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Alabama Marriage Laws

 

Section 30-1-7- Persons authorized to solemnize marriages.

(a) Generally. Marriages may be solemnized by any licensed minister of the gospel in regular communion with the Christian church or society of which the minister is a member, by a judge of the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, Court of Civil Appeals, any circuit court or any district court within this state, by a judge of any federal court, or by a judge of probate within his or her county, or any retired judge of the Supreme Court, retired judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals, retired judge of the Court of Civil Appeals, retired judge of the circuit court, retired judge of the district court within this state or a retired judge of probate within his or her county.

(b) Pastor of religious society; clerk of society to maintain register of marriages; register, etc., deemed presumptive evidence of fact. Marriage may also be solemnized by the pastor of any religious society according to the rules ordained or custom established by such society. The clerk or keeper of the minutes of each society shall keep a register and enter therein a particular account of all marriages solemnized by the society, which register, or a sworn copy thereof, is presumptive evidence of the fact.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws: N/A

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Alabama you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Alaska Marriage Laws

 

Alaska Wedding Laws

Getting married in Alaska is not difficult. In fact, Alaska's straightforward wedding laws make it one of the easiest states for those who become legally ordained online to officiate weddings in. There are no residency requirements for the bride, groom or the wedding officiant and the Alaska marriage license is relatively easy to come by.

The bride and the groom must be eighteen years of age and have proper identification when they apply for the Alaska marriage license. The license fee is $25, and Alaska mandates a three-day waiting period after the license is issued before the couple may marry. The Alaska marriage license is valid for 90 days and is only valid in that state.

There are no health tests required by the state of Alaska to obtain a wedding license. A person who plans on getting married but has been divorced less than 60 days prior must submit a copy of the divorce decree to the county clerk of the county in Alaska where they plan on getting married. A couple with a fiance under the age of 18 must submit additional documentation. Couples that fit this description should inquire with the local county clerk about additional information on supplemental documentation.

Wedding officiants are governed by Alaska Statute 25.05.261 (a)(2)1. The statute specifies that anyone can perform Alaska marriages - including those who get ordained online - if the individual obtains a marriage commissioner appointment from an Alaskan judge or court. The wedding officiant who performs the ceremony does not need to live in Alaska to perform weddings there; Universal Life Church ministers who get ordained online in the contiguous US can legally perform weddings in Alaska. The officiant must also be at least 18 years of age and must file the appropriate paperwork with the county clerk of the county where the wedding will be located to be deemed a marriage commissioner. The county clerk where you plan on performing the wedding will help guide potential wedding officiants through the application process.

Universal Life Church ministers should note that is not difficult to obtain a marriage commissioner appointment as long as you file the correct paperwork at least one week prior to performing the wedding ceremony.

Alaska has quite liberal interpretations as to who can be a wedding officiant. Marriages can be solemnized by a minister, rabbi or priest of any religious congregation or church in Alaska, or by an officer or elder of a church or congregation that does not traditionally have regular priests, ministers or rabbis.

Surprisingly enough, even commissioned officers of the Salvation Army are also considered to be wedding officiants by the State of Alaska. These loose marriage laws make arguments against becoming ordained online through the Universal Life Church for the purposes of performing weddings null and void. The state of Alaska is also quite liberal in allowing creative marriage ceremonies as well as who can be designated as a wedding officiant. As per usual, getting a Universal Life Church minister to perform a beautiful Alaska wedding ceremony may be a wonderful way to bind a loving couple in matrimony without taking a toll on their checkbook.

Sec. 25.05.261. Who may solemnize.

(a) Marriages may be solemnized:

(1) by a minister, priest, or rabbi of any church or congregation in the state, or by a commissioned officer of the Salvation Army, or by the principal officer or elder of recognized churches or congregations that traditionally do not have regular ministers, priests, or rabbis, anywhere within the state;

(2) by a marriage commissioner or judicial officer of the state anywhere within the jurisdiction of the commissioner or officer; or

(3) before or in any religious organization or congregation according to the established ritual or form commonly practiced in the organization or congregation.

(b) This section may not be construed to waive the requirements for obtaining a marriage license. Sec. 25.05.271. Duty of officiating person before ceremony. The officiating person shall determine that the parties presenting themselves to be married are the parties named in the license. If the officiating person knows of a legal impediment to the marriage, the officiating person may not perform the ceremony.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Alaska you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Arizona Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Arizona

Arizona wedding law provides for two types of marriage: civil marriage and covenant marriage. Civil marriages, like the marriages provided for in the laws of every other state, are simple contracts that legally bind two individuals. Covenant marriages include all the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage, with added value sentiments often based on faith as well as additional restrictions on grounds for divorce.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Arizona

Judges, some public officials, and all clergy authorized by their religious organization to do so may officiate wedding ceremonies in Arizona. Ministers do not have to register with the state prior to solemnizing a marriage. Arizona does accept the ordinations of those ministers who have been ordained online by the Universal Life Church Monastery, and thousands of our ministers operate within the state. A Universal Life Church Monastery minister is able to officiate both civil and covenant weddings in Arizona. It is recommended that you keep proof of your ordination with your ordination credentials.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Arizona

Because Arizona couples have different options for what type of wedding they want to have, officiants should be prepared to solemnize a variety of different ceremonies. Universal Life Church ministers should be prepared to adapt to unique requests. For weddings of all sorts, we offer resources like the Baker's Wedding Handbook, a pastor's guide to ceremonies of many types and for many denominations.

Covenant Marriages

If a couple wishes to acquire a license for a covenant marriage in Arizona, they must first consult with their minister. The minister must then provide a notarized statement that includes the following statements:

  • The couple were educated about what a covenant marriage is and what responsibilities it entails.
  • The couple were educated about the limits to grounds for divorce created by a covenant marriage.
  • The couple received the pamphlet called Covenant Marriages in Arizona published by the Arizona Office of Courts.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Arizona

It is the responsibility of the officiant to complete the marriage certificate and return to the clerk of the Superior Court that issued the marriage license within 20 days of the ceremony. The certificate must be signed by the bride and groom, the officiant, and two witnesses to the ceremony who are over the age of 18.

For more detailed information, review Arizona's code for yourself.

Arizona Marriage Laws

 
25-124. Persons authorized to perform marriage ceremony; definition A. The following are authorized to solemnize marriages between persons who are authorized to marry: 1. Duly licensed or ordained clergymen.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Arizona you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

ULC The Monastery's foreign corporation state filings

Read the full Law on the official site »

Arkansas Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Arkansas

It's important to research the details of marriage law in any state or county, as policies can change rather frequently. You must submit a copy of your ministry credentials to one of the 75 counties in Arkansas.

 

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Arkansas

Judges, some public officials and all ordained clergy who are authorized by their religious organization to do so can officiate at weddings in Arkansas. The Universal Life Church Monastery authorizes its ministers to perform weddings through online ordination.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Arkansas

 

In Arkansas, different counties have different policies dictating how a wedding ceremony can legally be conducted. It is important for any ordained minister wishing to perform a wedding in the state to research the specific guidelines set forth by the county in which the ceremony will take place. However, it is important to note that in Arkansas, all weddings must include two witnesses who are at least 18 years of age.

Premarital Counseling in Arkansas

Some counties in Arkansas require premarital counseling before a wedding can be performed. Which counties require this and what exactly constitutes premarital counseling frequently changes. Ordained clergy can administer premarital counseling in Arkansas, though it should match the regulatory specifics of the county in which the marriage license will be issued. We provide a variety of resources for ministers who wish to take more active roles like this in their communities.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Arkansas

The legal purpose of a wedding officiant in Arkansas is to confirm the details of the marriage certificate and to preside over the witnesses of the ceremony. A completed, signed marriage certificate must be returned to the County Clerk's office that issued the marriage license. The deadline for this varies by county.

