Clarifying Some Frequent Questions

Be sure to choose a wedding officiant who is legally authorized to perform weddings in Connecticut and verify that the person you speak to on the telephone or via email is actually the person who will be performing your ceremony.  Some web-based “officiants” are in fact referral agencies that seek a fee from truly local officiants to receive a referral.  I would suggest asking any potential officiant if they are a referral group or in fact an officiant in the city or town where you want to be married. The person you choose to be your wedding officiant is going to be sharing a very personal, very important moment in your life. Flexibility should be one of the benefits of having a Justice of the Peace as your officiant!

Connecticut Justices of the Peace are permitted to marry people anywhere in Connecticut.  Some Justices of the Peace do not want to travel out of their own town.  You should feel comfortable that your officiant will honor the traditions that you want to include.  This is especially important if you follow two different traditions, and you would like elements of both included in the ceremony.

Many couples these days are describing themselves as “Spiritual, but not religious.”  Your ceremony can easily be written with or without mention of God or a higher power. Where does the officiant’s power to marry you come from?  My authority comes from the State of Connecticut.  A word of warning: Connecticut has cracked down on so-called “Internet ordinations.”  Some states allow people to get “ordained” by a website just to marry friends.

Connecticut law requires clergy to have an active ministry in addition to marrying people.  If you have a ceremony with an “Internet Minster” you will not be legally married.  Only ordained or licensed people who have an active Connecticut ministry performing religious duties other than marrying people can legally marry people in Connecticut.  Ministers, priests, rabbis, and other religious leaders who lead established Connecticut congregations that meet regularly are legally authorized to perform marriages.  An “Internet Ordination” is not valid in Connecticut.