordination Package, to the local county clerk and return the completed marriage license in a timely manner.
In some cases there may be additional requirements, such as a Statement of Good Standing or a Letter of Congregational Authorization. If you encounter the need for additional documentation let us know, generally we can assist you in providing these letters.
To make sure that everything goes smoothly, we also recommend that you check with the county clerk where the ceremony will be held. Just let them know that you are a newly ordained clergy and ask for details completing and returning the marriage license.
Be careful of sites offering “instant” or “free” online ordinations. Most localities require that the process be “deliberate and considered”. Rose Ministries individually reviews each application, giving deliberate and careful consideration to the candidate, prior to granting ordination.
If you are not yet ordained, and want to solemnize a friend or family members's wedding, you can do so legally, click here.



Find a State 



Alabama Section 30-1-7
Persons authorized to solemnize marriages.

(a) Generally. Marriages may be solemnized by any licensed minister of the gospel in regular communion with the Christian church or society of which the minister is a member, by a judge of the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, Court of Civil Appeals, any circuit court or any district court within this state, by a judge of any federal court, or by a judge of probate within his or her county, or any retired judge of the Supreme Court, retired judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals, retired judge of the Court of Civil Appeals, retired judge of the circuit court, retired judge of the district court within this state or a retired judge of probate within his or her county.

(b) Pastor of religious society; clerk of society to maintain register of marriages; register, etc., deemed presumptive evidence of fact. Marriage may also be solemnized by the pastor of any religious society according to the rules ordained or custom established by such society. The clerk or keeper of the minutes of each society shall keep a register and enter therein a particular account of all marriages solemnized by the society, which register, or a sworn copy thereof, is presumptive evidence of the fact.
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Alaska Sec. 25.05.261. Who may solemnize. (a) Marriages may be solemnized (1) by a minister, priest, or rabbi of any church or congregation in the state, or by a commissioned officer of the Salvation Army, or by the principal officer or elder of recognized churches or congregations that traditionally do not have regular ministers, priests, or rabbis, anywhere within the state; (2) by a marriage commissioner or judicial officer of the state anywhere within the jurisdiction of the commissioner or officer; or (3) before or in any religious organization or congregation according to the established ritual or form commonly practiced in the organization or congregation. (b) This section may not be construed to waive the requirements for obtaining a marriage license. Sec. 25.05.271. Duty of officiating person before ceremony. The officiating person shall determine that the parties presenting themselves to be married are the parties named in the license. If the officiating person knows of a legal impediment to the marriage, the officiating person may not perform the ceremony.
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Arizona 25-124. Persons authorized to perform marriage ceremony; definition A. The following are authorized to solemnize marriages between persons who are authorized to marry: 1. Duly licensed or ordained clergymen.
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Arkansas 9-11-213. Persons who may solemnize marriages. (a) For the purpose of being registered and perpetuating the evidence thereof, marriage shall be solemnized only by the following persons: (1) The Governor; (2) Any former justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court; (3) Any judges of the courts of record within this state, including any former judge of a court of record who served at least four (4) years or more; (4) Any justice of the peace of the county where the marriage is solemnized, including any former justice of the peace who served at least three (3) terms since the passage of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55; (5) Any regularly ordained minister or priest of any religious sect or denomination;
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California The following is from California's FAQ page:

Where do I register to perform marriages in California?
The laws of the State of California make it unnecessary for persons performing marriages to file credentials with the clerk of the court or with anyone else. The county and state are removed from any responsibility for verification of credentials. The State does not maintain a central registry of members of the clergy. Any such concern for verification is totally at the discretion of the parties to the marriage.
(Rose Ministries still recommends that you check with the county clerk where the ceremony will be held.)
What authorization do I need to perform a marriage in California?
In California, it is the ordination or investment by the denomination that gives each clergy member the authority to perform the marriage rite. Family Code, Sections 400-402 are the statutes pertaining to whom can solemnize a marriage in California.

The following is from California Family Code sections:

400. Marriage may be solemnized by any of the following who is of the age of 18 years or older:
420. A priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination. No particular form for the ceremony of marriage is required for solemnization of the marriage, but the parties shall declare, in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and necessary witnesses, that they take each other as husband and wife.
421. Before solemnizing a marriage, the person solemnizing the marriage shall require the presentation of the marriage license. If the person solemnizing the marriage has reason to doubt the correctness of the statement of facts in the marriage license, the person must be satisfied as to the correctness of the statement of facts before solemnizing the marriage. For this purpose, the person may administer oaths and examine the parties and witnesses in the same manner as the county clerk does before issuing the license.
422. The person solemnizing a marriage shall make, sign, and endorse upon or attach to the marriage license a statement, in the form prescribed by the State Department of Health Services, showing all of the following:
  (a) The fact, date (month, day, year), and place (city and county) of solemnization.
  (b) The names and places of residence of one or more witnesses to the ceremony.
  (c) The official position of the person solemnizing the marriage, or of the denomination of which that person is a priest, minister, rabbi, or member of the clergy.
  (d) The person solemnizing the marriage shall also type or print the person's name and address.
423. The person solemnizing the marriage shall return the marriage license, endorsed as required in Section 422, to the county recorder of the county in which the license was issued within 10 days after the ceremony.
424. At the request of, and for, either party to a marriage, the person solemnizing the marriage shall issue a marriage certificate showing the facts specified in Section 422.
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Colorado 14-2-109. Solemnization and registration. Statute text (1) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court, by a court magistrate, by a retired judge of a court, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by the parties to the marriage, or in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination or Indian nation or tribe. Either the person solemnizing the marriage or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, a party to the marriage shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the county clerk and recorder within sixty days after the solemnization. Any person who fails to forward the marriage certificate to the county clerk and recorder as required by this section shall be required to pay a late fee in an amount of not less than twenty dollars. An additional five-dollar late fee may be assessed for each additional day of failure to comply with the forwarding requirements of this subsection (1) up to a maximum of fifty dollars. For purposes of determining whether a late fee shall be assessed pursuant to this subsection (1), the date of forwarding shall be deemed to be the date of postmark.
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Connecticut Sec. 46b-22. (Formerly Sec. 46-3). Who may join persons in marriage. Penalty for unauthorized performance. (a) All judges and retired judges, either elected or appointed and including federal judges and judges of other states who may legally join persons in marriage in their jurisdictions, family support magistrates, state referees and justices of the peace may join persons in marriage in any town in the state and all ordained or licensed clergymen, belonging to this state or any other state, so long as they continue in the work of the ministry may join persons in marriage. All marriages solemnized according to the forms and usages of any religious denomination in this state, including marriages witnessed by a duly constituted Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is, are valid. All marriages attempted to be celebrated by any other person are void.
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Delaware § 106. Solemnization of marriages; production of license; penalty; registration of persons authorized to solemnize marriages. (a) A clergyperson or minister of any recognized religion, current and former members of this State's Supreme Court, Superior Court, Family Court, Court of Chancery, Court of Common Pleas, and Justice of the Peace Court, and the several clerks of the peace of various counties may solemnize marriages between persons who may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation
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Hawaii §572-12 By whom solemnized. A license to solemnize marriages may be issued to, and the marriage rite may be performed and solemnized by any minister, priest, or officer of any religious denomination or society who has been ordained or is authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usages of such denomination or society, or any religious society not having clergy but providing solemnization in accordance with the rules and customs of that society, a legislator or constitutional officer of the State, or a member of the United States Congress who represents a district within the State, while that person holds office, or any justice [or], judge, or magistrate, active or retired, of a state or federal court in the State, upon presentation to such person or society of a license to marry, as prescribed by this chapter. Such person or society may receive the price stipulated by the parties or the gratification tendered."
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District_of_Columbia For the purpose of preserving the evidence of marriages in the District of Columbia, every minister of any religious society approved or ordained according to the ceremonies of his religious society, whether his residence is in the District of Columbia or elsewhere in the United States or the territories, may be authorized by any judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia. Marriages may also be performed by any judge or justice of any court of record; provided, that marriages of any religious society which does not by its own custom require the intervention of a minister for the celebration of marriages may be solemnized in the manner prescribed and practiced in any such religious society, the license in such case to be issued to, and returns to be made by, a person appointed by such religious society for that purpose. The Clerk of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or such deputy clerks of the Court as may, in writing, be designated by the Clerk and approved by the Chief Judge, may celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia.
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Florida All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church, or other ordained clergy, and all judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state may solemnize the rights of matrimonial contract, under the regulations prescribed by law.
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Georgia The license shall be directed to any judge, including judges of state and federal courts of record in this state, city recorder, magistrate, minister, or other person of any religious society or sect authorized by the rules of such society to perform the marriage ceremony; such license shall authorize the marriage of the persons therein named and require the judge, city recorder, magistrate, minister, or other authorized person to return the license to the judge of the probate court with the certificate thereon as to the fact and date of marriage within 30 days after the date of the marriage. The license with the return thereon shall be recorded by the judge in a book kept by such judge for that purpose.