 

Arkansas Marriage Laws

 

9-11-213. Persons who may solemnize marriages.

(a) For the purpose of being registered and perpetuating the evidence thereof, marriage shall be solemnized only by the following persons:

(1) The Governor;

(2) Any former justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court;

(3) Any judges of the courts of record within this state, including any former judge of a court of record who served at least four (4) years or more;

(4) Any justice of the peace of the county where the marriage is solemnized, including any former justice of the peace who served at least three (3) terms since the passage of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55;

(5) Any regularly ordained minister or priest of any religious sect or denomination;

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Arkansas you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Bahamas Marriage Laws

 

Contact the following for details and requirements:

Sabrina Huyler-Ramsey, Sr. Chief Executive Weddings & Honeymoons The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Office 1200 South Pine Island Road, Suite 750 Plantation, FL 33324 954-236-9292 or 800-327-7678 Email: Romance@bahamas.com

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Bahamas you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

California Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in California

Performing a wedding in the state of California is a simple and straightforward process. Neither the state nor any county within it maintains a registry of clergy and in many ways the government of California keeps a hands-off policy in regard to marriage documents.

Wedding officiants are responsible for ensuring that the marriage is legal and that all marriage license papers are properly filed. Otherwise, the format of the wedding is entirely at the discretion of the people getting married. This lackadaisical approach to marriage legislation makes it simple for any minister ordained by the Universal Life Church Monastery to officiate a wedding. That said, it is important that anyone hoping to officiate a wedding keep track of the policies for your area so that the legality of those weddings cannot be disputed.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in California

According to the California Family Code, any individual over the age of 18 who is also an ordained member of the clergy of any recognized faith may officiate a wedding. This includes those who are ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church Monastery via our online ordination platform. As an ordained minister, you are endowed with several rights and responsibilities within the state of California not granted to the everyday layperson. It is recommended that you keep proof of your ordination with your ordination credentials.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in California

The two individuals getting married must, in the presence of the officiant, declare their wish to be husband and wife. There must be at least one additional witness to this agreement. The witness may be any age, though must also be able to understand what he or she is witnessing. The Universal Life Church Monastery can be a great resource for its ministers; those seeking additional guidance in how to properly officiate a wedding ceremony might look to the three-step guide we have made available as a tool for ministers.

Marriage Paperwork Required in California

The state of California requires a marriage license issued by the County Clerk's office. The officiant is required to examine the license and attach a statement to it that displays satisfaction with several facts, including:

  • The time and location at which the wedding took place
  • The names and places of residence of all official witnesses
  • The religious organization in which the officiant is ordained
  • The printed name and address of the officiant

This paperwork must be returned to the County Clerk within 10 days of the ceremony. The couple getting married may request a copy of these documents if they so choose.

For more detailed information, review California's code for yourself.

California Marriage Laws

 

The following is from California's FAQ page:

Where do I register to perform marriages in California? The laws of the State of California make it unnecessary for persons performing marriages to file credentials with the clerk of the court or with anyone else. The county and state are removed from any responsibility for verification of credentials. The State does not maintain a central registry of members of the clergy. Any such concern for verification is totally at the discretion of the parties to the marriage. (The Universal Life Church Monastery still recommends that you check with the county clerk where the ceremony will be held.)

What authorization do I need to perform a marriage in California? In California, it is the ordination or investment by the denomination that gives each clergy member the authority to perform the marriage rite. Family Code, Sections 400-402 are the statutes pertaining to whom can solemnize a marriage in California.

The following is from California Family Code sections:

400. Marriage may be solemnized by any of the following who is of the age of 18 years or older:

420. A priest, minister, or rabbi of any religious denomination. No particular form for the ceremony of marriage is required for solemnization of the marriage, but the parties shall declare, in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and necessary witnesses, that they take each other as husband and wife.

421. Before solemnizing a marriage, the person solemnizing the marriage shall require the presentation of the marriage license. If the person solemnizing the marriage has reason to doubt the correctness of the statement of facts in the marriage license, the person must be satisfied as to the correctness of the statement of facts before solemnizing the marriage. For this purpose, the person may administer oaths and examine the parties and witnesses in the same manner as the county clerk does before issuing the license.

422. The person solemnizing a marriage shall make, sign, and endorse upon or attach to the marriage license a statement, in the form prescribed by the State Department of Health Services, showing all of the following: (a) The fact, date (month, day, year), and place (city and county) of solemnization. (b) The names and places of residence of one or more witnesses to the ceremony. (c) The official position of the person solemnizing the marriage, or of the denomination of which that person is a priest, minister, rabbi, or member of the clergy. (d) The person solemnizing the marriage shall also type or print the person's name and address.

423. The person solemnizing the marriage shall return the marriage license, endorsed as required in Section 422, to the county recorder of the county in which the license was issued within 10 days after the ceremony.

424. At the request of, and for, either party to a marriage, the person solemnizing the marriage shall issue a marriage certificate showing the facts specified in Section 422.

Please note that, when filling out a marriage license, the State requests that you use the title "Minister" or "Reverend", and not "Officiant", in Box #29D.

The County Clerks also require that you enter your denomination, "Universal Life Church", in box #29B. Failing to state a denomination results in a rejection, and requires a duplicated marriage license.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws: N/A

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in California you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as an ordination credential, wallet credential, or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Colorado Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Colorado

Colorado wedding law provides many options for those who wish to get married, including unique options unavailable to those in many other states. It is important to research Colorado's policies related to marriage so that all involved parties can be assured that there won't be any problems before the marrying couple walks down the aisle.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Colorado

Weddings in Colorado can be solemnized by civil officials, clergy, and even the bride and groom themselves. The Universal Life Church Monastery provides excellent resources for all of these options, from online ordination for those who wish to perform weddings for their loved ones to self-guided ceremonies for those who wish to celebrate their marriage with the most independent ceremony possible.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Colorado

Judges, some elected officials, clergy and the couple in question can all solemnize a marriage in Colorado. Clergy, such as ministers of the Universal Life Church Monastery, can perform a wedding ceremony in any fashion they choose and without registering themselves as clergy with the state.

Self-Married Couples

The state of Colorado is one of the few places in the United States that allows people to solemnize their own marriage. Colorado Revised Statute 14-02-0109 allows couples to perform their own wedding ceremony with or without religious authorization. The couple must, of course, meet the age and status requirements for marriage before performing a ceremony. It is important to note that, in the case of self-married couples, both the bride and groom must list themselves as the officiants on their marriage certificate and only the bride and groom may list themselves as officiants.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Colorado

Colorado wedding officiants, whether the couple themselves or another authorized individual, must complete a marriage certificate at the time of the wedding and return it to the County Clerk's office that issued the marriage license within 60 days of the ceremony. Failure to deliver the completed certificate in that time frame will result in late fees not to exceed $50. Colorado does not require weddings to include witnesses.

For more detailed information, read the law for yourself.

Colorado Marriage Laws

 

14-2-109. Solemnization and registration.

(1) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court, by a court magistrate, by a retired judge of a court, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by the parties to the marriage, or in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination or Indian nation or tribe.

Either the person solemnizing the marriage or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, a party to the marriage shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the county clerk and recorder within sixty days after the solemnization.

Any person who fails to forward the marriage certificate to the county clerk and recorder as required by this section shall be required to pay a late fee in an amount of not less than twenty dollars. An additional five-dollar late fee may be assessed for each additional day of failure to comply with the forwarding requirements of this subsection (1) up to a maximum of fifty dollars.

