Post # 1
My SO and I want to ask a friend or family member to officiate our wedding. We’re getting married in Maine, far from home, in September 2015. Our venue referred us to the town’s government building for any questions. When I called, they were clueless… He told me they do not encourage this and they don’t even know if you can do this in the state of Maine. When I asked if he could refer me to someone that knows more about this, he said he couldn’t.
I did quite a bit of research over a month ago when we were booking our venue, particularly through https://theamm.org/. Here, it states:
1. Persons authorized to solemnize marriages. The following may solemnize marriages in this State:
B. Whether a resident or nonresident of this State and whether or not a citizen of the United States: (1) An ordained minister of the gospel; (2) A cleric engaged in the service of the religious body to which the cleric belongs; or (3) A person licensed to preach by an association of ministers, religious seminary or ecclesiastical body.
It then states, to be sure you don’t have to register with the state before officiating a wedding, you should contact the locality. It refers you to the county, but I haven’t been able to get a hold of them. The guy from town hall basically spat at me (via phone – that’s what his tone felt like), telling me I need to do my research and I really shouldn’t do this in the first place. I’m just super annoyed.
Any advice? Opinions? Did anyone else go through this?
Post # 2
damarajade: Ugh! I’m so sorry you’re having such a tough time with this. I don’t have any advice, but we went through a similar experience that I can share.
Our friend from Oklahoma got ordained online to officiate our wedding in Maryland. I started to get really worried about our county and state laws about this but from what I had researched, our state is pretty relaxed about performing marriages. We got our marriage license and all our friend was required to do was fill out his info (name, address, and affiliation) and sign on a certain marriage license copy to mail back to the courthouse after the wedding.
I went to the courthouse a few weeks later to get a certified copy of our license to do my name change, and everything was fine so it was a really easy process.
I hope this works out for you!
Post # 3
Thank you! The county called me back and they referred me to the state’s vital records office… the lady I should speak to is gone today, so hopefully I hear some good news on Monday!
From everything I’ve read, it seems that the state is super relaxed, I just couldn’t believe the backlash I received from the town office. The county first referred me back to them, but since they didn’t know anything, she referred me to a higher up. I really didn’t think it would be this hard just to verify some information provided online.
Thank you for the encouraging story and words!
Post # 4
We did the same as PP. Our friend got ordained online through http://www.themonastery.org/ordination I believe, and he just had to fill in his name on the marriage certificate and sign it. I contacted both my county’s clerk and the county that we got married in to double check that it would be valid and they said it was fine. I don’t think they do any type of verification, it’s just basically on us if he’s legit or not. This is in California.
Post # 5
TaraMay_: Thank you! This entire process sounds promising… even with all the phone calls I’m making just to make sure it’s all okay 😉
Post # 6
damarajade: You’re welcome! I was actually able to email both offices and have it in writing, just in case. I was surprised they responded!
Post # 7
damarajade: My dad did this- he’ll be marrying us this summer. He did the whole thing online.