Opinion 16-86

July 21, 2016


Dear :

         This responds to your inquiry (16-86) asking if you may be ordained as a minister via an online course in order to conduct a wedding in another state. You would be unpaid for performing the wedding, and the couple would not later appear before you.

         While a judge may be ordained, the question whether a New York State or local judge may officiate at a wedding ceremony in another state, and under what conditions, are legal questions the Committee cannot answer. However, assuming the online ordination procedure you have described is a lawful method for you to become authorized to officiate a wedding in that state under applicable law, you may participate in such procedure and thereafter conduct the wedding subject to any applicable legal restrictions.

         Enclosed, for your convenience are Opinions 14-193; 12-142; and 15-92(A) which address these issues.

                                       Very truly yours,


George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice

Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)

Committee Chair