Post # 1
Virginia has some strict laws about who can officiate a wedding ceremony. I did find out that in Fairfax County there is a way for an individual to get a “One Time Civil Marriage” authorization but they have to be a Fairfax County resident. (it’s much more difficult to get Religious Official authorization, even with an on-line minister license, which seems to be allowed in most other states, because you have to show that you are in ’good standing’ with a religious sect—ie have an actual congregation)
What I need to know is exactly what does a person have to do to make the marriage legal? I have a friend that I want to do the ceremony, but another friend that is a resident and can make the marriage ‘official’. But is there anything in particular that the official friend has to do or say to make it legal? Meaning can the non-official friend do the public ceremony and the official friend sign the paperwork or even have us do some vows privately just to make it legal?
Post # 3
Hola – weddings must have statement of free will (statement of intent) and exchange of vows technically – religiously lots of other things apply, but the main thing is that you state the purpose for which you are there, and agree to be married.
however, if you have a licensed individual there, they are witness to the ceremony and as long as they sign off on the paper work as your official, you dont have ot have any specific wording (this allows for different religions and practices to do whatever is their custom)
Post # 4
The officiant need not be from Fairfax County, just from somewhere in VA, to get a one-day license. The way it works is that the officiant goes to the courthouse in his or her home county to register. So, if the officiant lives in Arlington, for example, s/he would get registered as an officiant in Arlington. However, once registered, they can perform the ceremony anywhere in VA. So a friend registered in Arlington could still perform the marriage in Fairfax County.
Assuming that your friend who performs the ceremony does not live in VA at all, you could still have your friend who is a VA resident act as officiant. The officiant basically just needs to witness that the statement of free will and exchange of vows happened. So if s/he watches while someone else does it, that’s fine.
Post # 6
Update: It was too much of a hassle to have our friend (who is from out of state) try to get ‘offical’ and we didn’t want to bother our other firends (ie- deal with the courthouse), so we had our friend do the ceremony (just not legally) and we got legally married on our Honeymoon in Las Vegas.
Post # 7
@KoiKove: That’s actually what we’re going to do! Except we’ll do it the other way around–we’re going to the courthouse a week early to get married and then have a friend perform the ceremony. 🙂
Post # 8
My Dad is doing our ceremony and it was a little bit of hoop jumping here in Culpeper – but I had day time to go talk with the right people and get the paperwork sorted out. He does have a to pay a 500 cash bond that is refundable when we return our completed marriage certificate.