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Marriage Officiant Requirements in Upstate New York

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Marriage Officiant Requirements in Upstate New York

From Niagara Falls to Lake Placid to Saratoga Springs, Upstate New York State is bursting with beautiful wedding venues. As you plan your big day, one of the items on your to-do list will be choosing a wedding officiant. As you make your choice, keep in mind New York State’s rules for wedding officiants.

Who Can Perform Marriage Ceremonies in New York?

Section 11 of the New York State Domestic Relations Law outlines who can perform a valid marriage ceremony. This includes:

  • 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.

Other Requirements for Upstate New York Marriage Officiants

Outside of New York City, most towns and counties do not require officiants to register with them. It is always a good idea, however, to verify the requirements of the locality where you are being married.

Officiants must be a minimum of 18 years of age.

Officiants do not have to be a resident of New York.

Officiants must complete the marriage certificate and return it to the town or city clerk who issued the license within five days after the marriage.

For more information on requirements for wedding officiants in Upstate New York, or to find an officiant in your area, click here. Happy wedding planning!

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