Being asked to officiate a wedding in the Washington DC area for a couple you know and love is position that comes with great honor… and it can also be little intimidating, too! Fear not, my friends, we’re here to help. Before you help write a custom wedding ceremony, you will need to check out the legal provisions that come with the job! We did a little research and gathered some of the steps you’ll need to take to fulfill local wedding celebrant requirements. (And if you’re not having a loved one officiate your ceremony, take a look at our vendor guide for a list of wedding officiants in the Washington DC area!)

ceremony-country-chic-wedding-in-Virginia-Sweet-Tea-Photography

Photo Credit: Sweet Tea Photography from Country Chic Wedding in Virginia

Washington DC Wedding Ceremony Celebrants

Who Can Perform the Ceremony:

  • an authorized person of any religious denomination or society ($35 fee + application)
  • a civil celebrant ($35 fee + application)
  • a temporary officiant ($25 fee + application)
  • a judge (or retired judge of any court of record)
  • the Clerk of the Court of such deputy clerks of the Courts as may, in writing be designated by the Clerk and approved by the Chief Judge of the Court
  • a member of the Council
  • the Mayor of the District of Columbia

* “Temporary officiant” means a person authorized by the Clerk of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (“Court”) to solemnize a specific marriage. The person’s authority to solemnize that marriage expires upon the filing of the marriage license.

* “Civil celebrant” means a person of a secular or non-religious organization who performs marriage ceremonies.

The officiant application or the temporary officiant application may be submitted with the application fee in the Marriage Bureau in Room 4555 of the Moultrie Courthouse. For more information on persons authorized to perform ceremonies in Washington DC, be sure to check out DC Code § 46-406.

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Celebrants

Who Can Perform the Ceremony:

  • an official of a religious order (such as an ordained minister)
  • a Clerk of the Circuit Court
  • a deputy clerk designated by the county administrative circuit court judge
  • a judge

Maryland doesn’t require celebrants to register with the state; however, it’s essential that the celebrant properly validate the couple’s marriage license and sign the marriage certificate. One copy of the certificate is to be delivered to the couple, the other is to be returned by the officiant to the clerk who issues the license within 5 days of the ceremony.

Each county has a different procedure to apply; check out this directory to look for your county Clerk’s Office. For more information on persons authorized to perform ceremonies in Maryland, be sure to check out Family Law 2-401.

Virginia Wedding Ceremony Celebrants

Who Can Perform the Ceremony:

  • any judge or justice of a court of record
  • any judge of a district court or any retired judge or justice of the Commonwealth
  • any active, senior or retired federal judge or justice who is a resident of the Commonwealth an authorized minister of any religious denomination
  • a “one-time” marriage celebrant + $500 cash bond (once petition is authorized)

Individuals wishing to perform a wedding ceremony in Virginia must obtain prior court authorization. Any circuit court judge may issue an order authorizing one or more persons, resident in the circuit in which the judge sits, to celebrate the rites of marriage in the Commonwealth.

Each county has a different procedure to apply; check out this directory to look for your county Circuit Court. For more information on persons authorized to perform ceremonies in Virginia, be sure to check out Code of Virginia §20-23 and Code of Virginia §20-25.

**************

Did I miss anything? Are you having a friend or family member perform your wedding ceremony? Leave a comment and let us know your tips + advice!

If you’re looking for more wedding ideas, be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...