For purposes of determining whether a late fee shall be assessed pursuant to this subsection (1), the date of forwarding shall be deemed to be the date of postmark.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Colorado you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Connecticut Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Connecticut

Because of certain language in Connecticut’s code of law, ministers ordained with the Universal Life Church Monastery may find that officiating a marriage in the state to be a complex process. That said, Connecticut has made sure to include language ensuring that all religions are adequately protected under the law, so the prospect isn’t an impossible one.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Connecticut

The Universal Life Church Monastery has ordained 20 million ministers around the world, including several thousand people in Connecticut. The Universal Life Church operates under the understanding that all are eligible to act as ministers of their own spiritual path around the world and allows anyone to become ordained online instantly and at no cost. In Connecticut, current and retired judges are permitted to solemnize marriages, in addition to ordained clergy from any state, so long as they "continue in the work of the ministry." They even make a special note about the freedom of the Baha'i to operate within the state.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Connecticut

Connecticut does not require that any specific words be spoken at the wedding, so the couple getting married and their ordaining minister can plan the ceremony however they see fit. The Universal Life Church Monastery provides several different resources to guide ministers in officiating several different types of wedding ceremonies – both traditional and otherwise. Newer ministers might consider utilizing one of our most helpful guides for additional aid, A Wedding Ceremony to Remember.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Connecticut

The minister who officiates the wedding is responsible for preparing, signing, and returning the Connecticut marriage license to the appropriate county clerk after the ceremony has been performed. There is no waiting period to receive a marriage license in Connecticut, unlike in several other states, so couples in the state can effectively get married as quickly as they like. The minister must remember to return the signed and dated Connecticut marriage license to the Connecticut county clerk by the appropriate date for the marriage to be recognized as legally valid.

For more detailed information, View state laws.

Connecticut Marriage Laws

 

Sec. 46b-22. (Formerly Sec. 46-3). Who may join persons in marriage. Penalty for unauthorized performance.

(a) All judges and retired judges, either elected or appointed and including federal judges and judges of other states who may legally join persons in marriage in their jurisdictions, family support magistrates, state referees and justices of the peace may join persons in marriage in any town in the state and all ordained or licensed clergymen, belonging to this state or any other state, so long as they continue in the work of the ministry may join persons in marriage.

All marriages solemnized according to the forms and usages of any religious denomination in this state, including marriages witnessed by a duly constituted Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is, are valid. All marriages attempted to be celebrated by any other person are void.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Connecticut you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Delaware Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Delaware

The small state of Delaware has fairly liberal wedding laws, much in line with its other Northeastern neighbors. However, the state, despite its diminutive presence, does have a rich history of governance and a robust system of bureaucracy that any Delaware minister would be wise to understand to ensure that the marriage he or she is officiating is legally binding. Read on for more information about how to officiate a wedding in Delaware.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Delaware

The Universal Life Church Monastery has the legal authority to ordain as a minister any resident of the state of Delaware. Our easy-to-use online platform can help you to get ordained as a minister for free, and quickly. Further, any minister within the state of Delaware has the legal authority to officiate a wedding between two individuals there.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Delaware

As briefly noted above, Delaware law regarding marriage is relatively modern. The state does not require that the wedding ceremony take any particular form or that any specific words be spoken, so couples can feel free to have a ceremony as traditional or nontraditional as they see fit from Claymont to Selbyville. The Universal Life Church Monastery offers a variety of tools and resources that any online-ordained minister would be wise to research and review as they prepare to perform a wedding ceremony in Delaware, such as A Wedding Ceremony to Remember.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Delaware

To be legally recognized in the state of Delaware, the marriage must be celebrated with an official Delaware marriage license. After applying for the license in their respective county, the marrying couple must wait at least 24 hours to hold the ceremony – as is the case in many states. After the ceremony, the officiating minister has 30 days to prepare and sign the marriage license and return it to the county clerk that it may be officially filed with the state. Ministers in Delaware need not be licensed as such.

For more detailed information, for yourself.

Delaware Marriage Laws

 

106. Solemnization of marriages; production of license; penalty; registration of persons authorized to solemnize marriages.

(a) A clergy person or minister of any recognized religion, current and former members of this State's Supreme Court, Superior Court, Family Court, Court of Chancery, Court of Common Pleas, and Justice of the Peace Court, and the several clerks of the peace of various counties may solemnize marriages between persons who may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by State Legislature.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Delaware you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Florida Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Florida

Under Florida wedding law, conducting a wedding is quite simple. Nearly any authorized officer of a religious organization is treated equally under the state's law and is able to conduct a marriage ceremony (the exception being Quakers, who in Florida law are afforded some additional freedoms and additional discretion as to how the marriage process is conducted). Read below for more information on the intricacies of the process within the state.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Florida

Any judge, retired judge, clerk, notary public, or (as stated above) ordained clergy associated with any religious organization is authorized to solemnize a marriage ceremony within the state of Florida. This includes those ministers who have been ordained online by the Universal Life Church Monastery, a free and simple process we have made available to millions around the world.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Florida

Aside from wedding ceremonies taking place wholly within Quaker doctrine (which are afforded an additional level of privacy, as discussed earlier), the state of Florida does not have any specific requirements for how the wedding ceremony be conducted. For any minister, including those who are ordained online, it would be prudent to note that under Florida law, couples who participate in a state-sanctioned marriage preparation course are eligible to receive a discount on their marriage application fees.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Florida

In Florida, it is necessary that the engaged couple apply for and receive a marriage license from a county judge or clerk. These licenses do expire after 60 days; the wedding ceremony must be conducted within that time frame and it is the officiating ministers duty to ensure that a marriage ceremony not take place beneath an expired or invalid marriage license. The officiant must sign the marriage certificate and it must then be filed with the Department of Children and Families in Jacksonville, Florida within 30 days after the ceremony has taken place.

For more detailed information, read the law for yourself.

Florida Marriage Laws

 

741.07 - Persons authorized to solemnize matrimony.

(1) 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, under the regulations prescribed by law.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Florida you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Georgia Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Georgia

The State of Georgia has a relatively relaxed set of marriage laws and wedding laws. With the Universal Life Church Monastery's assistance, you can quickly and easily become authorized and prepared to solemnize a marriage ceremony in Georgia. Review the information below to find out how you can get ordained online and use your new status to officiate a wedding in Georgia.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Georgia

Any judge, city recorder, magistrate, or minister is authorized to perform weddings in Georgia. The Universal Life Church Monastery can help you become a minister through our internet platform. We've ordained thousands of ministers in Georgia. As an ordained minister, you will be fully authorized within Georgia state law to solemnize a marriage ceremony.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Georgia

Georgia state law does not have many policies dictating exactly how the wedding ceremony should be conducted, though there are a few legal requirements that an officiant must understand and adhere to in order to ensure that the marriage is properly established. It is necessary that both of the individuals getting married freely consented to the marriage, and two witnesses must be present at the ceremony. Georgia state law also requires that a marriage be consummated, though in the legal context this simply means that the couple must cohabitate. For additional guidance on performing the ceremony, we invite you to turn to the Baker's Wedding Handbook, an extremely helpful resource that the Universal Life Church Monastery is happy to provide.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Georgia

Upon application, the marrying couple will receive their license. There is a fee associated with attaining it, although much of this fee will be waived if the couple can establish that they have received at least six hours of pre-marriage education. This education can be received from a counselor, therapist, psychologist, or an active member of clergy (provided that the clergy member has been trained in pre-marital education).

For more detailed information, review Georgia's code for yourself.

