Registered DC Officiant Search

Registered DC Officiant
My preferred marriage officiant

Looking to get married in DC, today’s lunch hour was spent researching the DC marriage requirements, and the Betrothed Butterbean and I have a problem: identifying our “wedding officiant”.

Now if either of us were remotely religious, or felt comfortable with paying a random stranger, finding a registered DC officiant wouldn’t be that hard. But we’re picky.

We’re wanting to be married by a friend or family member but the DC Superior Court says:

Religious celebrants and judges other than those of the D.C. Courts must be authorized by the Court and registered by the Marriage Bureau in order to perform legal marriages in the District of Columbia. The full name of the intended celebrant must be given at the time of the application for verification and placement on the license.

So that means we not only have to get someone we know registered with the marriage bureau, we have to do it before we can even get a marriage license, and who knows how long that process takes!

Do you?

16 Comments so far

  1. Ex-Hy Hy (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 3:35 pm
  2. Nic (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 3:36 pm

    STOP! Read first: WhyIDont.com – Why men are saying I DONT!


  3. Wayan (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

    Jealousy Ex Hy Hy? Maybe that’s why you’re “Ex”?

    But at least you pointed us to a non-existent we can just dream about (I know you do, admit it), but Nic has given us woman-hate. Ouch.

    I am an optimist in love. You should be too.


  4. Ex-Hy Hy (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

    Yes. I’m jealous. It’s not at all that I’m annoyed that when I come to DC Metblogs it’s choked with inane crap about wedding planning, lil’ butterface, blah blah blah. Last I checked this was DC MetBlogs, not Wayan’s Love Letters. I mean there’s relevant, then there’s irrelevant… and then there’s who gives a crap? As sanctimonious as I thought the whole “Free Huey!” photography sit-in thing was, at least that had public interest. The rest of this drivel is utterly self-serving and eyeroll-inducing.


  5. Wayan (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 4:04 pm

    And yet you come back for more time and time again. Sounds like a secret addiction to me.


  6. Ex-Hy Hy (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 4:10 pm

    Every once in a while this blog serves something up that has to do with DC issues and not the minutae of somebody’s personal dealings.

    Next article: “Wayan makes a doody!”


  7. Wayan (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

    Or “Hy Hy gets a life”

    Because, looking back on your comments, you just can’t resist commenting on my posts. In fact, of all the MBDC authors, you almost only comment on my posts. A little obsessed are you?


  8. Christy (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 4:34 pm

    I would venture a guess that there probably isn’t just one person looking to get married in DC. This may actually be a useful post for the un-ex’d.

    And although I have no davice, as one who does read and enjoy, congratulations Wayan!


  9. Ex-Hy Hy (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 4:35 pm

    Don’t give yourself too much credit there, baby-shooter.


  10. Wayan (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 4:42 pm

    Thanks Christy, I’m glad you’re not bitter and lonely like Hy Hy.

    I’m just trying to help people avoid the trauma like what Penn Quarter Living faced when he went to the Superior Court unprepared.


  11. Boy in the Bands (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 4:49 pm

    I can understand the feeling, in not the logic, of having a family member do your wedding. Would you have a non-lawyer friend draft your will? Officiating a wedding is a skill needing experience in proportion to the complexity of the ceremony. That’s after about 13 years officiating.

    That said, DC has the hardest officiant registration rules I’ve ever seen. Don’t bet on skirting them or registering a new religious society. You’d have a much easier time if you have a friend with a mail-order ordination if you marry in Maryland, or marry legally in Virginia and have your friend or family member lead a ring ceremony and vows if you must be in the District.

    Hint: you can identify a wedding officiant and have it changed before your wedding, if you have a long lead time.


  12. Wayan (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

    By the looks of it, BitB, I’d say you are an officiant yourself. And I do respect your opinion, but I’m hoping for a very casual & fun wedding, where we as the couple speak about why we are marrying each other, and the officiant more there as a master of ceremonies than leading us in prayer.

    I think the only semi-traditional aspect will be the vows, which we’re gonna re-write anyway. I know I’ll have to say “I promise to spend more time with Amy than the computer…”


  13. Don (unregistered) on August 10th, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

    I don’t know what an officiant is called upon to do up here in the northern states, but I have performed three weddings in my life… back in Florida, where any notary public can solemnize (as they call it) a marriage license.

    Down there the bride and groom have to get a marriage license from the courts before the wedding can be official. What you are called upon to do as a notary in that context is merely to assure that both parties are sufficiently aware of the seriousness of the contract they’re entering into.

    So I’m not sure exactly what about that kind of responsibility compares it to drafting a will. Perhaps there’s more asked of an officiant here, though it seems doubtful.


  14. Jenn L (unregistered) on August 11th, 2007 @ 6:15 pm

    A lot of couples these days are looking at non-traditional ways to escape the Wedding Industrial Complex. You’re not alone, just think outside the box. Chris and I were also very into having our “own” ceremony. So here’s what we did, if it’s helpful.

    We were officially/legally married at the DC Courthouse using their officiant who does a civil service (i.e, no religious overtones) with only our parents present. It was insanely easy to set up. This took care of our legal obligation to the state.

    Then we had our own ceremony & reception for the “actual wedding” three days later with all of our families and friends, doing it exactly as we wanted, saying exactly what we wanted to say, without an officant of any kind needed. We consider that our “real” wedding, the other was just for the state.

    So basically we got all the legality out of the way first, and it worked out nicely, much less stress then trying to navigate their wacky rules. You could do the same, get legally married in DC a few days before, then at your other ceremony/reception have whoever you want do the “MC” job.


  15. Wayan (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 10:13 am

    Ah, that’s a cool idea Jen. Two weddings, one for the legalese and one “real wedding” where we can have an officiant of our choosing.

    Don, you free Jan 12th?


  16. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 11:24 pm

    Wayan – I am technically a minister and can be set up to do this type of thing, although I never have done one. You buy the beer, I’ll be an officiant.



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