In Brief

Can you get ordained to officiate a friend’s marriage like Adele?

Singer conducted Alan Carr’s California wedding - but UK law makes process far trickier

Comedian Alan Carr revealed this week that he and his partner were married by Adele after she got ordained so that she could perform the wedding.

Carr told ITV’s This Morning that the singer offered to organise everything and hosted the ceremony in the garden of her Los Angeles mansion.

So how easy is it to get ordained in order to marry your friends?

In California it is possible to get ordained online, for free or for a small fee,  but in the UK the process is far more complicated.

Although several organisations do offer “ordinations” online, they are not recognised under UK law, meaning the marriage would be invalid.

Regardless of whether it is a civil or religious ceremony, marriages in the UK are only legally binding if conducted by a licensed member of the Church or someone registered by the local authority.

Being a registrar is not a temporary status but rather a full-time career, so anyone seeking to become a registrar in order to marry a friend would need to apply to work for a local council. The alternative, becoming a vicar or priest, obviously requires years of commitment and responsibility.

However, if you don’t fancy a career change, all is not lost. Couples in the UK can have their wedding performed by an unordained friend or family member provided they then validate the marriage in a registry office.

This also means the “unofficial” wedding can take place anywhere - unlike legally binding weddings, which can only take place in registry offices, registered religious buildings or locations approved by the local authority.

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