💒Why this News 6 anchor became an ordained minister, officiates weddings

Most ordinations free online, take minutes to grant permission to legally wed others

It’s no surprise News 6 anchor Julie Broughton wears many hats: anchor, meteorologist and education reporter. Did you know she’s also an ordained minister?

ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s no surprise News 6 anchor Julie Broughton wears many hats: anchor, meteorologist, education reporter.

Did you know she’s also an ordained minister?

“I’m always nervous before a wedding and people have a hard time believing that because I’m on TV every day,” Julie said. “This is their, hopefully, one chance they’re getting married and you want to make it memorable and special and you just don’t want to mess it up.”

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Julie said being an officiant isn’t a side-gig per se, but a service she wanted to provide to show support to those close to her.

“It was 2014 or 2015 when same-sex marriage became legal in every state. I was like, ‘OK, I’m an ally so how can I support all of this and all of my friends who will be getting married.’ I decided to go online and get ordained with the intention of doing just same-sex marriages and it just blossomed,” Julie said.

So, how do you become ordained?

“You can be ordained in the next 5 minutes. You literally go online to a ministry. Fill out a form. Then they send you a card stating you’re a minister. You even get a minister parking pass,” Julie said.

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Most websites offer free and quick ordination. Under Florida state law, persons authorized to solemnize matrimony in Florida include:

“All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church, or other ordained clergy, and all judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state may solemnize the rights of matrimonial contract...”

Once ordained, you’re not required to file as a minister with the clerk of courts. Some ministries’ ordinations don’t expire. With a marriage license and paperwork that’s filled out after the wedding, there’s only one thing that really has to be included in the wedding ceremony to make the nuptials legal.

“That’s the declaration of intent and that just means everyone’s there because they want to be. That they’re not forced to be married against their will,” Julie said.

Julie has married several friends including co-workers, utilizing her journalism skills.

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“It’s like being a reporter. You put together a story and you do have a script and you want to make it personal to them,” Julie said. “It actually surprised me how much I like it and how emotional I find it because - it’s no secret, I don’t have any desire to get married again.”

Julie said every wedding is unique and comes with its own challenges.

“I married my friend Ebony and her husband, and she picked to get married in February on the beach in Sanibel. It normally would be the perfect time to get married outside, but it was the grossest day I’ve ever seen in Florida. It was so windy and wet. I’m wearing a coat and Ebony is wearing this beautiful gown. It was so windy that my lashes flew off and the groom had to put it in his pocket. Luckily, it happened before the ceremony started because I didn’t want it to be a distraction,” Julie said.

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Every wedding memorable.

“My favorite moment is always watching the groom or partner standing there when the other partner comes down the aisle. It’s just something about seeing the genuine reaction that gets everyone so emotional. Sometimes I’ll start crying and tell myself, ‘get it together,’” Julie said.

Julie’s not the only News 6 talent who’s ordained. Trooper Steve is also an ordained minister and word around the newsroom is that Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells is looking into becoming ordained in the future.

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About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.