What is needed to solemnize a marriage in Florida?
October 17, 2006 9:45 PM   Subscribe

So a family friends wants me to solemnize their marriage....what needs to be done?

A family friend has asked me to solemnize her marriage to her future husband. I have never done this before, and would like to do this for them. My google-fu is failing me, so what i'd like to ask the hive mind is, from a legal stand point, what needs to occur?

- do credentials need to be filed?
- do they need a marriage license first?
- does a notary need to be brought in for paperwork?

If it helps, I am ordained by the ULC, and the state this will happen in is in Florida.
posted by richter_x to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't have any filed credentials (beyond being on the ULC rolls), I've always used a marriage license although after has been as good as before, and never involved a notary. I'm in California, however.
posted by majick at 9:55 PM on October 17, 2006

I am not a lawyer, minister, or clerk. Nor was I married in Florida. However....

First, they have to read the Florida Law Handbook.

Then, they have to get a Florida marriage license.

Who can marry them? That is specified in Florida Statute 741.07.

Charlie Crist explains Florida Statute 741.07
posted by ?! at 10:02 PM on October 17, 2006

Spend the couple hundred bucks to become a Florida notary. I was a notary in FL and I solemnized three different weddings during that time. The state does not care about your ordination.

All that's actually required is you ascertain that both parties understand they're entering into a serious legal commitment, then everybody signs. You don't necessarily need to say anything in front of a crowd or have anyone else there other than the witness. (might be two witnesses - its been 4 years since my last one)

In reality most people view the speechifying as the wedding so you want to do the paperwork afterwards. You'll also want to advice them to pick a witness whose name they want on the certificate - most people put stock in that kind of symbolism. Make sure your signature is nice looking.

Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions. I loved doing the ceremonies. It's a great honor to be asked to participate in two people's committing their lives to each other.
posted by phearlez at 7:22 AM on October 18, 2006

You don't have to be a notary. I got married in FL by a minister of ULC. All you gotta do is witness their signing of the marriage license and then mail it in to the FL DHHS. They'll mail the couple their license in 30 days or so.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 12:11 PM on October 19, 2006

No, but it makes life easier. Or less potentially troublesome, anyway. The language if in good standing with his or her affiliate church or denomination keeps cropping up in writeups, though it's not what 741.07 actually says.

Maybe I'm just paranoid, but the arbiter of this kind of thing is going to be the local clerks office who you send it in to. For something this serious I'd take the suspenders AND belt kinda route...

On the other hand, there is an opinion on the Florida AG's site by Crist saying that ordained folk from outside the state are perfectly okay, though the ceremony has to happen inside the state. So their vetting process to determine if someone is a valid clergyperson is likely pretty lax.
posted by phearlez at 3:40 PM on October 19, 2006

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