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Savvy December 2021

Should i Stay Out of It

Jenna, on October 3, 2020 at 3:28 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 14
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A guy I went to high school with posted on Facebook that he plans on officiating his friend's wedding. The state where the wedding is taking place only allows government or religious officials to perform ceremonies which this guy is neither one. I know the state's rules because we had talked about having my brother officiant our wedding, but we were told it wouldn't be legally binding. I am tempted to message him to warn him that if he performs the ceremony that the state won't recognize the marriage, but part of me feels I should stay out of it. Any opinion?

14 Comments

Latest activity by Monica, on October 10, 2020 at 9:40 AM
  • Kristen
    Master November 2020
    Kristen ·
    • Flag
    Hmmmm I would private message him just so there's no issues.
    • Reply
  • M
    Super October 2022
    Michele ·
    • Flag
    As a friend, I would definitely appreciate that info. Some people will take it with a grain of salt but you tried. Not all folks are comfortable saying something to a random mutual they might not otherwise talk to, so follow your gut.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Expert May 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    Personally, I wouldn’t say anything unless it’s a current friend you see often.

    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    A few states that have too many magistrates, Justices of the peace, or city or court clerks refusing to do marriages, have authorised some temporary measures. I think similar to what Mass. has had for years. You file papers, and anyone not a felon can be authorized to marry and specific couple either on a specific day, or during a 30 day period. Check on very new and coming Covid regs in his state before popping in with advise. With travel and other small legal changes, it is hard to keep track of short term changes states have made.
    • Reply
  • C
    Rockstar January 2019
    Cassidy ·
    • Flag
    You could send a private message. Maybe proved the link to a website with information. Just as an FYI thing. Be prepared for a not positive response.
    I know my state has cracked down on it (apparently it has always been a thing but the made it stricter) and my uncle married my cousin so I sent a message about it just a hey I don’t know if you saw this but I’d check into if your marriage is valid. And he got very upset with me. But I think if you speed the information it wouldn’t hurt
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Expert January 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    No, don’t say anything. There could be a number of circumstances none are your business.
    • Reply
  • Mrs. Coakley
    Master June 2017
    Mrs. Coakley ·
    • Flag
    Stay out of it!!!!!!
    You never know the bride and groom may already be married. Most states they have to get a license anyway so they’ll figure it out
    • Reply
  • Marisa
    Master October 2021
    Marisa ·
    • Flag
    I would let him know.
    • Reply
  • Super August 2020
    ·
    • Flag
    I would send a message with a link to the page on the state website that includes the rules for who can marry someone. You DO need a license to get married, but if ours was similar to the one in your state, they didn't require us to say who was performing our ceremony, so if he hadn't been authorized to perform marriages here, we wouldn't have found out until after we (thought we) were married. Worst case scenario, you annoy a Facebook friend. Best case scenario, either the Facebook friend tells you that he is actually ordained and no one is harmed, or you help a couple avoid starting their marriage with a bunch of paperwork and the realization that they didn't get married at their wedding.
    • Reply
  • H
    Devoted August 2023
    Hhh ·
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    Agree! Downside is a small annoyance, upside is huge. I would be super friendly, say you looked into it and couldn’t find a way that to make it work. Could even help to phrase as a question- ask if he has any insight on how to perform a legal marriage in your state as a friend bc you would appreciate it! Keep it casual, congratulatory, and flattering (bc you’re assuming he is expert) and honestly how could he be offended 🙂
    (I also stay this bc my FH was ordained online to marry our friends a while back and ensuring it was a legal marriage was a HUGE concern for him. Even in a state where being ordained is easy, you have to say/ask the couple the right things for it to be legal. He would have absolutely appreciated knowing someone else with any insight that he could talk to!)
    • Reply
  • T
    Devoted May 2010
    Theresa ·
    • Flag

    If your friend was ordained as a minister online, then they are considered a religious official who can perform weddings. Many people do this so they can officiate for a friends marriage. I'd stay out of it.

    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
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    It was recently in the papers that several states have either changed their laws, or gone back to enforcing ones long on the books, since corespondance schools rather than online ordinations were the issue. Clergy definition was, or was changed to, must be clergy of a religious body or congregation which exists in the real world, with a defined theology, and where services are conducted by those ordained, not primarily or solely online. It used to be that huge numbers claiming college degrees sent away, received a book or two, paid a fee, and got a college diploma or divinity school diploma. Requiring a long period of attendance at an accredited school that exists not on paper alone, but with a real campus, faculty, and accreditation that was from a legit group. And in many places where the law already outlaws ordination from not real religious bodies, online, marriage certificates are being examined and invalidated if the online ordination did not require years of study, or provide religious services to real people , in a real religion. They are declaring other ordinations as not meeting the definition of clergy. ......... But those given civil authority, not religious, to perform a marriage of a particular couple, by their state, online or by applying, are more like 1 time use deputies, and are still allowed where states permit them, though online ordained not real clergy are out.
    • Reply
  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
    • Flag
    I would send him a pm and explain the reason why you knew the info (was going to have your wedding in that state).
    • Reply
  • Monica
    Devoted July 2020
    Monica ·
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    This. It’s pretty rude to assume they aren’t smart enough to figure this out on their own.


    Our officiant is a friend who went online to get a temporary officiant license. I’d have been annoyed if some busybody didn’t think we were smart enough to make sure it was legal beforehand.
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