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Can officiant marry you in NJ?

When planning for a wedding, one of the most crucial parts is finding the right person to officiate the ceremony. In New Jersey, it is essential to understand the state’s laws regarding who can perform a legal marriage. So, the question remains: can an officiant marry you in NJ?

What Is an Officiant?

Before we answer the question of whether an officiant can marry you in New Jersey, let’s define the term “officiant.” An officiant is a person who performs a wedding ceremony or solemnizes marriage. An officiant can be a member of the clergy, a judge, a magistrate, or a certified wedding officiant.

Who Can Perform Marriage Ceremonies in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, an officiant must be authorized by the state to formalize a marriage ceremony. According to the law, the following individuals are permitted to solemnize a marriage in New Jersey:

– A judge
– A mayor
– A clerk of the circuit court
– A deputy clerk appointed by the County Clerk
– A legislative member of Congress from this state (if a resident)
– A member of the clergy or minister of any religion

As you can see, an ordination as a minister or clergy member is not necessary in New Jersey. However, they must be authorized by the proper authorities in the state.

What Does It Mean to Be Authorized to Officiate a Wedding in NJ?

To be authorized to perform wedding ceremonies in New Jersey, individuals must submit an application to the New Jersey Department of Health and receive a Certificate of Permission. The application process includes a criminal background check, which can take up to four weeks to process. The applicant must also be a resident of the state or have a place of worship in the state where they wish to perform the marriage.

Once approved, the certificate of permission allows an officiant to solemnize marriages anywhere in New Jersey.

How to Choose the Right Officiant for Your NJ Wedding?

When choosing an officiant for your New Jersey wedding, there are a few things to consider. First, it’s important to decide if you prefer a religious or non-religious ceremony. Then, consider how much customization you would like in your ceremony. Some officiants have set scripts they follow, while others allow for more flexibility and personalization.

It’s also essential to consider the officiant’s personality and communication style. You want someone who will put you and your partner at ease and make the ceremony feel heartfelt and personal.

Finally, don’t forget to consider the legal requirements we’ve covered in this post. Make sure whoever you choose as your officiant is authorized by the state of New Jersey to solemnize marriages.


In conclusion, an officiant can marry you in New Jersey as long as they are authorized by the state and meet the legal requirements. You have several options for who can perform your wedding ceremony, including judges, mayors, clerks of the circuit court, and members of the clergy or ministers of any religion, as long as they have obtained the necessary authorization.

When choosing an officiant, it’s important to consider your preferences for a religious or non-religious wedding, customization options, and the officiant’s personality and communication style. By selecting the right officiant for you and your partner, you can ensure that your New Jersey wedding ceremony will be heartfelt, meaningful, and legal.


How can I marry someone in NJ?

To get married in New Jersey, you have to follow some important steps. The first step is to visit the office of the Local Registrar in the New Jersey municipality where you want to marry. This office will provide you with a marriage application form that you fill out with your personal information.

Before signing the application form, you must present proof of identity such as your driver’s license, passport, or state/federal I.D. Additionally, if you are a resident of NJ, you need to provide proof of residency. It’s advised to bring a social security number, but it’s no longer a requirement for obtaining a marriage license.

After submitting the application form, you and your partner will need to appear in person to the local registrar’s office to complete the application process. During your visit, you should also provide the name and address of the person who will officiate your wedding ceremony.

You will also need to provide a witness of at least 18 years of age who knows both you and your partner. This witness needs to sign the application form and provide their contact information.

Finally, you will need to pay a $28 application fee for the marriage license. Once you have obtained the license, it is typically valid for 30 days, after which it will expire if you do not get married.

To marry someone in New Jersey, you need to visit the Local Registrar and provide your identification and other necessary documents. You and your partner should also appear at the Local Registrar’s office to complete the application process and get the marriage license. Ensure you follow all the necessary steps, and you will be successfully married in New Jersey!

Do I need an officiant to get married in NJ?

If you want to get married in New Jersey, you will need an officiant to perform the ceremony. The state has specific laws and regulations regarding who can officiate a wedding and how the ceremony must be conducted. According to the NJ Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, a marriage ceremony must be performed by an officiant who is authorized by the State of New Jersey. The list of authorized officiants includes judges, mayors, and various religious officials.

To become an authorized officiant in New Jersey, you must first apply to the Office of the Secretary of State for credentials. The application process requires filling out forms and providing supporting documentation, such as your ordination certificate if you are a member of the clergy. Once your application is approved, you will be issued a certificate that allows you to perform weddings.

It is important to note that the officiant’s role is not just to perform the ceremony, but also to ensure that the marriage is legally binding. This means that the officiant must complete and sign the marriage license, which is then sent to the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the municipality where the marriage took place. Without a valid marriage license signed by an authorized officiant, the marriage is not recognized under the law.

Yes, you do need an officiant to get married in New Jersey. The state requires that the wedding ceremony be performed by an authorized officiant who has been granted credentials by the Office of the Secretary of State. Without an authorized officiant, your marriage will not be legally recognized. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your officiant is authorized and knowledgeable about the legal requirements for performing a marriage ceremony.

What makes a marriage legal in NJ?

In the state of New Jersey, there are certain requirements that couples must meet to make their marriage legally valid. Perhaps the most important requirement is obtaining a marriage license. In the state, a marriage license is issued by the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the municipality where the bride or groom resides or where the marriage ceremony is taking place. Both the bride and groom must appear in person at the Registrar’s office to apply for the license, and they must provide certain documentation, such as proof of their identity and age.

Additionally, in order to be legally married, individuals in New Jersey must have a ceremony that is performed by an authorized person. This can be a member of the clergy or a public official, such as a judge or a mayor. Once the ceremony has taken place, the officiant must complete the marriage certificate, which is filed with the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the same municipality in which the license was issued.

It is also important to note that in New Jersey, there is no such thing as a common law marriage. This means that simply living together does not confer the legal rights and responsibilities that are associated with marriage. Instead, couples who wish to be legally recognized as married must follow the steps outlined above and obtain a marriage license and have it signed by an authorized officiant.

There are a few other details that couples should be aware of when obtaining their marriage license in New Jersey. For example, there is no blood test required to obtain a marriage license, and there are no residency requirements. However, there is a 72-hour waiting period between the time that the license is issued and the time that it becomes valid. In other words, if a couple obtains their license on Monday, they cannot legally get married until Thursday at the earliest.

There are several important steps that couples must follow to ensure that their marriage is legal in New Jersey. These include obtaining a marriage license, having a ceremony that is performed by an authorized person, and filing the marriage certificate with the Registrar of Vital Statistics. By following these steps, couples can ensure that their union is legally recognized and that they are entitled to the various benefits and protections that are afforded to married couples under the law.