Post # 1
My fiancee and I would like a dear friend to perform our marriage ceremony and are finding that the officiant laws in NYS are pretty hardcore. A notary cannot perform a ceremony, so that is out. My friend was ordained online by the Universal Life Church, but I’m worried that is not valid/legal. If any of you bees were married recently in NYC by a friend, can you please share the process for making that friend legally allowed to perform your ceremony?
Post # 3
I was a wedding planner in NY for years – notaries can marry people in New York, but not NYC. For NYC, if I remember correctly, for ULC the person ordained just needs a letter from ULC saying they are a member in good standing (I think it has to be notarized from ULC and they may charge a few dollars for that) and that goes to the town clerk or licensing office I believe.
ULC should have a good FAQ section on their website.
Post # 4
@thewheelsonthebus: Thank you so much for your help!!! I will definitely look further into all.
Post # 5
@citywalkr76: I’m getting married in NYC in June so I’ve read this when looking up the legal stuff… I’m linking you directly to the City Clerk’s Office, but basically the person has to do all the paperwork to officially register with the city.
Post # 6
CaitMarae is a user on here and a few months ago she found out that the Universal Life Church IS recognized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York state (she is planning on doing this as well). You should PM her and ask her any specifics if you have questions, I’m sure she’d be a big help!
Post # 7
@ohheavenlyday: CaitMarae’s actually upstate (right where I used to work) 🙂 Sadly, NYC is SOOOOO very different in many state laws, including this.
Good luck@citywalkr76: !!
Post # 8
Oh, boo. 🙁 I didn’t know NYC was so different.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden
I went through the ULC and ordered all the forms through the website, took them down to the city clerk and registered with the city and it’s all legit. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions
Post # 10
FYI there is a separate application on ULC’s site for ordaining to perform marriage ceremonies in NYC. For rest of NY State it’s free but for NYC there is a fee of 24.99.
In addition to all that I would personally call the local clerk’s office where you are getting your marriage license and confirm that they will accept this. Better safe than sorry.
I got married on LI (not NYC) and our friend got ordained via ULC’s NY State package. Prior to that I called my local (Upstate) clerk’s office and the county I was getting married in to confirm that it’s valid for both.
My friend got married in Upstate NY and her BIL got ordained via ULC as well.
And we both got our marriage licenses just fine.
Disclaimer: There are those that believe even though you get your marriage license -a legal document from NY State- that in the future you may find out our marriage is null and void because ULC officiants are not considered legit to NY State.
Post # 11
NYC always wanna be different!
Post # 12
Haha – thanks girls! I feel SO much better after all of your feedback. I was definitely feeling a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to figure this out on top of everything else!
@bRooklynRocks: so true!!
Post # 13
I am a wedding officiant in NYC, you can definitely do it through ULC and it would be LEGAL. You have to however register as well with the city clerk to perform the wedding.
In New York State is also legal.
best of luck.
Post # 14
You can verify whether the Marriage Officiant is registered with the Office of the City Clerk in person, by calling 311, or by inquiring by mail to:
Office of the City Clerk Marriage Officiant Registration Clerk 141 Worth Street New York, NY 10013