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Idaho 32-303. BY WHOM SOLEMNIZED. Marriage may be solemnized by either a current or retired justice of the supreme court, a current or retired court of appeals judge, a current or retired district judge, any federal judge, the current or a former governor, lieutenant governor, a current or retired magistrate of the district court, mayor, priest or minister of the gospel of any denomination. To be a retired justice of the supreme court, court of appeals judge, district judge or magistrate judge of the district court, for the purpose of solemnizing marriages, a person shall have served in one (1) of those offices and shall be receiving a retirement benefit from either the judges retirement system or the public employee retirement system for service in the judiciary.
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Illinois (750 ILCS 5/209) (from Ch. 40, par. 209) Sec. 209. Solemnization and Registration.) (a) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court of record, by a retired judge of a court of record, unless the retired judge was removed from office by the Judicial Inquiry Board, except that a retired judge shall not receive any compensation from the State, a county or any unit of local government in return for the solemnization of a marriage and there shall be no effect upon any pension benefits conferred by the Judges Retirement System of Illinois, by a judge of the Court of Claims, by a county clerk in counties having 2,000,000 or more inhabitants, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, or in accordance with the prescriptions of any religious denomination, Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, provided that when such prescriptions require an officiant, the officiant be in good standing with his religious denomination, Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group. Either the person solemnizing the marriage, or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, both parties to the marriage, shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the county clerk within 10 days after such marriage is solemnized.
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Indiana IC 31-11-6-1 Persons authorized to solemnize marriages Sec. 1. Marriages may be solemnized by any of the following: (1) A member of the clergy of a religious organization (even if the cleric does not perform religious functions for an individual congregation), such as a minister of the gospel, a priest, a bishop, an archbishop, or a rabbi. (2) A judge. (3) A mayor, within the mayor's county. (4) A clerk or a clerk-treasurer of a city or town, within a county in which the city or town is located. (5) A clerk of the circuit court. (6) The Friends Church, in accordance with the rules of the Friends Church. (7) The German Baptists, in accordance with the rules of their society. (8) The Bahai faith, in accordance with the rules of the Bahai faith. (9) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in accordance with the rules of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (10) An imam of a masjid (mosque), in accordance with the rules of the religion of Islam.
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Iowa 595.10 Who may solemnize. Marriages may be solemnized by: 1. A judge of the supreme court, court of appeals, or district court, including a district associate judge, associate juvenile judge, or a judicial magistrate, and including a senior judge as defined in section 602.9202, subsection 3. 2. A person ordained or designated as a leader of the person's religious faith.
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Kansas 23-104a. Solemnizing marriage; persons authorized to officiate. (a) Marriage may be validly solemnized and contracted in this state, after a license has been issued for the marriage, in the following manner: By the mutual declarations of the two parties to be joined in marriage, made before an authorized officiating person and in the presence of at least two competent witnesses over 18 years of age, other than the officiating person, that they take each other as husband and wife. (b) The following are authorized to be officiating persons: (1) Any currently ordained clergyman or religious authority of any religious denomination or society; (2) any licentiate of a denominational body or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular clergyman of any church of the denomination to which the licentiate or appointee belongs, if not restrained from so doing by the discipline of that church or denomination; (3) any judge or justice of a court of record; (4) any municipal judge of a city of this state; and (5) any retired judge or justice of a court of record. (c) The two parties themselves, by mutual declarations that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect to which either of the parties belong, may be married without an authorized officiating person.
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Kentucky 402.050 Who may solemnize marriage -- Persons present. (1) Marriage shall be solemnized only by: (a) Ministers of the gospel or priests of any denomination in regular communion with any religious society;
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Louisiana See state site for details.
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Maine §655. Authorization; penalties 1. Persons authorized to solemnize marriages. The following may solemnize marriages in this State: A. If a resident of this State: (1) A justice or judge; (2) A lawyer admitted to the Maine Bar; or (4) A notary public under Title 4, chapter 19; and [2001, c. 574, §6 (amd).] B. Whether a resident or nonresident of this State and whether or not a citizen of the United States: (1) An ordained minister of the gospel; (2) A cleric engaged in the service of the religious body to which the cleric belongs; or (3) A person licensed to preach by an association of ministers, religious seminary or ecclesiastical body.
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Maryland A marriage ceremony may be performed in this State by: (i) any official of a religious order or body authorized by the rules and customs of that order or body to perform a marriage ceremony;
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Massachusetts Chapter 207: Section 38 Situs; persons authorized Section 38. A marriage may be solemnized in any place within the commonwealth by the following persons who are residents of the commonwealth: a duly ordained minister of the gospel in good and regular standing with his church or denomination,
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Michigan CHAPTER 83 - Chapter 83. Of marriage and the solemnization thereof. (EXCERPT)
551.7 Persons authorized to solemnize marriage; records; returns; disposition of fees charged by mayor or county clerk.
Sec. 7.
(1) Marriages may be solemnized by any of the following:
(h) A minister of the gospel, anywhere in the state, if the minister is ordained or authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usages of the denomination, and is a pastor of a church in this state, or continues to preach the gospel in this state.
(i) A minister of the gospel, anywhere in the state, if the minister is not a resident of this state but is authorized to solemnize marriages under the laws of the state in which the minister resides.

