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How to become a Designee authorized to perform marriage ceremonies
Utah State Code 17-20-4 authorizes the County Clerk to designate individuals who are willing to solemnize a legal marriage for which a marriage license has been issued. A designated individual is referred to as a Designee.
The following information is from Weber County’s policy on Designees. If you would like to become a Weber County Designee, please read this information carefully, then complete the appropriate form. Please note that you will need to appear in person with photo ID when you submit your application.
Application for Appointment as:
3.0 MARRIAGE OFFICIATORS DESIGNATED BY THE COUNTY CLERK.
Utah State Code 17-20-4 authorizes the County Clerk to designate individuals who are willing to solemnize a legal marriage for which a marriage license has been issued. A designated individual shall hereinafter be referred to as a Designee. The Clerk may appoint a Designee as outlined in this policy.
3.1 Appointment of Designee
Weber County maintains a list of Designees authorized to solemnize a legal marriage for which a marriage license has been issued. An applicant is considered a Weber County designee after their application has been reviewed and approved by the Weber County Clerk/Auditor. A copy of the approved application will serve as evidence that an individual is an approved designee.
3.2. Marriage Officiator Designee – General Provisions.
A Designee will understand and abide by the following provisions in order to be a Designee. Failure to comply with any of these requirements may be grounds for immediate termination of the appointment as a Designee.
3.2.1 Any designation of a person to solemnize marriages shall be in writing and a record thereof kept by the Clerk.
3.2.2 The Designee will be aware of and abide by Utah State Code governing marriage, including the following provisions:
- • A marriage license is only valid within thirty (30) days of issuance. After thirty (30) days, the license must be returned and reissued.
- • A ceremony must have two witnesses (18 years of age or older) that are present to attest to the marriage. These witnesses must be someone other than the officiator and the couple, and must sign the license.
- • The Designee will ensure that the official marriage license is filled out accurately and completely, including all necessary signatures. The Designee will enter their “title as officiator” on the marriage license as Clerk Designee.
- • The Designee will return the official license to the Weber County Clerk’s office within thirty (30) days of the ceremony. Failure to do so may result in the Designee being charged with a misdemeanor under U.S.C. 30-1-11.
3.2.3 An appointment as a Designee does not establish an employment or contractor relationship with Weber County, the Clerk/Auditor’s Office, or any other person or entity.
3.2.4 A Designee must be 18 years of age or older.
3.2.5 A Designee’s authority to perform marriage ceremonies extends only within the borders of the State of Utah. A Designee is not authorized under Utah State Code to officiate in wedding ceremonies outside of the State of Utah.
3.2.6 The Designee will negotiate and manage any compensation for their services. A Designee will establish a consistent fee schedule for any service they provide as a Designee, and the fee schedule will not discriminate or provide preferential pricing on the basis of any characteristic protected under law.
3.2.7 The Designee will provide a marriage ceremony that affords each party the opportunity to affirm their willingness to enter into a marriage commitment. Note that the couple may provide their own wording, as long as it includes a statement of their voluntary entry into a marriage commitment with their spouse. A sample of such wording is as follows:
DESIGNEE: (Spouse 1), do you take (Spouse 2) to be your lawfully wedded (husband/wife/spouse)?
SPOUSE 1: (Required to answer in the affirmative.)
DESIGNEE: (Spouse 2), do you take (Spouse 1) to be your lawfully wedded (husband/wife/spouse)?
SPOUSE 2: (Required to answer in the affirmative.)
DESIGNEE: By virtue of the authority vested in me through the laws of the State of Utah, I now pronounce you (Spouse 1) and (Spouse 2) legally married.
3.2.8 The appointment as a Designee may be terminated at any time by the Designee or the County Clerk for no cause with 30 days written notice, or at any time for any material breach of law, this policy, or any provision of the designation form by either party.
3.2.9 The Designee will notify the Weber County Clerk/Auditor’s office of any change in contact information during their term as a Designee.
3.2.10 The Designee will agree and promise to indemnify and hold harmless Weber County, its officers, agents, officials, employees, and volunteers, and release them for and from any liability, costs or expenses arising from any action, causes of action, claims for relief, demands, damages, expenses, costs, fees, or compensation, whether or not said actions, causes of action, claims for relief, demands, damages, costs, fees, expenses and/or compensations are known or unknown, are in law or equity, and without limitation, all claims of relief which can be set forth through a complaint or otherwise that may arise out of the acts or omissions, negligent or otherwise of the Designee, or marriage parties.
3.3 Marriage Officiator Designee – Indefinite Duration.
A Designee may be appointed for an indefinite duration. Additional provisions that apply to a Designee with an indefinite duration include the following.
3.3.1 The Designee will not refuse to officiate in a marriage ceremony on the basis of any characteristic protected under law. With a minimum of 5 days’ advance notice, minus any personal scheduling conflicts, the Designee agrees to perform all marriage ceremonies for any couple that has legally obtained a marriage license within the State of Utah.
3.3.2 With advance notice (see 3.2.1), the Designee will be reasonably available to perform wedding ceremonies during the normal business hours of the Weber County Clerk. At the Designee’s discretion, they may also perform wedding ceremonies outside of the normal business hours of the Clerk’s office, in accordance with the rest of the provisions in this policy.
3.4 Marriage Officiator Designee – Limited Duration.
A Designee may be appointed for a limited duration. A limited appointment is generally intended for situations in which a Designee intends to officiate a marriage for close friends and family where their role as officiator will hold special significance for the marriage party. Additional provisions that apply to a Designee with an indefinite duration include the following.
3.4.1 A person designated to perform marriages with a limited duration will only perform weddings within the limitations specified in the designation.
3.4.2 If the Designee is appointed for a limited duration, their appointment will endure until the date the appointment expires, or until the completion of the event(s) for which the individual has been designated, as determined at the time of application, whichever occurs first.