Whether you choose a priest, a judge, or your best friend who swears he was ordained over the internet; the person who performs your wedding ceremony is no small decision. In some situations you must meet with your officiant for months leading up to the big day. In other cases, you will meet them minutes before the ceremony. Whichever path you love birds choose, make sure it's legal!
So who can perform a legal marriage in Illinois?
- A judge of a court of record or a retired judge of a court of record
- A judge of the Court of Claims
- The county clerk in counties having 2 million or more inhabitants (Cook County)
- A public official whose powers include solemnizing marriages; or
- An officiant performing the marriage in accordance with the principles of any religious denomination, Indian nation or tribe or native group provided that when such principles require an officiant, the officiant be in good standing with his religious denomination, Indian nation or tribe or native group.
More than one officiant can perform the marriage and officiants do not have to reside in the state of Illinois. This person must complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the appropriate county clerk within 10 days after the marriage is solemnized. A newly married couple is required to file the marriage certificate if more than one officiant is involved and none of the officiants have assumed that responsibility.
Whomever you decide to help make your ceremony special, make sure they will be legally recognized by the state of Illinois. If you don't know the officiant, don't be afraid to ask for their credentials or certificates beforehand. If it's someone who is performing their first ceremony for you, help them by contacting the marriage license office in the county you plan to marry and ask what information, if any, your officiant must provide.
Ashley Rader is the owner of Moments of Elegance, an online wedding boutique specializing in garden wedding favors , specialty and seasonal wedding favors and a huge collection of unique wedding favor ideas that will say thank you with style and will truly make your event unforgettable. Event planners can receive 10% off their order with coupon code: saveonfavors10.