Handfasting on a Holy Day - Practical & Legal bits

So! You’re planning your Handfasting for one of the eight holy days of the Pagan Wheel of the Year.

First of all, congratulations and many blessings, I hope you find every joy on your path together!

Now it’s time to get busy! 

It's not a moment too soon to look for your officiant, especially since you have chosen such a sacred day to fast your hands together, because most Pagan clergy will be booked for that day - which part of that day is especially busy depends on which holiday you have chosen. If you are willing to have your ceremony during a less busy part of the day, or even the next day or the day before, (which many people still consider sacred), you will open up your options. 

I advise you to look at the clergy listings on WitchVox.com for your state and reach out to any and all listings that you think would suit your needs. Let them know, in your initial email, what time of day you are planning on. They may be willing to perform a ceremony on that special day if it doesn't conflict with their own private commitments.

That is the practical bit. If you are legally allowed to marry in your state and you wish to have a member of the ordained Pagan clergy perform your ceremony, you need to deal with the legal bits. If you are not legally allowed to marry in your state, then you have more than enough to do anyway, and I wish you every blessing in your path! 

Laws vary greatly from state to state, so be sure that the person you choose as an officiant is qualified to officiate in the state that you are in! 

If you are a resident of Colorado, the rest of this information is for you! I am assuming that you are both well-suited and in love, and you qualify to marry each other under the current laws of the state. [Here’s a link to the Denver County site: https://www.denvergov.org/denverclerkandrecorder/ClerkandRecorder/MarriageLicenses/MarriageLicenseRequirements/tabid/437533/Default.aspx]

What if you cannot find an ordained clergy member for the date you wish?

If you cannot find an ordained clergy member that is well-suited for your ceremony, and you are a part of a working circle that you would be happy having perform your ceremony, you can have your high priest and/or high priestess get an online ordination; there are many available and they are immediately valid for signing a Colorado marriage license legally. 

If your high priest/priestess, does not want to have a legal ordination, or if there is some other person that you would like to perform your ceremony and they do not want a legal ordination you may still have that same ceremony and be legally wed in the state of Colorado. There are two ways to approach this. 

First: in the state of Colorado you can sign your own wedding license. [http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDPHE-CHEIS/CBON/1251595220309]

That's right! Follow that link and you'll find a list of people who are allowed to Solemnize a Marriage  in the state of Colorado. If you are not a judge, or a clergy member etc, you cannot sign SOMEONE ELSE'S marriage license. But the couple can sign their own. So, if you are unable to find the ordained clergy member that you want, you can still find an unordained clergy member of your choice and just sign that license yourself! 

Second, Colorado recognizes Common Law marriage. You may sometimes have a harder time with insurance and other legal situations, but you can get a certificate of Common Law Marriage from your county and institutions are required to recognize it. 

The last thing that you may want to know is that, in Colorado, a marriage license is currently good for 35 days, so be sure to pick yours up around 3 weeks or so of the actual ceremony. If you pick it up too soon, it will expire before your special date, and not picking it up soon enough will just add to your stress. Keep in mind that, should something unavoidably delay your ceremony, that license is still good for the full 35 days from the day you got it, and, even after that, you may only have to pay a late filing fee, unless you are in Denver county. Laws regarding expired licenses vary WILDLY from county to county; check with your county to make sure

Also, many counties now have an online form that can help you spend less time at the county office filling things out. Again, check online to see what you need to know about fees and office hours and all the rest. Be sure and check with the county that you are living in. 

I hope that this information helps you with your plans and that your ceremony is blessed and magical! 

Blessed be!

© Paulie Rainbow 2013