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How To Ordain A Wedding

How To Officiate A Wedding For The First Time

Tips on How to Officiant a Wedding with Jon Hansen

Learn how to perform a wedding for the first time, from getting ordained online to signing the marriage license! A step-by-step guide for new officiants, ministers, and friends or family who have been asked to marry their loved ones.

This is a simplified look at the steps youll need to take to perform a wedding for the very first time — from becoming an ordained minister to signing the marriage license!

In each step, we’ve linked to additional resources offering detailed information to help you thoroughly understand what comes next, no matter where you are in the process.

Easy Steps To Becoming An Ordained Minister

One of the most beautiful moments in life is hearing the words I do at the altar of a charming wedding ceremony. Besides the couple in love, the only thing needed for this magical moment is a trusted person to marry them. How would you like to be that trusted person performing at your friends or family members wedding?

Although some engaged couples turn to their church ministers as their wedding officiant, many prefer their friends or family to join their hands in marriage. If you are seeking to become a wedding officiant, you must start with getting ordained, which only takes five simple steps to complete.

With this quick and easy process, you will find yourself standing at the wedding altar as an officiant uniting two lovebirds in no time.

What Are Some Credible Organizations That Can Ordain Me Online

Even when it comes to becoming ordained online, you need to be careful when choosing which ministry will ordain you. There are fake or scam ministries that will take your money and send you official-looking documents but are not actually registered ministries! If you dont do your homework and sign up with a scam ministry, your ordainment will not be official.

Some of the most popular and long-standing online ministries are Universal Life Church, Open Ministry, Universal Ministries, and American Fellowship Church. If you are in doubt, you can check with your Secretary of States office to see whether a particular online ministry is registered with them. If you are in California, for example, the American Fellowship Church is legally registered with the Secretary of States office. Find out more about wedding guides.

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Discuss The Couple’s Overall Vision For The Ceremony

Sit down and walk through the ceremony outline with the couple, as each will want something different. With religious ceremonies, there’s a reasonably set pattern and format, but with secular weddings, the couples sometimes want to throw out the entire playbook. It’s key to talk to them upfront so you can understand their vision for the ceremony.

Once you’ve figured out all of the deadlines, write them down. Mark up a calendar to outline when you need to have your documents by, when fees need to be paid, and when you need to have the couple’s marriage license turned in.

Visit The Universal Life Church Online

How to find an Ordained Minister online in California ...

Although there are many online ministries that anyone can become an ordained minister at, such as the American Marriage Ministries , the Universal Life Church is one of the most widely known non-denominational organizations due to its universal inclusion.

Universal Life Church is an online non-denominational organization that works quickly to ensure your ordination goal as a future minister for free. The ULC has legally ordained over 20 million ministers worldwide, including famous names, such as Conan OBrien and Lady Gaga. Furthermore, they offer ordination to those who do not decide to take the path of ministry.

If you are seeking to officiate wedding ceremonies, the Universal Life Church site is the place to get ordained online.

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Become An Ordained Wedding Officiant

Getting ordained is only one step towards a career as a professional wedding officiant, albeit a very important one. If you are considering performing wedding ceremonies professionally, we highly recommend reading our article How to Become a Wedding Officiant to help you get started. WeddingOfficiants.com The Wedding Officiant Directory also offers a number of high-quality, affordable options to be listed in our officiant directory and attract more couples seeking your services. Use the button below to search for officiants in your area, or !

S To Getting Ordained

The timeline and procedure will vary depending on the organization. Your ordination could take one day to register online, or it could be longer if your ordination service requires training or coursework before theyll ordain you. Look for a reputable one that offers basic, fast, and free ordination online but has additional offerings and support staff to answer your questions.

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How To Officiate A Wedding

Now that your friend is actually ordained to officiate your wedding, what do they actually have to do? You’ll want to take a look at your local laws again to brush up on the requirements. In most cases, your officiant simply needs to include the declaration of intent, or the “Do you take…” and “I do” vows portion of the ceremony.

