General Question

rodydoe89's avatar

Can I perform my own wedding ceremony?

Asked by rodydoe89 (356points) September 21st, 2010

If I am ordained, is it possible for me to perform my own small wedding ceremony with four people in Central Park, Manhattan?

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10 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

you mean you want to marry yourself? ;>) or marry someone else.

I think you need to have someone officiate to acknowledge the creation of the marriage contract. As one of the parties, you can’t do that.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I think @zenvelo is correct. I don’t think you can officiate and participate in the same ceremony. You should check with your state to be sure though.

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rodydoe89's avatar

Ok. Thank you so much for answering so quickly!

robmandu's avatar

The NY State Health Dept. explains

To be valid, a marriage ceremony must be performed by any of the individuals specified in Section 11 of the New York State Domestic Relations Law. These include:

- the mayor of a city or village;

- the former mayor, the city clerk or one of the deputy city clerks of a city of more than one million inhabitants;

- a marriage officer appointed by the town or village board or the city common council;

- a justice or judge of the following courts: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern or Western Districts of New York, the New York State Court of Appeals, the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, the New York State Supreme Court, the Court of Claims, the Family Court, a Surrogates Court, the Civil and Criminal Courts of New York City (including Housing judges of the Civil Court) and other courts of record;

- a village, town or county justice;

- a member of the clergy or minister who has been officially ordained and granted authority to perform marriage ceremonies from a governing church body in accordance with the rules and regulations of the church body;

- a member of the clergy or minister who is not authorized by a governing church body but who has been chosen by a spiritual group to preside over their spiritual affairs;

- other officiants as specified by Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law.

The person performing the ceremony must be registered with the City of New York in order to perform a ceremony within the New York City limits. The officiant does not have to be a resident of New York State. Ship captains are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State.

It doesn’t appear to say that the officiant cannot also be a participant.

YoBob's avatar

It’s your wedding, you can do anything you want as far as ceremony goes. Regardless of what you do at the ceremony, from a legal perspective the marriage happens when the paperwork is filed with the state.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@YoBob Very true. The question comes down to can the groom sign as a participant and the officiant of the marriage?

YoBob's avatar

This is one of those things that is likely to vary from state to state.

john65pennington's avatar

Only one comment to make. if in the end, the marriage does not work. then maybe it was not legal to begin with and no attorneys or courts would be involved in the no-needed divorce.

I know this does not answer your question, but, it is something to think about.

BryBryStar's avatar

I don’t think you can…interesting…I agree with @robmandu

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