Georgia Marriage Laws

 
The license shall be directed to any judge, including judges of state and federal courts of record in this state, city recorder, magistrate, minister, or other person of any religious society or sect authorized by the rules of such society to perform the marriage ceremony; such license shall authorize the marriage of the persons therein named and require the judge, city recorder, magistrate, minister, or other authorized person to return the license to the judge of the probate court with the certificate thereon as to the fact and date of marriage within 30 days after the date of the marriage. The license with the return thereon shall be recorded by the judge in a book kept by such judge for that purpose.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Georgia you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Guam Marriage Laws

 
3204. Who May Solemnize. Marriage may be solemnized by: (c) All ordained clergymen and priests of whatsoever religious faith who are recognized as such by the religious body whose faith they represent.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Guam you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Hawaii Wedding Laws

The Hawaiian Islands are exquisitely beautiful and have stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, world-class beaches, and lush rain forests. It is safe to say that the islands of Hawaii offer some of the most stunning and romantic backdrops for unforgettable wedding ceremonies in the United States. Thousands of happily-married couples have discovered how magical it can be to get married in or honeymoon to Hawaii, and you can too!

Hawaii's wedding laws features legal requirements for both the engaged couple and the wedding officiant; a brief summary of both are listed below. Arguably the most important facet of Hawaii wedding laws for Universal Life Church Monastery ministers is that this tropical state accepts online ordinations from online ministries like ours. So thanks to organizations like the ULC Monastery, which make it quick and easy to become an ordained minister, everyday people can perform marriage ceremonies in Hawaii for their friends, family members, and even strangers. Marriage in Hawaii and honeymoons in Hawaii have never been so close to home.

Hawaii Marriage License Requirements

There are no state residency requirements or U.S. citizenship requirements to get married in Hawaii. Blood tests are also not required. The state-mandated minimum age of a marrying couple is 18. Younger nuptial couples may marry with the approval of their parents and a family court. Same sex marriages and marriages between first cousins are legal in the state of Hawaii. Proxy marriages are not allowed. Valid photo identification is required on the part of the marrying couple; it can be in the form of a state-issued identification card, driver's license or birth certificate.

If either party has been married previously, a valid copy of the divorce decree or certificate of death must be presented to the county clerk prior to the issuance of a marriage license if the divorce or death occurred within the last thirty days. Please note that faxed copies of these documents are not accepted. It is always a prudent idea to check with the local county clerk where you plan on marrying to make sure that he or she does not require any additional county-specific documentation. The State of Hawaii's marriage license costs approximately $60 and must be completed within thirty days of the marriage ceremony. More information on marriage license requirements may be obtained through an automated phone system set up by Hawaii's state government, 24 hours a day, at (808) 586-4545.

Wedding Officiant Requirements in Hawaii

In order for a wedding officiant to perform a legally binding wedding ceremony in Hawaii, he or she must be registered and licensed by the Hawaiian Department of Health. The law regarding who can legally marry a couple in Hawaii is determined by Hawaiian statute § 572-12. In a nutshell, this statute authorizes an individual to perform marriage ceremonies if he or she is a priest, minister or officer of any religious denomination or society, and who has been authorized to perform wedding ceremonies by that organization. Online ordinations through organizations like the Universal Life Church Monastery are recognized by the State of Hawaii. An active or retired justice or magistrate of a state or federal court may also perform wedding ceremonies.

There are no residency requirements for wedding officiants, nor is an age limitation specified in the statute. This means that Universal Life Church ministers from the mainland can facilitate marriages in Hawaii without any legal difficulties. A wedding officiant may set an agreed upon price as stipulated by both parties in exchange for performing the wedding ceremony. Becoming a legal wedding officiant by becoming a pastor online will enable you to legally perform wedding ceremonies in Hawaii. The appropriate documentation certifying the solemnization or authorization for an individual to perform wedding ceremonies by his or her denomination, religious organization or church, must be filed with the Hawaiian Department of Health. The documents required by the the Department of Health for those who received online ordinations from online ministries are ordination credentials, used to demonstrate ministerial status, and a letter of good standing, used to verify that the minister's parent organization has confidence in the minister's ability to perform wedding ceremonies correctly. More information may be obtained from the Department of Health by calling: (808) 586-4540.

Hawaii Marriage Laws

 

572-12 By whom solemnized.

A license to solemnize marriages may be issued to, and the marriage rite may be performed and solemnized by any minister, priest, or officer of any religious denomination or society who has been ordained or is authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usages of such denomination or society, or any religious society not having clergy but providing solemnization in accordance with the rules and customs of that society, a legislator or constitutional officer of the State, or a member of the United States Congress who represents a district within the State, while that person holds office, or any justice [or], judge, or magistrate, active or retired, of a state or federal court in the State, upon presentation to such person or society of a license to marry, as prescribed by this chapter.

Such person or society may receive the price stipulated by the parties or the gratification tendered.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws: N/A

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Hawaii you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

ULC The Monastery's foreign corporation state filings

Read the full Law on the official site »

Idaho Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Idaho

The state of Idaho has a relatively simple set of marriage laws, though it is important that any ordained minister desiring to perform a Idaho wedding ensure that they adhere to these policies in a prompt manner to ensure the legality of the marriage.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Idaho

Idaho allows state judges and magistrates to officiate weddings, along with ordained Christian ministers, Jewish rabbis, and anyone with a religious or non-religious organization. Officers of non-religious organizations may need to establish that they have been authorized by their respective organization to solemnize a marriage. Universal Life Church Monastery ministers who are ordained online do meet this requirement, with ULC Monastery's assistance.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Idaho

So long as a person is able to establish that they are authorized to perform a wedding ceremony, the state of Idaho is largely unconcerned with the format of that ceremony. Though you often do not require witnesses to receive a marriage license in Idaho, it is necessary that an authorized officiant be present at the ceremony to examine the validity of the marriage certificate and act as a witness to the wedding. An ordained minister with the Universal Life Church Monastery might find it helpful to view our three-step guide to conducting a wedding ceremony - a useful tool we have provided as part of our online seminary.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Idaho

Ministers ordained online may be required to present some type of proof that they have been authorized by their religious organization to officiate a wedding. This could include presentation of an ordination credentials. Depending on the county, you may also be required to submit a Letter of Good Standing to the county clerk before you will be able to officiate the wedding. After a couple has applied for and received a marriage license from their respective county clerk within Idaho. There is no expiration on the license.

Idaho Marriage Laws

 

32-303. BY WHOM SOLEMNIZED.

Marriage may be solemnized by either a current or retired justice of the Supreme Court, a current or retired court of appeals judge, a current or retired district judge, any federal judge, the current or a former governor, lieutenant governor, a current or retired magistrate of the district court, mayor, priest or minister of the gospel of any denomination. To be a retired justice of the supreme court, court of appeals judge, district judge or magistrate judge of the district court, for the purpose of solemnizing marriages, a person shall have served in one (1) of those offices and shall be receiving a retirement benefit from either the judges retirement system or the public employee retirement system for service in the judiciary.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Idaho you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Illinois Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Illinois

Illinois wedding law essentially requires three things of wedding officiants: qualification, good standing, and some light paperwork. A simple online ordination as a minister of the Universal Life Church Monastery will help you accomplish all of these requirements. Read on for more information you may need if you are planning to officiate a wedding in Illinois.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Illinois

Judges, city and state officials, and ordained clergy are all eligible to officiate wedding ceremonies in Illinois. ULC Monastery ministers who are ordained online meet this requirement and are granted the same privileges as any traditional minister within the state. Furthermore, ministers need not reside within the state of Illinois to perform ministerial duties there.

Letters of Good Standing

There is one additional step ministers are required to take in Illinois that they are not required to take in many other states. In addition to being ordained clergy, ministers hoping to act as wedding officiants in the state of Illinois must be members in good standing with their given religious organization. This requires a Letter of Good Standing, which is a certified statement the Universal Life Church Monastery is happy to provide for our Illinois ministers.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Illinois

Illinois does not require any specific ceremony for weddings, so the minister and the couple each have a great degree of autonomy in planning the special day. Currently, only DuPage County requires that a wedding ceremony include witnesses. In DuPage County, the law requires that marriage ceremonies require two witnesses who are able to comprehend what they are witnessing.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Illinois

Illinois wedding officiants are responsible for filing a completed marriage certificate form with the County Clerk's office within 10 days of the ceremony. If the wedding has more than one officiant, all participating officiants must either agree on which one of them will take this responsibility or relinquish the responsibility to the newly-married couple.

