How to Get Ordained to Perform Weddings
Tips for getting your wedding officiant credentials
By Lynette DiPalma
Many couples, particularly those who do not identify with a particular religion, choose to have a friend, relative, or other nondenominational official perform their wedding ceremony. If you've been asked to perform a wedding, or even if you're interested in starting a wedding services business, you'll be glad to hear it's quite simple to get ordained to perform weddings.
- What You Need to Know
- Find out which local jurisdiction governs the region where the ceremony will take place.
- Check with the state and local requirements before choosing an online ordination service, as they might have specific restrictions.
Call the marriage license bureau of the county where the wedding will take place to learn exactly what is needed to perform the wedding legally. Be specific about your situation to make sure that no detail of the requirements is overlooked.
Choose an online ordination service. There are several of these services available. Carefully read about their individual purposes, goals and requirements before making your decision.
Fill out the ordination forms carefully and truthfully. Full legal names are required for the ordination to be legitimate.
Select an ordination materials package. Some sites offer ordination for free with no obligation to make any purchases, but they also offer materials that will help you perform weddings. If you are getting ordained to perform weddings as a business it may be a good idea to invest in a certificate of ordination and perhaps a wedding ceremony handbook.
File the appropriate paperwork with the county. Some places don't require any special registration to perform weddings while others require very specific forms and proof of ordination to be submitted in person. You will need to do this for each county in which you wish to perform weddings.
Find out if your specific ordination credentials qualify you as a legal witness or officiant for the marriage license. If not, you may need to have a religious figure or other legal officiant on hand to sign the marriage certificate.
About the Author
Lynette DiPalma is a freelance writer in the weddings field who co-owns a small wedding services business and has officiated at weddings.
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