It’s a cute enough story, Alan Carr marries his partner, Paul Drayton, and Adele got ordained so that she could perform the ceremony itself. Well, yes, how sweet, except that’s not quite how it all works. Sure, varied Ministers of varied religions can indeed perform marriages in California but just as with our own system in Dear Old Blighty it’s not the ordination itself which provides the ability to perform a legal marriage. It’s the other, separate, licence from the State to be able to perform a legal marriage. Sure enough, certain forms of ordination (Church of England say, but currently not Imams) bring with it that licence, others don’t. But it’s still that licence to marry which is the point.
As it is the legal marriage itself in fact. So, that Church of England marriage, all the stuff in the church itself isn’t a legal marriage. It’s the 10 minutes when they wander off to the registry which is the legal part. It’s, in law at least, exactly the same as wandering off to the Registry Office itself, the CoE vicar, rector, priest, being deputised to perform the legal ceremony itself.
In one view we don’t in fact have religious marriage, not in law, we’ve got marriage of just the one kind with different people doing it, in different buildings, with different trappings, but the one legal contract.
So, to our popular beat combo in one:
Adele secretly got ordained so she could serve as the minister at comedian Alan Carr’s wedding, she revealed today.
The singer said “the cat’s out the bag” as she confirmed she married TV host Carr and his long-term partner Paul Drayton.
She posted a photograph of herself on Instagram, writing: “Seeing as the cats out the bag. I married two of my best friends in January.
“You know me any excuse to dress up… @chattyman #LoveisLove.”
Ah, how lovely, eh? But it isn’t the ordination – whatever and whichever sect of Sky Fairy worshipping she got the robes for.
Adele got ordained and conducted TV presenter Alan Carr’s wedding in January, he has revealed.
The Chatty Man host told ITV’s This Morning that the pop star officiated over his wedding to Paul Drayton in the back garden of her Los Angeles home, and also sang for their first dance.
Officiated, yes, that’s not just possible that’s true. A friend who is a philosophy professor in California (Hi Tal!) did this once. Officiated at a marriage of some friends. He didn’t become ordained for the day, or even ordained so that he could officiate for the day. Rather, there’s a scheme where you can become akin to a Justice of the Peace (UK JPs cannot and do not marry people, US ones in certain circumstances can – think that old trope about ship’s captains) for a day, with the right on that day to marry one couple and one couple only.
The County Clerk issues public and confidential marriage licenses.
And you can be deputised into that County Clerk role:
Couples with a valid marriage license may choose to have a friend or relative deputized to perform their marriage ceremony. The prospective commissioner does not need to be a resident of Santa Clara County. Additionally, the marriage ceremony may take place in any County within the State of California.
To apply to have a person deputized as a “One-Time Deputy Marriage Commissioner”, the prospective commissioner should come to the Clerk-Recorder’s Office during Business Hours. No appointment is needed. Upon arrival, please make your way to our public search area to start your request.
It’s certainly a cute story that Adele is now the Rev Miss Adele but it’s not really what happened. She became a one-time deputy marriage commissioner, also known as a JP for a day. Good on her and best wishes to the happy couple of course but it’s not quite the same as administering the sacraments.