For more detailed information, review Illinois code for yourself.

Illinois Marriage Laws

 

People who are considering getting married in Illinois must apply for an Illinois marriage license in accordance with that state's marriage laws. In order to obtain said Illinois wedding license, wedding officiants should visit the county clerk's office where the marriage is to take place. The county clerk will require both parties to present identification, which can include a valid driver's license, passport, birth certificate, resident identification card or military ID card.

Illinois wedding laws require that at least one of the individuals must be eighteen years old in order to apply for an Illinois marriage license. If one individuals involved is not eighteen, at least one parent of this person must go with the couple to apply for the marriage license. Married couples must apply for the Illinois wedding license in the county where they intend to marry. Non-residents of Illinois are prevented from obtaining a wedding license only if the marriage would be void in their home state.

The fee for an Illinois marriage license is $35. This fee may vary from county to county, so it is best to verify the fee with the local county clerk of the county where the wedding is to take place. There is a one day waiting period from the time of the issuance of the marriage license before the ceremony may be conducted. No blood tests are required for a marriage license to be issued. The county clerk will request a copy of a divorce decree or a copy of the death certificate if one of the fiancees has been previously married.

The identification and fee requirements for weddings in Chicago are similar to those found in the rest of Illinois. The same Illinois state law that governs marriages throughout the state also governs marriages in Chicago. For county-specific requirements to obtain a marriage license in Chicago, please visit the Cook County website at: www.cookctyclerk.com. Please note that a wedding license issued in Cook County is only valid there.

According to Illinois marriage law 750, active or retired judges, ordained ministers and certain public officials may perform marriages. A retired judge is not allowed to receive payment for officiating a wedding ceremony. Ministers of the Universal Life Church Monastery may officiate marriage ceremonies in Illinois as long as they are they can prove they are in good standing with the ULC Monastery. The county clerk will require valid identification from the online ordained minister and a copy of their ordination credentials. The marriage certificate must be signed by the wedding officiant and filed with the Illinois Department of Public Health in Springfield, Illinois.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by State Legislature.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Illinois you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Indiana Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Indiana

Indiana wedding law makes performing marriages and officiating weddings relatively straightforward processes. The solemnization procedure, if you tick all the right boxes, can be quite simple. The Universal Life Church Monastery is happy to provide you with the information you need to officiate a wedding in Indiana, read on to learn more.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Indiana

In Indiana, any judge, mayor, or city clerk can officiate a wedding. In addition, any clergy member of any religious organization may solemnize a marriage. The law also provides additional protection for those conducting a service in the traditions of the Friends Church, Islam, and the Bahai, among some others. The Universal Life Church Monastery can help you become an Indiana-approved minister through our online ordination platform. As a ULC Monastery minister, you will be endowed with all of the rights and responsibilities granted to a traditional minister in Indiana.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Indiana

The state of Indiana's law book does not require that a wedding ceremony take any specific form or contain any particular elements, giving the minister and the couple a large degree of freedom in planning the ceremony. An ordained minister of the Universal Life Church Monastery may find it helpful to access some of the tools we have made available as part of our online seminary, such as the three-step guide to performing a wedding ceremony.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Indiana

Both members of the marrying couple must present themselves at their county clerk's office to apply for and receive a marriage license. This license must be signed and delivered back to the county clerk by the individual who solemnized the wedding before the license expires. Officiants should check with the licensing county to ensure that all requirements are met in a timely manner.

For more detailed information, review Indiana's code for yourself.

Indiana Marriage Laws

 

IC 31-11-6-1 Persons authorized to solemnize marriages

Sec. 1. Marriages may be solemnized by any of the following:

(1) A member of the clergy of a religious organization (even if the cleric does not perform religious functions for an individual congregation), such as a minister of the gospel, a priest, a bishop, an archbishop, or a rabbi.

(2) A judge.

(3) A mayor, within the mayor's county.

(4) A clerk or a clerk-treasurer of a city or town, within a county in which the city or town is located.

(5) A clerk of the circuit court.

(6) The Friends Church, in accordance with the rules of the Friends Church.

(7) The German Baptists, in accordance with the rules of their society.

(8) The Bahai faith, in accordance with the rules of the Bahai faith.

(9) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in accordance with the rules of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

(10) An imam of a masjid (mosque), in accordance with the rules of the religion of Islam.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Indiana you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Iowa Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Iowa

Marriages may be performed by a person ordained or designated as a leader of the person's religious faith. Being a minister authorized to perform a marriage, you may charge a reasonable fee for each marriage performed and make return in an amount agreed to by the parties.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Iowa

Iowa allows ordained ministers from all religious organizations, including non-religious organizations. All ministers must be able to establish that they have been authorized by their respective organization to solemnize a marriage. Universal Life Church Monastery ministers who are ordained online meet these requirements.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Iowa

After you become ordained. Check out our three-step guide to conducting a wedding. After the marriage has been performed, the officiating minister shall attest to the marriage on the blank provided for that purpose and return the certificate of marriage within 15 days to the county where the marriage license was issued.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Iowa

Once you are a minister must be either licensed or have Ordination Credentials of the gospel to be able to perform marriages. After you are ordained to perform a marriage, you will be officiating the marriage performed and returning any required documents to the county of the wedding location.

Iowa Marriage Laws

 

595.10 Who may solemnize. Marriages may be solemnized by:

1. A judge of the supreme court, court of appeals, or district court, including a district associate judge, associate juvenile judge, or a judicial magistrate, and including a senior judge as defined in section 602.9202, subsection 3.

2. A person ordained or designated as a leader of the person's religious faith.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Iowa you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Kansas Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Kansas

Follow the guide lines below to understand the process in handing your wedding requirements. There is useful information pertaining to this state that may come in handy.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Kansas

You are authorized to officiate weddings if you are currently an ordained or are a religious authority of any religious society, or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular clergyman of any organization of the denomination, as long as you are not restrained from so doing by the discipline of that church or denomination. Then, the couple, through mutual declarations, may join the couple, in compliance with the regulations and rules of any religious group, denomination or sect to which either of the two belong, may be married without you, the ordained minister. If you still need to do this, you can get ordained online for free through our ordination form.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Kansas

Marriage may be validly performed and joined in this state, after a license has been issued for the marriage. You will need to have mutual declarations of the couple to be joined in marriage, made before you, the ordained minister, and in the presence of at least 2 competent witnesses. Once you are ordained with us, you might find it helpful to view our three-step guide to conducting a wedding ceremony. This is a great guide we provided as part of our online seminary.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Kansas

Every minister must be either licensed or have Ordination Credentials to be able to perform marriages in this state. You will then need to give a marriage certificate to the bride and groom upon request and return the certificate to the county clerk.

Kansas Marriage Laws

 

23-2504. Solemnizing marriage; persons authorized to officiate.

(a) Marriage may be validly solemnized and contracted in this state, after a license has been issued for the marriage, in the following manner:

By the mutual declarations of the two parties to be joined in marriage, made before an authorized officiating person and in the presence of at least two competent witnesses over 18 years of age, other than the officiating person, that they take each other as husband and wife.

(b) The following are authorized to be officiating persons:

(1) Any currently ordained clergyman or religious authority of any religious denomination or society;

(2) any licentiate of a denominational body or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular clergyman of any church of the denomination to which the licentiate or appointee belongs, if not restrained from so doing by the discipline of that church or denomination;

(3) any judge or justice of a court of record;

(4) any municipal judge of a city of this state; and

(5) any retired judge or justice of a court of record.