See Also:
Charter May Be Required
:
It appears that a charter must be filed with the state before an ordination will be recognized, for the purposes of officiating weddings.
"An ordained minister of the gospel recognized by a church that has filed a charter with the State of Michigan, Corporation and Land Development Bureau or an elected government official may perform marriages. To determine if a church has filed a charter (517) 241-6470.
Contact the Department of Community Health, Vital Statistics at (517) 335-8677 for marriage statistics.
When forming a religious organization, there is a tax guide available from the IRS, publication "tax Guide For Churches and Other Religious Organizations; Publication 1828 Catalog Number 21096G; address: IRS, Freedom of Information Reading Room, P.O. Box 795, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, D.C. 20044; telephone: (800) 829-3676.
Many churches are required to have a "Church Copyright License." For further information about this license call (800) 234-2446. Marriage licenses are obtained at the county clerk's office. This may not be required if you are only intending to officiate weddings. A license can be obtained from The CCLI.

Act 327 of 1931: Ecclesiastical corporations
450.178 Ecclesiastical corporations; incorporation; purpose.
Sec. 178.
Ecclesiastical corporations. Any number of persons, not less than 3, may incorporate for the purpose of establishing any church organization for the purpose of teaching and spreading their religious beliefs and principles. Every such corporation shall be a non-profit corporation and subject to the provisions of this act relating to non-profit corporations generally except as specifically otherwise provided. The term “church” and/or “church organization” used in this act shall be construed to include any church, denominational unit, or church society as the term is commonly used and understood but shall not apply to such organizations as Sunday schools, Epworth Leagues, Young People's Unions, Bible classes and similar societies organized by and affiliated with the parent churches. Whenever any number of churches or other corporations organized for religious purposes desire to unite in a central organization for the accomplishment of any common purpose they may incorporate such organization by severally adopting, at meetings specially called for the purpose, resolutions expressing their desire to become members of such corporation; and by filing duly attested copies of such resolutions together with a copy of the articles of such corporation, as provided for the filing of articles in section 5 of this act. The corporations formed under this section are hereinafter called ecclesiastical corporations.

Article of Incorporation Form with Instructions
(Note: Adobe Acrobat will be required.)
The form is fairly basic, requiring an address for the church (can be your address), details about how often meetings will be held ("once per week, or as necessary"), details on your chuch structure (you could say "under the rules of Rose Ministries" or mention the basis of your beliefs), and will require three notarized signatures.
The filing fee, to the state, is currently only $20.00.

See also http://www.crcna.org/whatweoffer/resources/synodical/downloads/articlesofincorporation_mi.doc for an example of completed articles.
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Minnesota 517.04 Solemnization
Marriages may be solemnized throughout the state by a judge of a court of record, a retired judge of a court of record, a court administrator, a retired court administrator with the approval of the chief judge of the judicial district, a former court commissioner who is employed by the court system or is acting pursuant to an order of the chief judge of the commissioner's judicial district, the residential school administrators of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf and the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind, a licensed or ordained minister of any religious denomination, or by any mode recognized in section 517.18.
517.05 Credentials of minister
Ministers of any religious denomination, before they are authorized to solemnize a marriage, shall file a copy of their credentials of license or ordination with the court administrator of the district court of a county in this state, who shall record the same and give a certificate thereof. The place where the credentials are recorded shall be endorsed upon and recorded with each certificate of marriage granted by a minister.
Copyright 2004 by the Office of Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota.

Counties will require that credentials be registered. The Anoka County site describes the process and provides an order form for registration. Other counties will have similar requirements.
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Mississippi § 93-1-17. By whom marriages may be solemnized. Any minister of the gospel ordained according to the rules of his church or society, in good standing; any Rabbi or other spiritual leader of any other religious body authorized under the rules of such religious body to solemnize rites of matrimony and being in good standing;
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Missouri 451.100. Marriages may be solemnized by any clergyman, either active or retired, who is in good standing with any church or synagogue in this state. Marriages may also be solemnized, without compensation, by any judge, including a municipal judge. Marriages may also be solemnized by a religious society, religious institution, or religious organization of this state, according to the regulations and customs of the society, institution or organization, when either party to the marriage to be solemnized is a member of such society, institution or organization.
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Montana 40-1-301. Solemnization and registration. (1) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court of record, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by a mayor, city judge, or justice of the peace, by a tribal judge, or in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, Indian nation or tribe, or native group.
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Nebraska 42-108 Marriage ceremony; who may perform; return; contents. Every judge, retired judge, or clerk magistrate, and every preacher of the gospel authorized by the usages of the church to which he or she belongs to solemnize marriages, may perform the marriage ceremony in this state.
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Nevada NRS 122.062 Licensed or ordained ministers and chaplains of Armed Forces to obtain certificates from county clerk; temporary replacements; solemnization by minister licensed or ordained in another state. 1. Any licensed or ordained minister in good standing within his denomination, whose denomination, governing body and church, or any of them, are incorporated or organized or established in this state, may join together as husband and wife persons who present a marriage license obtained from any county clerk of the State, if the minister first obtains a certificate of permission to perform marriages as provided in this section and NRS 122.064 to 122.073, inclusive. The fact that a minister is retired does not disqualify him from obtaining a certificate of permission to perform marriages if, before his retirement, he had active charge of a congregation within this state for a period of at least 3 years. 2. A temporary replacement for a licensed or ordained minister certified pursuant to this section and NRS 122.064 to 122.073, inclusive, may solemnize marriages pursuant to subsection 1 during such time as he may be authorized to do so by the county clerk in the county in which he is a temporary replacement, for a period not to exceed 90 days. The minister whom he temporarily replaces shall provide him with a written authorization which states the period during which it is effective.
Clark County, Las Vegas, Nevada
Minister Licensing

If you reside in another Nevada County, see their website for your package. If you are from out of state, and the wedding will take place in another Nevada County, again, see that county's website for their temporary authorization package.

For out-of-state ministers. NRS 122 provides that a licensed or ordained minister in good standing with his denomination or church whose congregation is in another state may perform marriages in the county if authorized to do so by the county clerk. A separate authorization is required for each marriage performed. Such a minister may perform not more than five marriages in this state in any calendar year. In some instances a temporary certificate may be obtained for a local minister filling in for another minister during an absence.
For full details on Clark County regulations see their page. Similar information is available from each county on their website.

