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My First Florida Wedding – A Notary’s Perspective

A few months back, a dear friend of mine got engaged. The excitement of the moment started a conversation about her big day and her dreams of the perfect wedding. We chatted about the tiny details of the decorations, food and drinks. I then posed a question, “Who will officiate the wedding?” She had not thought about it at all. A few days later, she came to me in haste and very worried about who would marry her and her soon-to-be husband. She was panicking because she did not want a minister, priest, or any other religious figure to marry them. The bigger reason for panic was that the wedding was rapidly approaching and she had not finalized this detail. I mentioned to her that I had recently become a notary public for work and that Florida notaries are able to solemnize wedding vows. After the biggest sigh of relief came over her, she asked if I would marry them. My answer came out before I really thought about it, “YES!”
The next few weeks were filled with research, fact finding missions and hours of practicing speaking slowly, clearly and loudly. I had never married anyone before. I don’t think I had even made a speech in front of a crowd of more than 30 people. Not only would I have to make sure that the signing of the marriage license was done properly, I had to make sure that I didn’t mess up any words in the vows. I used the heritage of this couple to provide neat “filler” parts for the ceremony (in my mind, the religious parts were the filler).  At the bride’s request, I added an Apache saying that was not religious in nature but focused on two becoming one with nature. During this part of the process, I was sure the preparation would be the most “fun” part of it purely because I got to learn about so many different cultures and their wedding traditions.
Finally, the big day arrived and I was nervous but my stoic nature would help me to avoid anyone knowing about it. My sweaty palms were the only thing emitting nervous energy that day. After I read through the ceremony details 100 more times, it was time to get the ball rolling. As I was walking to the ceremony site with the groom, my nerves seemed to disappear. Perhaps it was my psyche that finally chilled out or maybe it was the fact that I finally realized that this isn’t a difficult thing to do. It’s an absolute beautiful thing! The ceremony went wonderfully. I had one moment of hesitation in my introduction, laughed and requested permission to start again. The bride and groom laughed with me and obliged. The laugh actually chipped off a few pieces of ice and it was all down hill from there once that happened. The rest of the ceremony went so well that I was sure I was missing something.
I was wrong about which part would be the most fun; it was the actual marrying process – the ceremony, the signing, and the joy I saw when I solemnized this couples’ dream of becoming a happily married couple. This thrilling experience is one that Florida notaries should take advantage of! The joining of two people in a marriage ceremony is a wonderful experience and being the one to actually make it legally binding is just the cherry on top.

~Cate, Florida Notary


Troy Fain Insurance offers Florida notaries a marriage kit to help answer any questions one might have when asked to perform a wedding ceremony. The kit comes with 10 certificates, gold foil seals (to use with embosser seal), sample ceremony scripts, and informative literature.



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