(c) The two parties themselves, by mutual declarations that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect to which either of the parties belong, may be married without an authorized officiating person.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Kansas you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Kentucky Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Kentucky

You must be a ministers or priests of any denomination that is in regular communion with any religious society or a religious society, and has no officiating minister or priest, and whose usage is to perform marriage, and by consent given in the presence of the group, if either party belongs to the group. You need at least two people, in addition to the couple getting married, must be present at every marriage.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Kentucky

There are many ways to get a license to marry, but the most efficient way to become licensed is through an online organization. You can get a temporary license from the county clerk, but this usually contains a fee. You can get ordained online to save money and be ordained permanently.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Kentucky

There are not much protocol required by the state, but we always suggest checking out our three-step guide to conducting a wedding ceremony. This will best education you in how to properly perform a wedding.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Kentucky

You will need to get the Ordination Credentials to present to the clerk of the country. You will need to give a marriage certificate to the bride and groom upon request. Then return the certificate to the county clerk.

Kentucky Marriage Laws

 
402.050 Who may solemnize marriage -- Persons present. (1) Marriage shall be solemnized only by: (a) Ministers of the gospel or priests of any denomination in regular communion with any religious society.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Kentucky you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Louisiana Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Louisiana

You must become an ordained minister of the gospel, or engaged in the service of the religious body to which you belong, or become a person licensed to preach by an association of ministers, religious seminary or ecclesiastical body.

 

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Louisiana

A temporary registration certificate under this subsection expires upon the individual's signing the marriage license or 90 days after issuance, whichever occurs first. The best way is to become ordained online, which is permanent and of no cost.

 

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Louisiana

You may perform marriage ceremonies only after you registers to do so by depositing with the local clerk of the court where the marriage ceremony will take place. Alternatively, it can be with the office of the state registrar of vital records, an affidavit stating his lawful name, address, and denomination. Check out the three-step guide on how to performing a wedding ceremony.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Louisiana

A temporary license from the court is only valid for 30 days and costs around $30. To save money and have a permanent license, order the Ordination Credentials from our website and present it to clerk of the country. After performing a marriage, you must complete a marriage certificate and return it to the clerk of the district court.

 

Louisiana Marriage Laws

 

RS 9:204. Officiant other than judge; registration

An officiant, other than a judge or justice of the peace, may perform marriage ceremonies only after he registers to do so by depositing with the clerk of court of the parish in which he will principally perform marriage ceremonies, or, in the case of Orleans Parish, with the office of the state registrar of vital records, an affidavit stating his lawful name, denomination, and address.

Acts 1987, No. 886, 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Louisiana you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Maine Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Maine

You must become an ordained minister of the gospel, or engaged in the service of the religious body to which you belong, or become a person licensed to preach by an association of ministers, religious seminary or ecclesiastical body.

 

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Maine

A temporary registration certificate under this subsection expires upon the individual's signing the marriage license or 90 days after issuance, whichever occurs first. An easier alternative is to get ordained online, which is permanent and free.

 

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Maine

You must keep a record of all marriages you perform. Then you must give the couple a marriage certificate and have the marriage license completed and return it to the county clerk within 90 days after the marriage license was issued. Check out the three-step guide on how to performing a wedding ceremony.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Maine

Have your Ordination Credentials presented to the clerk of the country. As a standard protocol, you must present the signed marriage certificate to the county clerk.

Maine Marriage Laws

 

655. Authorization; penalties 1. Persons authorized to solemnize marriages. The following may solemnize marriages in this State:

A. If a resident of this State: (1) A justice or judge; (2) A lawyer admitted to the Maine Bar; or (4) A notary public under Title 4, chapter 19; and [2001, c. 574, ?6 (amd).]

B. Whether a resident or nonresident of this State and whether or not a citizen of the United States: (1) An ordained minister of the gospel; (2) A cleric engaged in the service of the religious body to which the cleric belongs; or (3) A person licensed to preach by an association of ministers, religious seminary or ecclesiastical body.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Popular Vote.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Maine you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Maryland Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Maryland

Maryland wedding law takes a relatively hands-off approach in dictating how a wedding must be performed, particularly if a religious body is involved. This level of freedom makes it simple for a Universal Life Church Monastery ordained minister to solemnize a wedding in the state.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Maryland

Maryland state law establishes that any county clerk, judge, or official of a religious body is authorized to oversee a marriage. This language of the law allows those who are ordained online by the Universal Life Church Monastery to solemnize Maryland weddings. Furthermore, it is not necessary that you register as a minister in the state. It is still recommended that you keep proof of your ordination with your ordination credentials.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Maryland

So long as the wedding ceremony is being solemnized by a religious official, the state of Maryland does not attempt to place any guidelines on how the ceremony must be performed. Additionally, there is no need for the presence of a witness beyond that of the officiant. For additional guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony, a ULC Monastery ordained minister would be wise to turn to the A Wedding Ceremony to Remember, an informative resource on many different types of ceremonies that we are happy to provide.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Maryland

. A couple should apply for their marriage license at their county clerk. A fee is incurred upon application for a marriage license, though couples who receive at least 4 hours of premarital training from a qualified individual and present this information to the clerk will receive a substantial discount on the license fee. The officiant is required to validate the couple's marriage license and sign the marriage certificate. One copy of the certificate is to be delivered to the couple, the other is to be returned by the officiant to the clerk who issues the license within five days of the ceremony.

For more detailed information, review Maryland's code for yourself.

Maryland Marriage Laws

 
A marriage ceremony may be performed in this State by: (i) any official of a religious order or body authorized by the rules and customs of that order or body to perform a marriage ceremony;

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Popular Vote.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Maryland you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Massachusetts Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Massachusetts

The clerk of the county requires a copy of your certificate and a letter of good standing. In certain counties, there may be more stringent guidelines than others. It is important that any minister carefully research the guidelines for the specific area where the ceremony is set to take place well before the special day. If you plan to continue performing weddings, you may need to resend your credentials every year.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts any certified county clerk, city clerk, or any ordained minister who has been so authorized by his or her church is able to solemnize a marriage. An individual can becoming authorized to officiate marriages in Massachusetts by becoming ordained online with the Universal Life Church Monastery. It is recommended that you keep proof of your ordination with your ordination credentials.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Massachusetts

There are no specific guidelines dictate which format the wedding ceremony must take. The Universal Life Church Monastery offers a wide variety of training tools for ordained ministers to use in the planning and officiating of a wedding ceremony. New or curious ministers might consider researching how to perform different ceremonies in the Baker's Wedding Handbook that the ULC Monastery offers.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Massachusetts

All persons who wish to be married in Massachusetts must have a marriage license issued within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Out-of-State marriage licenses cannot be used in Massachusetts. The legal age to marry in Massachusetts is 18 (M.G.L. ch. 207, s. 33A). All people who marry in the state must have a marriage license issued in Massachusetts by any city or town clerk (M.G.L. ch. 207, s. 28). Proper identification is necessary. You may be required to show a certified birth certificate.

If you are an out of state minister, you are required to fill out an application that will allow you to perform marriages in this state. To learn more about the out of state minister application, you can visit the SEC Rules and Regulations.

Massachusetts Marriage Laws

 

Chapter 207: Section 38; persons authorized Section 38.