Once you have completed the License Application, you will need a notarized Statement of Good Standing from Rose Ministries — in order to provide that we will need to see a copy of your application (which you can either fax or email to us).
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New_Hampshire 457:31 Who May Solemnize. – Marriage may be solemnized by a justice of the peace as commissioned in the state; by any minister of the gospel in the state who has been ordained according to the usage of his or her denomination, resides in the state, and is in regular standing with the denomination; by any clergyman who is not ordained but is engaged in the service of the religious body to which he or she belongs, resides in the state, after being licensed therefor by the secretary of state; within his or her parish, by any minister residing out of the state, but having a pastoral charge wholly or partly in this state;
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New_Jersey 37:1-13 Authorization to solemnize marriages 37:1-13. Each judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, each judge of a federal district court, United States magistrate, judge of a municipal court, judge of the Superior Court, judge of a tax court, retired judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court, or judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court, the former County Court, the former County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, or the former County District Court who has resigned in good standing, surrogate of any county, county clerk and any mayor or the deputy mayor when authorized by the mayor, or chairman of any township committee or village president of this State, and every minister of every religion, are hereby authorized to solemnize marriage between such persons as may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation; and every religious society, institution or organization in this State may join together in marriage such persons according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization.
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New_York

From State Code:

A clergyman or minister of any religion, or by the senior leader, or any of the other leaders, of The Society for Ethical Culture in the city of New York, having its principal office in the borough of Manhattan, or by the leader of The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, having its principal office in the borough of Brooklyn of the city of New York, or of the Westchester Ethical Society, having its principal office in Westchester county, or of the Ethical Culture Society of Long Island, having its principal office in Nassau county, or of the Riverdale-Yonkers Ethical Society having its principal office in Bronx county, or by the leader of any other Ethical Culture Society affiliated with the American Ethical Union.
The term "clergyman" or "minister" when used in this article, shall include those defined in section two of the religious corporations law. The word "magistrate, " when so used, includes any person referred to in the second or third subdivision.

Definition:
"The term "clergyman" and the term "minister" include a duly authorized pastor, rector, priest, rabbi, and a person having authority from, or in accordance with, the rules and regulations of the governing ecclesiastical body of the denomination or order, if any, to which the church belongs, or otherwise from the church or synagogue to preside over and direct the spiritual affairs of the church or synagogue."
Excerpted from Article 3, Section 11, of the Domestic Relations code

For the City of New York:

We include two letters with ordination packages shipped to New York that meet the City requirements. For more information see the following:
Who can perform a marriage ceremony?
To be valid, a marriage ceremony must be performed by any of the individuals specified in Section 11 of the New York State Domestic Relations Law.
Which Includes:
  • a member of the clergy or minister who is not authorized by a governing church body but who has been chosen by a spiritual group to preside over their spiritual affairs
  • other officiants as specified by Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law

