Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Can we have a family member perform the ceremony?

I've heard this is an option.  Someone gets ordained online, and can legally perform the ceremony.  I understand through some research that it's a state-by-state thing, but I can't find any information in Georgia.  Has anyone done this, or have any helpful spots to try for information? 
Thanks to all!!!

Re: Can we have a family member perform the ceremony?

  • Call your county clerk's office.
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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • We are having my FH's best friend do it. You are right that it varies from state-to-state. When we were going to get married in Las Vegas, we were going to have him registered through the state. Here in Iowa though, they don't need any kind of paperwork or anything proving he did the ordination online (which he did).

    I called the office where we will get our marriage license, and they were able to give me that information. So try there.
    Amanda and Eric Gettin' married 10/10/10

    Anyone who is a minister can marry anyone. Just get someone ordained.
  • My FI's cousin is doing it! He is a minister
  • Anyone who is a notary even can marry people BUT I know in most states, family can not perform the ceremony for/marry a family memeber.

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  • First ... yes, absolutely, a family member may perform the ceremony.  My cousin will officiate ours.

    Second ... you may want to find out what office issues licenses for the jurisdiction in which your ceremony will be performed.  Then, give them a call and ask what the guidelines are.

    Good luck!
  • 2dBride2dBride member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited August 2010
    Definitely check out this article if you are thinking of having a family member ordained online to marry you.  Short version:

    • *  Having someone who is just ordained online marry you is clearly illegal in four states.
    • *  In many other states, the legality of having such a person marry you is undetermined.
    • *  If a marriage by someone ordained online is invalid, you will probably not discover this at the time of your marriage.  Instead, it will likely come up on death, divorce, or bankruptcy, when the validity of the marriage has to be determined.  At that point, you will not have the rights you anticipatedk, and it will be too late to do anything about it.

    Several states have alternatives that will permit you to be married by a family member or friend.  For example, Pennsylvania has a "self-uniting" ceremony, in which the two of you just agree to be married.  If you use this alternative, then the "officiant" has no legal function, and can be anyone you want.  Massachusetts has a program under which anyone can be made an officiant for one day.  Any of those programs would be safer than relying on an Internet ordination.

    Because this is a matter of state law, do not rely on what someone says based on what happened in another state.  For example, some states permit notaries to be officiants, but other states do not.
  • I would check your states rules and regulations. I'd hate to go through the ceremony only to find out it's not official!
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