Friday, July 09, 2010

Having a Friend Officiate Your Wedding Ceremony

A news story came out late today that New York Congressman Anthony Weiner was getting married this weekend and the officiant will be former President Bill Clinton.  The bride is Huma Abedin has been an aide to Secretary of State Clinton for several years.

Since the groom is Jewish and the bride is Muslim I'm sure they had several discussions on whether they should have a rabbi and/or an Imam or they could go the secular route and have a judge or Justice of the Peace, but no, they went with former President Clinton.

Honestly I think it's great but I don't know if it's legal.  He's not an ordained minister or a New York State public official.  And marriage laws are governed by the states so I don't think there's an overriding federal marriage officiating law that gives presidents - past or present - the authority to perform a marriage ceremony.

Can you imagine if it came out that he was ordained online to perform weddings - maybe his fee goes to charity?

If you're thinking of having a friend or relative officiate your ceremony, I would double check the laws of your state since every state's marriage laws are different and confirm that the place where he or she is getting ordained is legitimate.

And once you confirmed that it's legal I would sit with your officiant and discuss your wedding ceremony, just like you would with a priest, rabbi or Imam.  Talk about the format and how you want it to be personalized.  Don't let your friend wing it, especially if it's his or her first wedding.


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