Justice of the Peace or Minister or Officiant - what does it all mean?
If you are looking to get married you will need a person who is legally qualified to perform your ceremony and sign your marriage license in order to make your marriage in the state of Michigan a legal one.
Let’s talk the legal talk shall we? Here is the Michigan law on who can perform a wedding.
Marriage, performance of
Required State License(s): None
To perform marriage ceremonies a person should be an ordained minister, magistrate (a civil officer with power to administer and enforce law -- Justice of the Peace), mayor of a Michigan city or a judge.
An ordained minister of the gospel recognized by a church may perform marriages whether or not the church has filed a charter with the State of Michigan, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Corporation Division or an elected government official. To determine if a church has filed a charter, telephone: 517-241-6470.
Marriage licenses are obtained at the county clerk's office.
For marriage statistics contact the Department of Health & Human services, Vital Statistics at 517-335-8094.
There is a tax guide available from the IRS, Publication 1828, "Tax Guide for Churches and Other Religious Organizations." It is available online at www.irs.gov.
Churches may be required to have a "Church Copyright License." For further information about this license, contact Christian Copyright Licensing International by calling (800) 234-2446.
The person who can legally perform your marriage ceremony can go by many different names. Of course, if you belong to a church or have a religious affiliation than you most likely will utilize the person within your own faith to perform your wedding and marriage duties.
But, what if you don’t have a specific place you practice your beliefs or a church you are a member of, what if you don’t have such a person in your life? That is where a non-denominational Officiant or Justice of the Peace would come in to preside over your wedding day ceremony and marriage license signing.
What is a non denominational Officiant? This is a person who has received the valid certification to legally perform wedding’s in the state of Michigan. Most wedding Officiants will get ordained using an online website and once ordained through said website, they can then go forth and legally perform wedding ceremonies and sign marriage licenses in the State of Michigan.
A Justice of the Peace or local Judge can also perform a legal wedding ceremony. However as of late, most Judge’s and court houses no longer perform marriage ceremonies or if they do, there may be a very long wait list.
I, Nichole Bertucci am an Ordained Officiant with the Universal Life Church. I was ordained in 2007 and have performed over 100 wedding’s each year following. I am so happy to have found my passion that I can pursue as a career.
My speciality is small pop up weddings. To keep it simple is my love language.
To inquire about my availability for your wedding day needs please complete the contact form here.
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