Don’t Forget To Make It Official

How to Officiate at Your Friends Wedding

A quick final note after performing the ceremony, make sure to fill out the marriage license! IMPORTANT: Laws vary by state, but marriage licenses are generally only valid for a period of 30-90 days. Visit ourState Marriage Laws page for more information. Communicate with the couple and do your homework the license should not be obtained too far in advance, and should be returned promptly to the correct authority after the ceremony to ensure that it doesn’t expire. In a majority of states, this is the officiant’s responsibility. While it is acceptable to mail the license, dropping it off in person is preferred in order to avoid any unforeseen complications.

Once the paperwork has been submitted, you have officially completed the wedding ceremony. Congratulations!

Note: this guide provides a basic overview of how to perform a wedding ceremony. More in-depth information and guidance can be found in the literature shown below.

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Why Get Online Ordination With Minister Now

  • You may have been asked to be a wedding officiant for loved ones and you need to become ordained quickly. You are able to get your documents in less than 48 hours. When you apply today you can have your documents by tomorrow in most cases.
  • You are new and need support. We offer resources and information to new ministers to help answer questions and give tips on being error and worry-free.
  • You may feel limited in your ability to serve, preach and minister your faith without ordination credentials because inaccessibility to a local ministry, or serving/working abroad may have limited your path to ordination.
  • Youve already seen several online ordination sites that have no core belief, offering ordination for any faith or no faith. Instead, you want your ordination to be aligned with your core beliefs. Minster Now offers only Christian ordination to perform weddings, minister and other services.

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Iowa Marriage Officiant License

As an online ordained minister you are one step closer to performing marriage in Iowa. In addition to our free online ordination, we provide all the materials you need to officiate weddings with confidence. Whether you will be officiating weddings in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, or even Unionville, AMM has everything you need to create an amazing ceremony.Your next step is to observe any officiant registration required by the Iowa Government. Click on the button below to learn more.

This article courtesy of the Avvo Stories blog

Do you want to help a couple you love say, I do, by officiating their wedding? Its now possible for anyone to perform a wedding ceremony. So, what do you have to do in order to be the one standing up and saying, Dearly beloved?

Most couples without firm religious or church affiliations dont feel any connection to a minister, priest, rabbi, or imam. Most likely, they have even less connection to a government official like a judge or justice of the peace. If someone with whom the happy couple has a real relationship conducts the wedding, the ceremony is more personal, making the day even more special.

If youve been asked to officiate a wedding, you dont need any special skills other than the ability to speak in front of people.

Who can help tie the knot?

Get legal

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Perform The Wedding Ceremony

Our ministers perform all different types of weddings from formal and traditional ceremonies to laid-back weddings with fun themes, we’ve seen it all. Here at the ULC we always encourage creativity, and applaud unique ceremony ideas. However, as minister, you should be familiar with the basic requirements that all ceremonies must meet.

In order for a marriage to be legally binding, the wedding ceremony itself must include two key elements. The first is the Declaration of Intent this is most commonly recognized as the “Do you take… I do” exchange. The second is the Pronouncement, where you will pronounce the couple officially married. While most weddings will involve additional elements, these segments constitute the bare minimum for a legal ceremony. Make sure you cover them!

Planning the wedding ceremony itself is generally left up to the couple, though you may be asked to provide input or advice. If you are officiating a wedding ceremony for close friends or family, your personal knowledge of the couple will likely mean more involvement in the planning stages. Either way, it is important to communicate with the couple to figure out what type of ceremony they want and which elements they’d like included.

Give A Marriage License Reminder

How to Get Ordained to Officiate a Wedding

Dont let the couple forget to pick up their marriage license. With all of the more fun planning details to focus on, this little legal matter can easily slip through the cracks. Each state has different rules and timeframes for the application period. In New York, for example, couples must apply in person at their local court for their marriage license, and they must do so between 24 hours and 60 days prior to being legally wed. The couple is responsible for bringing the marriage license to the wedding.