A marriage may be solemnized in any place within the commonwealth by the following persons who are residents of the commonwealth: a duly ordained minister of the gospel in good and regular standing with his church or denomination

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Massachusetts you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Michigan Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Michigan

Despite using some terminology that has fallen out of fashion in the legal language of many states, Michigan wedding law is still fairly straightforward. Weddings in Michigan only require a license, a qualifying officiant, and two adult witnesses.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Michigan

Michigan law states that a "minister of the gospel" may officiate at weddings. The language used may give the impression that the right is restricted to clergy of a specific religion, but it's actually just an older phrasing than most states use today - ministers of any religion are afforded equal rights in Michigan. Any clergyperson authorized by his or her religious organization to solemnize marriages may perform weddings in Michigan. This includes ministers who have been ordained online by the Universal Life Church Monastery. It is recommended that you keep proof of your ordination with your ordination credentials.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Michigan

The only requirement for the form of a wedding ceremony in Michigan is that it include a verbal agreement between the bride and groom to take one another as husband and wife. There is, however, a provision that allows people to use whatever language they wish if doing so is in accordance with their particular beliefs. We provide a variety of resources for ministers who are asked to perform a variety of ceremonies: from the most traditional wedding to highly personalized and unique ceremonies. In addition to the bride, groom and officiant, all Michigan weddings must include two witnesses who are at least 18 years of age.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Michigan

Wedding officiants in Michigan must complete a marriage certificate with two copies. One copy must be presented to the newly married couple and the other must be filed within 10 days of the wedding with the County Clerk's office that issued the marriage license. The marriage license itself is only valid for 33 days.

Michigan Marriage Laws

 

See Also:

A Charter May No Longer be Required: It was called to our attention that the state of Michigan may no longer require individuals to file a charter in order to perform marriages. From the website of the Michigan State government:

To perform marriage ceremonies a person should be an ordained minister, magistrate (a civil officer with power to administer and enforce law -- Justice of the Peace), mayor of a Michigan city or a judge. An ordained minister of the gospel recognized by a church may perform marriages whether or not the church has filed a charter with the State of Michigan, Department of Labor & Economic Growth, Corporation Division or an elected government official. To determine if a church has filed a charter, telephone: (517) 241-6470.

Please check with your local county clerk to determine what steps you will need to take in order to register as officiant. If your clerk does require a charter, you will find instructions on how to obtain this below.

If a Charter is required: In the past, the state required that a charter be filed before an ordination could be recognized, for the purposes of officiating weddings. "An ordained minister of the gospel recognized by a church that has filed a charter with the State of Michigan, Corporation and Land Development Bureau or an elected government official may perform marriages. To determine if a church has filed a charter (517) 241-6470. Contact the Department of Community Health, Vital Statistics at (517) 335-8677 for marriage statistics. When forming a religious organization, there is a tax guide available from the IRS, publication "tax Guide For Churches and Other Religious Organizations; Publication 1828 Catalog Number 21096G; address: IRS, Freedom of Information Reading Room, P.O. Box 795, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, D.C. 20044; telephone: (800) 829-3676. Many churches are required to have a "Church Copyright License." For further information about this license call (800) 234-2446. Marriage licenses are obtained at the county clerk's office. This may not be required if you are only intending to officiate weddings.

Act 327 of 1931: Ecclesiastical corporations: 450.178 Ecclesiastical corporations; incorporation; purpose. Sec. 178. Ecclesiastical corporations. Any number of persons, not less than 3, may incorporate for the purpose of establishing any church organization for the purpose of teaching and spreading their religious beliefs and principles. Every such corporation shall be a non-profit corporation and subject to the provisions of this act relating to non-profit corporations generally except as specifically otherwise provided. The term "church? and/or "church organization? used in this act shall be construed to include any church, denominational unit, or church society as the term is commonly used and understood but shall not apply to such organizations as Sunday schools, Epworth Leagues, Young People's Unions, Bible classes and similar societies organized by and affiliated with the parent churches. Whenever any number of churches or other corporations organized for religious purposes desire to unite in a central organization for the accomplishment of any common purpose they may incorporate such organization by severally adopting, at meetings specially called for the purpose, resolutions expressing their desire to become members of such corporation; and by filing duly attested copies of such resolutions together with a copy of the articles of such corporation, as provided for the filing of articles in section 5 of this act. The corporations formed under this section are hereinafter called ecclesiastical corporations.

Article of Incorporation Form with Instructions: (Note: Adobe Acrobat will be required.) The form is fairly basic, requiring an address for the church (can be your address), details about how often meetings will be held ("once per week, or as necessary"), details on your church structure (you could say "under the rules of the Universal life Church Monastery" or mention the basis of your beliefs), and will require three notarized signatures. The filing fee, to the state, is currently only $20.00.

CHAPTER 83 - Chapter 83. Of marriage and the solemnization thereof.

(EXCERPT) 551.7 Persons authorized to solemnize marriage; records; returns; disposition of fees charged by mayor or county clerk.

Sec. 7. (1) Marriages may be solemnized by any of the following: (h) A minister of the gospel, anywhere in the state, if the minister is ordained or authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usages of the denomination, and is a pastor of a church in this state, or continues to preach the gospel in this state. (i) A minister of the gospel, anywhere in the state, if the minister is not a resident of this state but is authorized to solemnize marriages under the laws of the state in which the minister resides.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Michigan you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

ULC The Monastery's foreign corporation state filings

Minnesota Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Minnesota

Minnesota wedding law establishes that ministers acting as wedding officiants within the state have more responsibilities than officiants in many other states, but they are also afforded more options dictating how involved they are in the wedding ceremony and the planning that takes place beforehand. As an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church Monastery, an individual has the ability to be both an officiant and a premarital counselor to the betrothed.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Minnesota

Judges, some public officials and all ordained clergy can officiate at weddings in Minnesota. Clergy must present certification materials along with a form to prove that he or she is a member in good standing with his or her religious organization.

Certifying Ordination

To prove ordained status, a member of the clergy must file a Letter of Good Standing with the court administrator of the district court of a county in Minnesota. This grants the petitioning minister a certificate that is valid for any future weddings he or she performs in the state.

Premarital Counseling

The state of Minnesota strongly incentivizes premarital counseling by reducing the price of a marriage license for those who receive at least 12 hours of counseling. Ordained ministers can legally perform and certify premarital counseling, though they must first be certified to officiate at weddings. By law, premarital counseling in Minnesota must include communication and conflict management training, as well as premarital inventory (an evaluation of the couple's expectations for marriage).

Marriage Paperwork Required in Minnesota

Following counseling, the minister must present a statement using the following language:

I, (name of educator), confirm that (full legal names of both parties) received at least 12 hours of premarital education that included the use of a premarital inventory and the teaching of communication and conflict management skills. I am a licensed or ordained minister, a person authorized to solemnize marriages under Minnesota Statutes, section 517.18, or a person authorized to practice marriage and family therapy under Minnesota Statutes, section 148B.33.

In Minnesota, all weddings require two additional witnesses who are at least 16 years of age. Also, same-sex marriage is legal in Minnesota as of August 1, 2013.

For more detailed information, review Minnesota's code for yourself.

Minnesota Marriage Laws

 

Counties will require that credentials be registered. The Anoka County site describes the process and provides an order form for registration. Other counties will have similar requirements.

517.04 Solemnization Marriages may be solemnized throughout the state by a judge of a court of record, a retired judge of a court of record, a court administrator, a retired court administrator with the approval of the chief judge of the judicial district, a former court commissioner who is employed by the court system or is acting pursuant to an order of the chief judge of the commissioner's judicial district, the residential school administrators of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf and the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind, a licensed or ordained minister of any religious denomination, or by any mode recognized in section 517.18. 517.05 Credentials of minister Ministers of any religious denomination, before they are authorized to solemnize a marriage, shall file a copy of their credentials of license or ordination with the court administrator of the district court of a county in this state, who shall record the same and give a certificate thereof. The place where the credentials are recorded shall be endorsed upon and recorded with each certificate of marriage granted by a minister. Copyright 2004 by the Office of Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by State Legislature.

