Who Can Perform a Marriage Ceremony?
To be valid, a marriage ceremony must be performed by any of the individuals specified in Section 11 of the New York State (NYS) Domestic Law. These include:
- The mayor of a city or village
- The city clerk or one of the deputy city clerks of a city of over one million inhabitants
- A marriage officer appointed by the town or village board or the city common council
- A justice or judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern or Western Districts of New York; the NYS Court of Appeals; the Appellate Division of the NYS Supreme Court; the NYS Supreme Court; the Court of Claims; the Family Court; a Surrogates' Court; the Civil and Criminal Courts of New York City and other courts of record
- A village, town or county justice
- A member of the clergy or minister who has been officially ordained and granted authority to perform marriage ceremonies from a governing church body in accordance with the rules and regulations of the church body
- A member of the clergy or minister who is not authorized by a governing church body but who has been chosen by a spiritual group to preside over their spiritual affairs
- Other officiants as specified by Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law
The officiant must be registered with the City of New York in order to perform a ceremony within the NYC limits. The officiant does not have to be a resident of New York State. Ship captains are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State.