Wedding Legalities


As a celebrant endorsed by the Humanist Society (American Humanist Association), I have the rights and responsibilities of ordained clergy and may legally officiate weddings in all 50 states. However, non-resident celebrants and ministers must usually submit an application/fee to the state where the wedding is being held.  As I reside in New York, my application to officiate in other states will take time.  I am also legally registered with the City Clerk’s Office to perform marriages in New York City (which has a separate process from the rest of the state).


Information for New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont is provided below.  In all three states, couples must apply for a marriage license in person with a town or city clerk.  After the wedding, the marriage license is signed and filed (usually by the officiant) where it was originally obtained.  For specific requirements by state:

•  New York:  Your marriage license must be obtained no less than 24 hours in advance and no more than 60 days before the wedding.  Click here for more NYS information.

•  Massachusetts:  There is a three-day waiting period after obtaining your license, which is then valid for 60 days.  Non-resident clergy must apply to the State six weeks ahead of time.  Click here for more MA information.

•  Vermont:  There is no waiting period and the license is valid for 60 days.  Non-resident celebrants/officiants must apply to the State at least ten days ahead of time.
Click here for more VT information.