Customizing your wedding is standard these days, and wedding planning businesses aren't the only ones who are benefiting. There's been a boom in people applying online to be ordained to officiate friends' and families' weddings. But there's an unexpected catch: Sometimes those Universal Life Church ordinations aren't legal in the county or state where the wedding is being performed!
The NY Times has an article about the issues with ordained-online ministers. One couple, a lawyer and a law student, had no idea their Connecticut wedding performed by a friend (they preferred a friend to officiate) wasn't legal, because Connecticut doesn't recognize Universal Life Church. The St. Louis County's wedding license department's Elnora Douglas was skeptical about online officiants, saying, "It’s like you want your favorite cousin to do a surgery, so they go online to get a medical degree."
A tip if you're going the online-ordained officiant path: Contact your local marriage bureaus to find out what the legal requirements for marriage are; check and double-check. The NY Times notes that it checks to make sure the officiants mentioned in wedding announcement submissions are legally allowed to marry people! And with that, here are highlights from this week's NY Times Weddings & Celebrations:
- There are 38 announcements, plus the Vows column
- The youngest bride is 23, the oldest bride is 50
- The youngest groom is 21, the oldest groom is 50
- There are 22 photographs of couples and 1 photograph of a bride-only, plus the Vows columns' photographs
- The Vows column has it all: A bride who co-wrote The Bridal Wave: A Survival Guide to the Everyone-I-Know-Is- Getting-Married Years and is now a NY Foundation for the Arts fellow, a groom who wrote for Blue's Clues and is now writing for Ni Hao, Kai-lan, a meeting on the L train, friends at IndieWire, and Bela Fleck (the groom's half-brother)!
- One groom teaches math at Cornelia Connelly Center, where the school asked for graffiti outside the school to stop
- One bride is a violinist with the New York Philharmonic
- One bride is a producer for VH1's Celebrity Eye Candy, while her groom is a producer for Best Week Ever
- One groom is the head athletic trainer for the New York Islanders hockey team
- The oldest couple happens to have a romantic backstory: They dated at Skidmore College in 1975, but then the groom transferred to Hamilton and the relationship ended. He got back in touch with the bride in 2005, by "contacting her through the Web site of her alma mater, the Bronx High School of Science."
- And there's an update on the marriage of naturalist "Wildman" Steve Brill (we've foraged with him) and Leslie-Ann Skolnik; they were featured in a Vows column five years ago
Photograph of Reverend Billy and a married couple by edittrix on Flickr