For many, ceremony planning begins with finding the person to pronounce you husband and wife, also known as the officiant or celebrant.
Choosing the right person to preside over your ceremony can be a critical decision. Your officiant can be a great resource when it comes to structuring your ceremony and building a support system in the months before your wedding day.
Before you decide on your officiant, talk to you partner about the type of ceremony you would like to have, whether you would prefer to recite traditional vows or write your own, whether you would prefer to incorporate religious or spiritual elements or take a more modern approach, whether you would like to include your family’s cultural traditions,and so forth.
If you have a good idea about what kind of ceremony you would like to have, you’ll have an easier time choosing the right officiant for your wedding.
Even after you pay your marriage license fee, it won’t be valid until an ordained officiant performs your ceremony, signs the license with a witness present, and returns it to your county. Almost any clerical member can be ordained as a wedding officiant, but if you do not wish to have a religious leader conduct your ceremony, you can always opt for civil ceremony at a courthouse, in which a Justice of the Peace can act as your officiant. Make sure you see a copy of your officiant’s license. Your marriage license won’t be legal unless your officiant has been properly ordained.
Check your county’s marriage restrictions to see who can officiate wedding ceremonies and how they must go about getting ordained. Some areas will offer a 24-hour officiate license to a family member or close friend if a couple would prefer to have a loved one officiate their ceremony.
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