Leading Role

officiantRemember that episode of Friends where Joey presides over the nuptials of Monica and Chandler? Turns out, having a trusted friend or family member officiate the big day remains ever popular with couples wanting variety in who is performing the marriage ceremony. In the state of Florida, there are a few types of titles your officiant would need in order to be wedding-day legit.

To legally marry people in the the Sunshine State, one either needs to be ordained, a notary or a justice of the peace. Duval County doesn’t approve marriage licenses overseen by a justice of the peace, but St. Johns and Nassau counties do. Also, if your friend is a notary, know there’s a separate license to preside over marriages.

If you have a particular person in mind to officiate, but he or she doesn’t have official credentials, institutions like Universal Life Church and American Marriage Ministries offer online applications for anyone to become ordained. Something else to consider once you find the person who will legally marry you is how you want them to do it—what kind of ceremony do you want to have? Simple and speedy, or long-winded with breaks for a good ugly-cry? Either way you decide, just make sure you say “I do.” Also, a note to those wanting to become an officiant, you could always just become a priest—it only takes four to eight years.

By Shannon Greene • Photo by Kris Graham

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