Question about Officiants

posted 3 years ago in Legal
Post # 3
637 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Lbward6:  From the way I understand it (and I’m in Illinois so it could be diff where you are), we have to go get the marriage license no more than 60 days prior to the wedding and have to bring it to the church the night of the rehearsal for the Pastor to hold onto. I’m not sure when it’s actually signed (assuming not until the next day after the ceremony?).

Post # 4
5207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

@Lbward6:  You need a marriage license first (from the courthouse). I live in NJ and mine required 72 hours processing time before it could be legalized. I don’t know if that time frame is standard everywhere so you’d have to contact your local department of vital statistics. Find out if your officiant is legally ordained. If so, the marriage license becomes a marriage certificate when she signs it after/during the ceremony. 

Post # 5
2657 posts
Sugar bee

Check your state’s laws because it will vary.  Where I live, you have to obtain a license first and give it to the officiant.  The officiant usually signs it after the ceremony, and after that you just need to file it with the county offices.  The license is not legit until the officiant signs it  In our state, I think any ordained minister can legally sign the license.

Post # 6
435 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Every state is different. Check your states laws. 

Post # 8
523 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I’ll be getting married in NY so we’re signing our license right after our ceremony, I think I’m going to include it in our ceremony though. Then the officiator files the license at the city clerk and then you get mailed an official marriage certificate. There is a 24 hour window before we can sign.

Post # 9
1604 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Every state is different so check online or at your local courthouse.

In PA, both the bride and groom have to appear in person at the county courthouse 30 – 90 days before the wedding.

They do the paperwork, then you get the license in a week or so. Then you give that license to your officiant to file with the county.


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