Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Let's face it basically marriage is a written contract executed before a registered official. Most states require a couple to declare before a recognized official they want to be married and sign a "contact" before witnesses. History, culture, and tradition adds to it with formal ceremonies, certain music, and apparel but without the signed contract before an official and witnesses a couple does not get married. Often couples ask me when should they schedule a ceremony with me. After years of doing weddings six months seems to be a good time to secure the services of a wedding officiant. All too often couples call me a week before a wedding after they have booked the hall, band, and food. I ask them what is the most important element in getting married, good food and music or a competent officiant who knows what to do and how to conduct a ceremony, execute the documents and be sure they are legally married? Sometimes I get called after they get a license as the license office gives them instructions on how to get married and about the need to have the paperwork completed by a registered officiant. Generally that is way to late to start a search for a competent officiant but if I am not already busy that day I will do the wedding.
My best advice is always consult a Clergyman, Judge, Justice of the Peace as soon as you have picked a date. The official can help you with what is the essential element in getting married and six months before the wedding is a good time to start that process.