Who can Officiate at a Wedding?

One wedding featured a coach and an NBA player.  Oh, and a bride.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was married in June to former Miss West Virginia Skylene Montgomery, which I guess makes her Mrs. West Virginia?  The question is: does she get to be called Mrs. Payton, given the couple weren’t married by a religious officiant but by former NBA player Avery Johnson?  Does he have the legal authority to marry people?

The Paytons were married in Mexico, but in the US, you don’t have to have a religious officiant. You could be married by a judge or magistrate in all states, and some states allow you to be married by a person designated as a temporary officiant.  The laws on who can get that paperwork vary by state and even county.  Some counties won’t allow officiants to be ordained over the internet so google the laws in your area.  Lucky for the Paytons, they are, in fact, married—even luckier, as married couples will tell you, they know some referees.

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