Getting Married without an Officiant

Can I get Married Without an Officiant?

In July 31, 2017

Did you know that you are able to get married without an officiant? Traditionally, a wedding officiant is a member of a religious group who is also legally recognized by a state to perform weddings. If you do not want a religious wedding or want to break away from tradition in general, you’ve got plenty of options. Getting married without an officiant is possible in two different ways. You can have a civil wedding or have a self-uniting marriage.


Civil weddings are typically held at the local city hall in front of a judge and do require at least two witnesses to be present. These weddings are great for anyone who wants to have a budget friendly wedding, typically costing between $50 and $200. Requirements for a civil wedding include but are not limited to, signed consent forms from both parties, social security numbers, legal names and what they will be changed to, current address, and proof of divorce if applicable. You’ll want to make sure that your local city hall doesn’t have any other requirements or special forms to fill out too. From here you’ll send in the required information and then will receive a marriage license that must be picked at city hall. Next you’ll have to schedule the date for the wedding itself and in most cases you’ll have 60 days from the day you received your marriage license to get married. The judge that performs the marriage acts as a officiant, but you won’t have to pay any more for them to marry you outside of what you paid when you submit for a civil marriage license.


If a civil wedding still sounds too formal for you, there are a few states in which you can have a self-uniting marriage. This is truly getting married without an officiant as you and your significant other are all that is needed to perform this marriage. This type of marriage doesn’t come without some cause for concern as it may be difficult to prove legally and may not be recognized in other states. In Pennsylvania, you can have a self-uniting marriage that will be legally recognized everywhere in the United States by filing out a special marriage license request. It is important to note that not all towns in Pennsylvania will allow this type of marriage to be performed, so you must ask your local city hall about their regulations. Other states that allow some form of self-uniting marriage are Wisconsin, Colorado, The District of Columbia, California, Maine and Nevada.


Whether you want an intimate wedding or to save money, both civil weddings and self-uniting weddings can offer you what you want on your special day. For help obtaining your vital records like a birth certificate or divorce certificate, you can visit

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