Marriage Officiant Registration Information
Officiant Registration:
Registration is conducted on Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Section 11-b of the Domestic Relations Law requires that all persons authorized by law to perform marriages register with the City Clerk's office before performing wedding ceremonies within New York City. Therefore, if you intend to perform a marriage ceremony within New York City you must register. If your activities are outside of New York City the registration requirement does not apply to you. There is a $15 charge, payable in money order only, for registration.
Wedding Officiant Online Registration is available here.
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North_Carolina a. In the presence of an ordained minister of any religious denomination, a minister authorized by a church, or a magistrate; and b. With the consequent declaration by the minister or magistrate that the persons are husband and wife; or (2) In accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, or federally or State recognized Indian Nation or Tribe.
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North_Dakota 14-03-09. Who may solemnize marriages. Marriages may be solemnized by all judges of courts of record; municipal judges; recorders, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official; ordained ministers of the gospel; priests; clergy licensed by recognized denominations pursuant to chapter 10-33; and by any person authorized by the rituals and practices of any religious persuasion.
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Ohio § 3101.08. Who may solemnize. An ordained or licensed minister of any religious society or congregation within this state who is licensed to solemnize marriages, a judge of a county court in accordance with section 1907.18 of the Revised Code, a judge of a municipal court in accordance with section 1901.14 of the Revised Code, a probate judge in accordance with section 2101.27 of the Revised Code, the mayor of a municipal corporation in any county in which such municipal corporation wholly or partly lies, the superintendent of the state school for the deaf, or any religious society in conformity with the rules of its church, may join together as husband and wife any persons who are not prohibited by law from being joined in marriage.
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Oklahoma §43-7. Solemnization of marriages. A. All marriages must be contracted by a formal ceremony performed or solemnized in the presence of at least two adult, competent persons as witnesses, by a judge or retired judge of any court in this state, or an ordained or authorized preacher or minister of the Gospel, priest or other ecclesiastical dignitary of any denomination who has been duly ordained or authorized by the church to which he or she belongs to preach the Gospel, or a rabbi and who is at least eighteen (18) years of age. B. 1. The judge shall place his or her order of appointment on file with the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she resides. 2. The preacher, minister, priest, rabbi, or ecclesiastical dignitary who is a resident of this state shall have filed, in the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she resides, a copy of the credentials or authority from his or her church or synagogue authorizing him or her to solemnize marriages. 3. The preacher, minister, priest, rabbi, or ecclesiastical dignitary who is not a resident of this state, but has complied with the laws of the state of which he or she is a resident, shall have filed once, in the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she intends to perform or solemnize a marriage, a copy of the credentials or authority from his or her church or synagogue authorizing him or her to solemnize marriages. 4. The filing by resident or nonresident preachers, ministers, priests, rabbis, ecclesiastical dignitaries or judges shall be effective in and for all counties of this state; provided, no fee shall be charged for such recording.
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Oregon 106.120 Who may solemnize marriage; fee; personal payment; records. (1) As used in this section, “judicial officer” means: (a) A judicial officer of this state as that term is defined in ORS 1.210 and includes but is not limited to a judge of a municipal court and a justice of the peace. (b) An active judge of a federal court. (c) An active United States magistrate judge. (2) Marriages may be solemnized by: (a) A judicial officer; (b) A county clerk; (c) Religious congregations or organizations as indicated in ORS 106.150 (2); or (d) A clergyperson of any religious congregation or organization who is authorized by the congregation or organization to solemnize marriages.
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Pennsylvania § 1503. Persons qualified to solemnize marriages. (a) General rule.--The following are authorized to solemnize marriages between persons that produce a marriage license issued under this part: 1. A justice, judge or district justice of this Commonwealth. 2. A former or retired justice, judge or district justice of this Commonwealth who is serving as a senior judge or senior district justice as provided or prescribed by law. 3. An active or senior judge or full-time magistrate of the District Courts of the United States for the Eastern, Middle or Western District of Pennsylvania. 4. An active or senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit who is a resident of this Commonwealth. 5. A mayor of any city or borough of this Commonwealth. 6. A minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation. (b) Religious organizations.--Every religious society, religious institution or religious organization in this Commonwealth may join persons together in marriage when at least one of the persons is a member of the society, institution or organization, according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization. (c) Marriage license needed to officiate.--No person or religious organization qualified to perform marriages shall officiate at a marriage ceremony without the parties having obtained a marriage license issued under this part. [Source webmaster note: Marriage is a civil contract and does not require a particular form of ceremony for solemnization by a government or religious official. See Commonwealth ex. rel. McDermott v. McDermott, 236 Pa. Superior Ct. 541, 345 A.2d 914 (1975). However, marriage does require words uttered to establish at that precise time the relationship of husband and wife. Commonwealth v. Jones, 224 Pa. Superior Ct. 352, 307 A.2d 397 (1973).]
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Rhode_Island § 15-3-5 Officials empowered to join persons in marriage. – Every ordained clergy or elder in good standing...
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South_Carolina SECTION 20-1-20. Persons who may perform marriage ceremony. Only ministers of the Gospel or accepted Jewish rabbis and officers authorized to administer oaths in this State are authorized to administer a marriage ceremony in this State.
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South_Dakota 25-1-30. Persons authorized to solemnize marriages. Marriage may be solemnized by a justice of the Supreme Court, a judge of the circuit court, a magistrate, a mayor, either within or without the corporate limits of the municipality from which the mayor was elected, or any person authorized by a church to solemnize marriages.
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Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. Section 36-3-301 (2012):
"36-3-301. Persons who may solemnize marriages. (a) (1) All regular ministers, preachers, pastors, priests, rabbis and other spiritual leaders of every religious belief, more than eighteen (18) years of age, having the care of souls..."
"(2) In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

