Who can perform a wedding ceremony in NYS?

Answered by James Kissner

In the state of New York, there are several individuals who are authorized to perform a marriage ceremony. These include:

1. The current or former governor: The governor of New York, as the highest-ranking public official in the state, has the authority to officiate weddings. This is a significant honor and is often reserved for special occasions or high-profile weddings.

2. The mayor of a city or village: Mayors of cities and villages in New York have the power to perform marriage ceremonies. This is a common practice and allows couples to have their wedding officiated by a local official who is familiar with the community.

3. The former mayor: Even after leaving office, a former mayor of a city or village in New York can still legally officiate weddings. This is beneficial for couples who have a personal connection to a former mayor and wish to have them play a role in their special day.

4. The city clerk or deputy city clerks of a city of more than one million inhabitants: In cities with a large population, such as New York City, the city clerk and deputy city clerks are authorized to perform marriage ceremonies. This ensures that there are enough officials available to accommodate the high demand for weddings in these areas.

5. A marriage officer appointed by the town or village board or the city common council: Local government bodies in New York have the power to appoint marriage officers who can legally officiate weddings. These officers may be individuals who work in various capacities within the government and have been given this additional responsibility.

It’s worth noting that in order to perform a marriage ceremony in New York, these individuals must be registered with the New York State Department of Health. This registration process ensures that the officiant meets the necessary requirements and is authorized to solemnize marriages.

In my personal experience, I have attended a wedding in New York where the mayor of a small town officiated the ceremony. It was a lovely and intimate setting, and having the mayor play a role in the wedding added a special touch. The couple had a strong connection to the community, and it was meaningful for them to have a local official perform the ceremony.

New York State provides a range of options for individuals who wish to have their marriage ceremony officiated by a public official. Whether it’s the current or former governor, the mayor, the city clerk, or a marriage officer appointed by the local government, couples can find an officiant who suits their preferences and adds a personal touch to their special day.