Is Your Marriage Legal?
Credentials of a Marriage Officiant
By Bill Corbett

The most important and most anticipated part of a wedding day for the bride and groom and their loved ones is the marriage ceremony. Bill has performed marriage ceremonies for over 30 years and I have performed marriages for over 10 years on Long Island, in New York City, the metro area, throughout New York State and beyond.

Both of us are graduates of a two-year interfaith seminary. In addition, Bill is a Retired Judge and I am a Former Village Mayor. We are experienced professionals who understand the hopes and desires of couples as they plan their wedding day and a lifetime together. We want it to be a joyful and memorable occasion. When we meet we get to know the bride and groom and begin to become a chapter in their lifelong love story.

In order to perform weddings in New York City as qualified Marriage Officiants, we registered with the City Clerk’s office. After performing a marriage as a legally registered officiant, I sign the marriage license and insert my registration I.D. number. Two witnesses also sign the license; usually the Maid of Honor and the Best Man.

In Nassau, Suffolk and other counties, Marriage Officiants are not required to register at a clerk’s office. As an officiant, I sign the marriage license after the ceremony. Two witnesses also sign the license.

We give two copies of the signed Marriage License to the couple. The signed license is sent to the clerk’s office where the license was issued. Couples receive an official Marriage Certificate a week or more after the wedding day.

Unfortunately, in the real world, some marriages, for one reason or another, end in separation or divorce. That is why we are providing the following information about marriages performed by individuals who are “ordained” online.  The intention is likely to be good but there are times when the validity of a marriage performed by a friend or relative could be called into question.

Below is a copy of an article that was published in the May 2018 Edition of the Nassau Bar Association’s Nassau Lawyer. The article “Wait, We’re Not Married?!” is very informative on the subject of the legality of marriages. I have underlined the important points related to this subject.

Link to Article > on our website


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