JP Vs. Ordained Minister, what you need to know!


Many of my clients come to me to regarding their Wedding Ceremony and they very excitedly announce that “their cousin” or “their uncle” or their “college roommate” will be officiating over their wedding. It is certainly a trend to have somebody you know and love pronounce you “man and wife” on your wedding day.  However, it is very important to know the law in your particular state.

In the State of CT it is very clear, if you are Ordained Online – you must be an actual practicing Ordained Minister for a wedding to recognized, in other words, you can’t become ordained simply to perform a friend or relatives Wedding Ceremony, see the CT Statutes below…

Sec. 46b-20a. Eligibility to marry.

A person is eligible to marry if such person is:

(1) Not a party to another marriage, or a relationship that provides substantially the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as a marriage, entered into in this state or another state or jurisdiction, unless the parties to the marriage will be the same as the parties to such other marriage or relationship;

(2) Except as provided in section 46b-30, at least eighteen years of age;

(3) Except as provided in section 46b-29, not under the supervision or

control of a conservator; and

(4) Not prohibited from entering into a marriage pursuant to section 46b-21. (P.A. 09-13, S. 4.)

Sec.46b-21. (Formerly Sec. 46-1). Kindred who may not marry.

No person may marry such person’s parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, parent’s sibling, sibling’s child, stepparent or stepchild. Any marriage within these degrees is void.

(1949 Rev., S. 7301; P.A. 78-230, S. 3, 54; P.A. 09-13, S. 6.)

Sec.46b-22. (Formerly Sec. 46-3). Who may join persons in marriage.


Penalty for unauthorized performance.

(a) Persons authorized to solemnize marriages in this state include (1) all judges and retired judges, either elected or appointed, including federal judges and judges of other states who may legally join persons in marriage in their jurisdictions, (2) family support magistrates, state referees and justices of the peace who are appointed in Connecticut, and (3) all ordained or licensed members of the clergy, belonging to this state or any other state, as long as they continue in the work of the ministry. All marriages solemnized according to the forms and usages of any religious denomination in this state, including marriages witnessed by a duly constituted Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is, are valid. All marriages attempted to be celebrated by any other

person are void.

(b) No public official legally authorized to issue marriage licenses may join persons in marriage under authority of a license issued by himself, or his assistant or deputy; nor may any such assistant or deputy join persons in marriage under authority of a license issued by such public official.

(c) Any person violating any provision of this section shall be fined not more than fifty dollars.

(1949 Rev., S. 7306; 1951, S. 3001d; 1967, P.A. 129, S. 1; P.A. 78-230,S. 4, 54; P.A. 79-37, S. 1, 2; P.A. 87-316, S. 3; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-4, S. 27, 58; P.A. 06-196, S. 276; P.A. 07-79, S. 5.


What this means is, hire a CT Justice of the Peace if you are having a ceremony outside of a church or religious venue, this is the only way to ensure you will be legally married.  As I CT Justice of the Peace and a Wedding Planner I work with over a dozen other individuals throughout the year, we all have a different style and we all love what we do! So get to it and find a JP that will ensure your are married in the eyes of the law!





Categories: Church Bells, Justice of the Peace, and Wedding Planning.