Q. Is a rabbi the only person allowed to conduct a Jewish wedding?
A. In one sense you do not need a rabbi at all at a wedding. In Jewish law it is the bride and groom who marry each other; the rabbi does not “marry” them. Provided the couple are eligible for Jewish marriage and the set procedures are followed and duly witnessed, that is enough. The rabbi, however, represents the halachah and on its behalf checks that the rules are complied with. He also often acts as one of the halachic witnesses. And the spiritual and emotional flavour of the moment is heightened and its communal acceptability assured by the fact that he presides over the ceremony and blesses the couple.