Can I have a non-clergy friend perform my wedding in Las Vegas?
June 7, 2008 8:52 PM   Subscribe

Can I have a non-clergy friend perform my wedding in Las Vegas?

This question is sort of a last-ditch effort; I've found a lot of information on-line, some of it conflicting but most of it pointing towards a "no" on my little plan here:

My fiance and I are getting married in Las Vegas in October. We're residents of Canada, as is the friend we'd like to have perform our wedding ceremony. He's a long-time member of the Universal Life Church, with zero ULC-related activity in his life other than signing up online.

My question boils down thusly: Can the ULC provide documentation sufficient to compel the county clerk in NV to issue my non-religious, non-resident, ordinary-dude friend a permit to perform weddings, and can the arrangements with the county clerk be made by persons outside NV?

Naturally, I'm open to any other methods of having my friend legally perform the official ceremony in NV, as well. We're willing to do pretty much anything we can do between now and October.

Thanks in advance for your help; I'll appreciate any tips, tricks or outright instructions I can get!
posted by chudmonkey to Law & Government (4 answers total)
This explains how Nevada licenses officiants to perform weddings.

Your buddy will have to navigate getting a Temporary Certificate of Permission, but you can see the forms on the website, which will at least give you an idea of what they're asking for. A quick glance at the PDF tells me that, no, ULC ordination will not be enough, but I am not the county clerk of Clark County.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:04 PM on June 7, 2008

Fairytale of los angeles, that's a terrific link, thank you.

It would seem that the primary obstacle is my friend's lack of service as an actual minister. Not to be facetious, but I wonder if such service is a requirement just because the forms ask about it. Anybody know the skinny on that?
posted by chudmonkey at 9:16 PM on June 7, 2008

Having him legally officiate may be an issue, as fairytale of l.a. says, based on the way the Clark County website reads. Perhaps you can make arrangements with another minister somewhere in Las Vegas so that your friend can co-officiate? Kind of like an interfaith wedding, but with one legal officiant and one there for the special meaning and significance.

I would have your friend call the Clark County clerk and ask first, but you might have to make a contingency plan like the one I suggested if they say he can't register.

On preview: I hope someone here has some actual experience with this, because the regulations on the website seem fairly strict to me.
posted by bedhead at 9:20 PM on June 7, 2008

I'm remembering a story I heard on the radio- radio host has ULC ordination, and would officiate the wedding of an occasional listener. Usually very easy- sign a form at the countt, do the ceremony and sign the marriage certificate. Never had a problem until he tried to get permission to do one in Vegas. His theory was that since Vegas is a wedding destination, Clark county has an interest in keeping it local and throws up as many legal roadblocks as possible. So even though he did have a history of actual service, there was still some kind of problem.

It's a shame, because I don't think the government should be in the business of saying which religion is more valid than others.
posted by gjc at 3:34 PM on June 8, 2008

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