Post # 1
I live in upstate New York. My fiance and I are planning to elope, then have a ceremony and reception sometime next year when we’re in a better position financially.
I feel so stupid, I’m having such a hard time understanding how to set this up! Lol. So I know we need to apply for a license with the town clerk (which has a 24 HR waiting period until a ceremony), and then what? Who do I contact to actually marry us? We’re not religious, so we were planning to go to the courthouse or use a justice of the peace. To hire a justice of the peace/officiant is $300+ from what I’m finding locally. Is there any way that’s cheaper/free?
Post # 2
Here’s a page of info about getting married in New York State https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/4210/
It includes a list of people authorized to perform a marriage. That includes various court judges. Find the one on that list that’s closest to you and give them a call. They can tell you how to make an appointment with the judge and what the fee is. It won’t be free, but for getting married by a judge in a courthouse office, it’s generally a small fee (under $50) and a simple 5-minute process.
Post # 3
Our wedding was officiated by a friend who had an online certificate “ordaining” her as a minister for marriage purposes. That is free! I tihnk the certificate was from Universal Life Church? Something like that. You would have to check NY laws on whether that would be sufficient. After the ceremony, we signed the marriage certificate, as did our officiant, and then we went back to city hall to turn it in, though we also could have mailed it.
That was in Colorado, though, where you don’t even need an officiant – you can self-solemnize. I’m sure NY has a website about their marriage laws and process. Check that out and see if they’d accept an online “minister” as officiant.
Post # 4
Thank you! I guess I didn’t really understand the difference between a local judge and a justice of the peace… thought they were the same thing!
Post # 5
We contacted the Mayor of the village we got married in. He charged $150 and took care of mailing in our marriage license! Easy peasy.
Post # 6
I’ll look into that! Thank you.
Post # 7
That sounds awesome! We live in a small-ish village so this sounds like a great option… Do it all in our home town!