STEP 6: How to officiate a wedding

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License To Marry In Canada

We should note that in some areas the laws are still a bit behind the advanced technological ideas powering the Universal Life Church Ministries, and there is some chance that our legal status in your area may not be as strong as it is in some others. Rest assured that we are working hard to achieve global recognition, and we do hope that you will be able to perform a legal wedding soon if you cannot currently.However, if your ordination has been accepted by the marriage authority, you may well have a list of credentials and other documents that you are being asked to present. Rest assured that the minister supplies catalog on our site has everything you may require to meet any legal requirements, and just about any other ceremony or rite you hope to provide. Most online ordained ministers in Canada request to receive an Ordination Package via that catalog. We are happy to offer FedEx international shipping during the checkout process that will ensure that any supplies you order will make it to your address from our U.S. facility promptly and safely. That said, we would strongly recommend that any order you do want to place, you place as soon as possible at least one month prior to the ceremony if you are able. There is more than enough for everyone to be worried about without worrying about whether or not a certain application has been accepted yet!

How To Plan Your Ceremony

After you’ve clarified the legal requirements to make your marriage official, the rest of your ceremony is up to you. Sit down with your officiant and work with them to decide how you want your ceremony to go. This is where you might want to pick out a wedding reading, tell your officiant stories of your relationship and guide them on themes or styles. Heck, you can even write their part for them if you’d like. It’s your wedding after all.

A typical ceremony order of events often includes a processional, welcome, declaration of intent, readings, vows, ring exchange, pronouncement and recessional.

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How Do I Become A Wedding Officiant In Canada


In many states, an online ordination is all thats required to legally marry a couple.

  • Apply to be ordained. Now comes the official part.
  • Plan the ceremony.
  • Practice.
  • Consider doing it again.
  • Secondly, can you become a minister online in Canada? As an online minister, you can officiate wedding ceremonies, funerals, and other important ceremonies. While these regulations vary from province to province, they generally boil down to allowing marriages to be performed by registered ministers of recognized religious bodies.

    can anyone officiate a wedding in Ontario?

    You can choose a civil or a religious ceremony. In a civil ceremony, you can be married by a judge or justice of the peace. In a religious ceremony, you can be married by an officiant who is recognized by your faith group and is registered to perform marriages in Ontario under the Act.

    Who can perform marriages in Canada?

    Legally, you must be 18 years or older and not already . There are exceptions to the legal age limit. You may marry with your parents consent if you are under 18 and over 16. Under some circumstances, parental consent may not be necessary if a judge says so.

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    You Must Obtain A Self

    How to Become a Wedding Officiant

    In order for your ceremony to be officiated by a friend, family, or someone who is otherwise NOT recognized by Pennsylvania as a religious or state official, you only need to do one thing. When applying for a marriage license at the Department of Court Records, request a self-uniting marriage license. Be prepared that this type of license may cost more than a traditional license in some counties, like Washington County. However, its as legally binding as a standard marriage license and valid in all Pennsylvania counties. The only difference is that instead of having a spot for the officiant to sign and make it official in the eyes of the county, there are lines for two witnesses. Get two John Hancocks and BOOM, youre married!

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    Getting Ordained To Perform A Wedding

    While there are many reasons for someone to want to get ordained, the most common reason is in order to officiate a wedding ceremony. Most states in the US have minimal legal requirements for who can perform a wedding ceremony, the most common requirement being that the person officiating the ceremony is an ordained minister of some sort. This has led to a number of services offering ordination online with a range of prices, features, and additional services offered.

    With so many options available for ordination, how do you evaluate each of them and decide which service to use for your own ordination? The answer to this question depends on your reasoning for getting ordained in the first place. For instance, if you are planning on becoming ordained to perform a wedding ceremony for your friends or family members and are only planning on doing one wedding, you wont need to consider when your ordination would expire. If you are planning on becoming a professional wedding officiant and doing multiple weddings, however, you should consider the amount and frequency of any required renewal of your ordination.

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