Some online ordinations, particularly those mentioned in some news stories in the state, ordain people automaticlly online. Rose Ministries does not. We responsibly perform a deliberate and considered review of each and every ordination request, thereby meeting these requirements. You will need to have "the care of souls", that is, have a congregation. The law does not specify the size of this congregation, originally it could just be composed of you and the wedding party.
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Texas § 2.202. PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO CONDUCT CEREMONY
(a) The following persons are authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony:
   (1) a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest;
   (2) a Jewish rabbi;
   (3) a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony;
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Utah 30-1-6. Who may solemnize marriages -- Certificate. (1) Marriages may be solemnized by the following persons only: (a) ministers, rabbis, or priests of any religious denomination who are: (i) in regular communion with any religious society; and (ii) 18 years of age or older;
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Virginia § 20-23. Order authorizing ministers to perform ceremony. When a minister of any religious denomination shall produce before the circuit court of any county or city in this Commonwealth, or before the judge of such court or before the clerk of such court at any time, proof of his ordination and of his being in regular communion with the religious society of which he is a reputed member, or proof that he holds a local minister's license and is serving as a regularly appointed pastor in his denomination, such court, or the judge thereof, or the clerk of such court at any time, may make an order authorizing such minister to celebrate the rites of matrimony in this Commonwealth. Any order made under this section may be rescinded at any time by the court or by the judge thereof. (Code 1919, §§ 5079, 5080; 1962, c. 362; 1980, c. 154; 1981, c. 295.)
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West_Virginia §48-2-402. Qualifications of religious representative for celebrating marriages; registry of persons authorized to perform marriage ceremonies; special revenue fund. (a) Beginning the first day of September, two thousand one, the secretary of state shall, upon payment of the registration fee established by the secretary of state pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, make an order authorizing a person who is a religious representative to celebrate the rites of marriage in all the counties of the state, upon proof that the person: (1) Is eighteen years of age or older; (2) Is duly authorized to perform marriages by his or her church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization; and (3) Is in regular communion with the church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization of which he or she is a member. (b) The person shall give bond in the penalty of one thousand five hundred dollars, with surety approved by the commission. Any religious representative who gives proof before the county commission of his or her ordination or authorization by his or her respective church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization is exempt from giving the bond. (c) The secretary of state shall establish a central registry of persons authorized to celebrate marriages in this state. Every person authorized under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section to celebrate marriages shall be listed in this registry. Every county clerk shall, prior to the first day of October, two thousand one, transmit to the secretary of state the name of every person authorized to celebrate marriages by order issued in his or her county since one thousand nine hundred sixty and the secretary of state shall include these names in the registry. The completed registry and periodic updates shall be transmitted to every county clerk. (d) A fee not to exceed twenty-five dollars may be charged by the secretary of state for each registration received on or after the first day of September, two thousand one, and all money received shall be deposited in a special revenue revolving fund designated the "Marriage Celebrants Registration Fee Administration Fund" in the state treasury to be administered by the secretary of state. Expenses incurred by the secretary in the implementation and operation of the registry program shall be paid from the fund. (e) No marriage performed by a person authorized by law to celebrate marriages may be invalidated solely because the person was not listed in the registry provided for in this section. (f) The secretary of state shall promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section.
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Wyoming 20-1-106. Who may solemnize marriage; form of ceremony. (a) Every district or circuit court judge, district court commissioner, supreme court justice, magistrate and every licensed or ordained minister of the gospel, bishop, priest or rabbi, or other qualified person acting in accordance with the traditions or rites for the solemnization of marriage of any religion, denomination or religious society, may perform the ceremony of marriage in this state. (b) In the solemnization of marriage no particular form is required, except that the parties shall solemnly declare in the presence of the person performing the ceremony and at least two (2) attending witnesses that they take each other as husband and wife.
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Washington RCW 26.04.050 Who may solemnize. The following named officers and persons, active or retired, are hereby authorized to solemnize marriages, to wit: Justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of appeals, judges of the superior courts, superior court commissioners, any regularly licensed or ordained minister or any priest of any church or religious denomination, and judges of courts of limited jurisdiction as defined in RCW 3.02.010.
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New_Mexico 40-1-2. Clergymen or civil magistrates may solemnize; A. A person may solemnize the contract of matrimony by means of an ordained clergyman or authorized representative of a federally recognized Indian tribe, without regard to the sect to which he may belong or the rites and customs he may practice.
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Vermont State codes are unclear as to who is authorized to solemnize. Actually, they seem to be silent on the point! Visit the state site, and check with the county clerk, (where the ceremony will be held), for further details.
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Wisconsin 765.16
Marriage contract, how made; officiating person. Marriage may be validly solemnized and contracted in this state only after a marriage license has been issued therefor, and only by the mutual declarations of the 2 parties to be joined in marriage that they take each other as husband and wife, made before an authorized officiating person and in the presence of at least 2 competent adult witnesses other than the officiating person. The following are authorized to be officiating persons:

765.16(1)
(1) Any ordained member of the clergy of any religious denomination or society who continues to be an ordained member of the clergy.

765.16(2)
(2) Any licentiate of a denominational body or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular member of the clergy of any church of the denomination to which the member of the clergy belongs, if not restrained from so doing by the discipline of the church or denomination.

765.16(3)
(3) The 2 parties themselves, by mutual declarations that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect to which either of the parties may belong.

765.17
Nonresident officiating person; sponsorship. Any member of the clergy, licentiate or appointee named in s. 765.16 who is not a resident of this state may solemnize marriages in this state if he or she possesses at the time of the marriage a letter of sponsorship from a member of the clergy of the same religious denomination or society who has a church in this state under his or her ministry.

765.19
Delivery and filing of marriage document. The marriage document, legibly and completely filled out with unfading black ink, shall be returned by the officiating person, or, in the case of a marriage ceremony performed without an officiating person, then by the parties to the marriage contract, or either of them, to the register of deeds of the county in which the marriage was performed within 3 days after the date of the marriage.
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Guam §3204. Who May Solemnize. Marriage may be solemnized by:
(c) All ordained clergymen and priests of whatsoever religious faith who are recognized as such by the religious body whose faith they represent.
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Bahamas Contact the following for details and requirements:

Sabrina Huyler-Ramsey, Sr. Chief Executive
Weddings & Honeymoons
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Office
1200 South Pine Island Road, Suite 750
Plantation, FL 33324
954-236-9292 or 800-327-7678

Email: Romance@bahamas.com

See also the following for an overview of the celebrants and licensing requirements: US Marriage Laws Site
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Puerto_Rico Puerto Rico is a US territory. As such there should be no problem registering as an officiant. For more information see the following from the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration website:

How can I get married in Puerto Rico?

Judges, as well as priests and ministers, are authorized by law to perform wedding ceremonies both in and out of court. Certain prerequisites must be met before such a ceremony is performed. The General Court of Justice offers information about these administrative and legal requirements.

To obtain this information you may contact the office of a judge directly. For a directory of judges organized by municipality click here* and scroll to the bottom of the page. Select from amongst the municipalities listed (i.e. Aguadilla, Aibonito, Arecibo…) to see the judges in that region.

For general information about wedding ceremonies and requirements call (787) 641-6600, visit http://www.tribunalpr.org/miscel/dirindex.htm or send your question via email to: buzon@tribunales.gobierno.pr
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United_Kingdom A marriage can take place in England and Wales at a register office, at a building approved for civil marriage, in an Anglican church or in any other religious building that is registered for the solemnisation of marriage. You will need to confirm that the location is properly registered, and that the registration is current.

While our ordinations are legal in the U.K., please review the following from the U.K. General Registrar's Office web-site: All those conducting marriage ceremonies have to be duly appointed in law to an appropriate post. There are legal responsibilities which come with the duty of conducting a ceremony, and possible legal liabilities should proceedings not be carried out in line with marriage law. It would not be appropriate for someone who had not been fully trained in the necessary requirements to conduct a marriage ceremony, and therefore an appointment for a single marriage is unlikely.

If you wish to marry by religious ceremony other than in the Church of England or Church in Wales, you should first arrange to see the person in charge of marriages at the building. However, the church or religious building in question must normally be in the registration district in which you or the other party live. It will also be necessary for both of you to give formal notice of your marriage to the superintendent registrar of the district(s) where you live. A registrar may also need to be booked from the register office in the district where the marriage is to take place in order to register the marriage.

Please note that for a religious marriage, other than in the Church of England, civil preliminaries must be completed.

There are two potential work-around's:
  1. One, the bride and groom can have a quite civil ceremony at the registar's office, then you can conduct a religious ceremony - without regard to the civil requirements (regarding your status and the building requirements).
  2. Or, you can hold the ceremony in a registered building, with an official registar present.

Finally, review this leaflet from the Registrar's web-site, it provides details on the possibility of becoming a registrar for a registered location.
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New_Zealand

Only those who reside in New Zealand can be registered.

From www.bdm.govt.nz:

Only those persons appointed by the Registrar-General as Marriage Celebrants and whose names appear in the List of Marriage Celebrants in the New Zealand Gazette or at www.bdm.govt.nz have the authority to solemnise marriages in New Zealand.

Appointments of independent Marriage Celebrants are made in accordance with section 11 of the Marriage Act 1955:

  • An applicant must be either a Justice of the Peace or some other person of good character; and
  • The applicant will conscientiously perform the duties of a marriage celebrant under Marriage Act 1955 and the Births, Deaths and Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995; and
  • The Registrar-General must be satisfied that it is in the interests of the public generally, or of a particular community (whether defined by geography, interest, belief, or some other factor) that the person be appointed as a Marriage Celebrant.

The Registrar-General will also take into consideration any potential conflicts of interest and apparent bias that may arise if a person is appointed, and consider whether those issues can be managed appropriately.

Holding other positions of responsibility (such as being a Justice of the Peace), or completing a Certificate in Celebrant Studies does not automatically entitle you to be appointed as a marriage celebrant.

To apply to be a Marriage Celebrant and if you wish, a Civil Union Celebrant, complete the Independent Marriage Celebrant and Civil Union Celebrant Joint Application BDM 453 form and post to Births, Deaths and Marriages. There is no charge for appointment and applications are only accepted from people that reside in New Zealand.

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Weddings from the Heart

Weddings from the Heart offers five complete new ceremonies, the texts of traditional Christian and civil ceremonies, and hundreds of vows, consecrations, and blessings. Includes more than fifty heartwarming, philosophical, and poetic readings on love from a wide range of writers and poets such as Pablo Neruda, Rainer Maria Rilke, Shakespeare, and Elizabeth Barret Browning.



Monogram Unity Candle

A unity candle is the ultimate symbol of your love. It represents the joining of your lives and families. Available in white or ivory, these personalized unity candles come complete with your monogram in an elegant script. Beneath the monogram, your names and date are engraved in the color of your choosing..



Personalized Love Collection Shadow Box Keepsake and Unity Sand Ceremony Set

Get the best of both worlds for your wedding with this keepsake shadow box and unity sand ceremony set. The smaller sand box serves as a stunning alternative to a unity candle, and comes with two delicate glass pouring vases that can be filled with colored sands. Once you have performed the unity ritual, the box becomes a beautiful keepsake that serves as a gorgeous reminder of your special day.



Circle Monogram Floating Unity Candle

Add a creative, contemporary touch to your wedding ceremony with this floating unity candle. Each set comes with a tall glass vase and an elegant white floating candle. The vase is made from artisan crafted hand-blown glass. Customize this set with your initials etched into the vase in simple and striking script, surrounded by a chic circle.






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