Minnesota Package

To perform a marriage in Minnesota you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as the Minnesota ordination credentials, wallet credential, and in some counties the letter of good standing from the church is required.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Mississippi Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Mississippi

You must be a minister ordained according to the rules of a religious society that is in good standing, any Rabbi, or any religious body authorized to perform rites of matrimony and be in good standing.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Mississippi

Marriage will be valid when the couple has obtained a marriage license, and after the license has been issued, they will need to have been performed by or before you, the person of a religious society, institution, or organization that is authorized to perform marriages. We recommend becoming ordained online to save a trip to the county clerk.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Mississippi

The requirements for performing a wedding are fairly standard, but we recommend checking out the three-step guide to conducting a ceremony. . It will be lawful for a pastor of any religious society in this state to join together in marriage such persons of the society to whom the marriage license has been issued, according to the customs and rules established by the society.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Mississippi

We recommend getting the Ordination Credentials online and then presenting it to the clerk of the country. The clerk or other record books of a religious society where the marriage is to be had and performed, will make a true registration of all marriages performed in the society, in a record book kept by you for that purpose, and then return the marriage certificate back to the clerk of the county, to be recorded.

Mississippi Marriage Laws

 

93-1-17. By whom marriages may be solemnized.

Any minister of the gospel ordained according to the rules of his church or society, in good standing; any Rabbi or other spiritual leader of any other religious body authorized under the rules of such religious body to solemnize rites of matrimony and being in good standing.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Mississippi you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Missouri Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Missouri

Marriages may be performed by any minister who is in good standing with any religious organization. Also, the minister can be ordained by a religious institution, religious society, or religious organization of this state, according to the set regulations and set customs of the society, institution or organization, when either person in the marriage is a member.

 

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Missouri

Obtaining a temporary minister license from the county is only valid for 30 days, and they costs over $50. To save money and the hassle of going to the county clerk’s office, you can become ordained online through our website.

 

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Missouri

You must keep a record of all marriages you perform. Then you must give the couple a marriage certificate and have the marriage license completed and return it to the county clerk within 90 days after the marriage license was issued. Check out the three-step guide to performing a wedding ceremony.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Missouri

You will need to present your Ordination Credentials to the country clerk. Any minister registered in the this state must present the signed marriage certificate to the county clerk.

Missouri Marriage Laws

 
451.100. Marriages may be solemnized by any clergyman, either active or retired, who is in good standing with any church or synagogue in this state. Marriages may also be solemnized, without compensation, by any judge, including a municipal judge. Marriages may also be solemnized by a religious society, religious institution, or religious organization of this state, according to the regulations and customs of the society, institution or organization, when either party to the marriage to be solemnized is a member of such society, institution or organization.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Missouri you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Montana Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Montana

A marriage may be performed in accordance with any mode recognized by any religious denomination, native group, or Indian nation or tribe. Either the person performing the wedding or, if no individual acting alone perform the wedding, a party to the marriage can complete the marriage certificate form and then forward it to the clerk of that district court.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Montana

Marriage must be conducted by an ordained minister. To become an ordain minister, please get ordained online through our simple ordination process.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Montana

If one of the persons to be wed is unable to be at the ceremony, the couple may authorize in writing a third person to act as proxy in the wedding. If you, the minister of the marriage, is satisfied that the absent person is unable to be present and has the consented to the marriage, the person may continue with the marriage by proxy. If the absent person in the marriage is not satisfied, the couple may request the district court for an order allowing the marriage to be performed by proxy. The requirements for performing a wedding are fairly standard, but we recommend checking out the three-step guide to conducting a ceremony. The performance of the marriage is not invalidated by the fact that you, the minister of the marriage, were not legally qualified to perform it if either person in the wedding believes that you were qualified.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Montana

We recommend getting the Ordination Credentials online and then presenting it to the clerk of the country. The clerk or other record books of a religious society where the marriage is to be had and performed, will make a true registration of all marriages performed in the society, in a record book kept by you for that purpose, and then return the marriage certificate back to the clerk of the county, to be recorded.

Montana Marriage Laws

 
40-1-301. Solemnization and registration. (1) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court of record, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by a mayor, city judge, or justice of the peace, by a tribal judge, or in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, Indian nation or tribe, or native group.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Montana you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Nebraska Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Nebraska

You must be an Ordained ministers of the priests, gospel, and clergy, authorized by a recognized denomination; or by any individual who is authorized by the rituals and practices of a religious persuasion.

 

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Nebraska

A temporary minister license is only valid for 30 days, and they costs between $30-40. It's free if you become ordained online through our organization.

 

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Nebraska

You must return your proceedings in the premises, showing the names and residences of at least 2 witnesses who were present at the wedding. The return needs to be made to the county clerk who issued the license within 15 days after the wedding has been performed. The county clerk will then record the return or have it recorded in the same book where the marriage license is recorded. Check out the three-step guide to performing a wedding ceremony.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Nebraska

You will need to present your Ordination Credentials to the country clerk. Any minister registered in the this state must present the signed marriage certificate to the county clerk.

Nebraska Marriage Laws

 
42-108 Marriage ceremony; who may perform; return; contents. Every judge, retired judge, or clerk magistrate, and every preacher of the gospel authorized by the usages of the church to which he or she belongs to solemnize marriages, may perform the marriage ceremony in this state.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Nebraska you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Nevada Marriage Laws

 

Specific paperwork is required in order to register and perform weddings in Nevada. To ensure you are legally registered in Nevada with all the appropriate paperwork, please purchase our Nevada Wedding Officiant Package.

Important! Nevada requires a minimum of 30 days to process your wedding officiant application. If your wedding is occurring in less than 30 days, you will be unable to officiate.

For out-of-state ministers. NRS 122 provides that a licensed or ordained minister in good standing with his denomination or church whose congregation is in another state may perform marriages in the county if authorized to do so by the county clerk. A separate authorization is required for each marriage performed. Such a minister may perform not more than five marriages in this state in any calendar year. In some instances a temporary certificate may be obtained for a local minister filling in for another minister during an absence.

NRS 122.062 Licensed or ordained ministers and chaplains of Armed Forces to obtain certificates from county clerk; temporary replacements; solemnization by minister licensed or ordained in another state. 1. Any licensed or ordained minister in good standing within his denomination, whose denomination, governing body and church, or any of them, are incorporated or organized or established in this state, may join together as husband and wife persons who present a marriage license obtained from any county clerk of the State, if the minister first obtains a certificate of permission to perform marriages as provided in this section and NRS 122.064 to 122.073, inclusive. The fact that a minister is retired does not disqualify him from obtaining a certificate of permission to perform marriages if, before his retirement, he had active charge of a congregation within this state for a period of at least 3 years. 2. A temporary replacement for a licensed or ordained minister certified pursuant to this section and NRS 122.064 to 122.073, inclusive, may solemnize marriages pursuant to subsection 1 during such time as he may be authorized to do so by the county clerk in the county in which he is a temporary replacement, for a period not to exceed 90 days. The minister whom he temporarily replaces shall provide him with a written authorization which states the period during which it is effective.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

Nevada Package

To perform a marriage in Nevada you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as the Nevada ordination credentials, wallet credential, or a letter of good standing from the church.

ULC The Monastery's foreign corporation state filings

Read the full Law on the official site »

New Hampshire Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in New Hampshire

Any minister of the gospel, Jewish Rabbis, or of the people called Quakers or Friends, may perform marriages in the way normally practiced among them, and all marriages so performed will be valid. Please note, Rabbis residing out of the state may also obtain a special license. Nothing will be construed to stop a person, authorized to perform a marriage in a religious ceremony, from perform a marriage in a civil ceremony.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in New Hampshire

Marriage must be conducted by an ordained minister. If a minister or justice of the peace shall join any persons in marriage without having first received a certificate of the town clerk, or shall join any persons in marriage with a certificate which you know to be invalid, you would have to pay, for each offense, a fee of $60. To become an ordain minister for free and avoid any state fees, please get ordained online through our easy ordination process.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in New Hampshire

A marriage may be performed in a religious ceremony by you, the minister, in the state where you were ordained according to your denomination, resides in the state, and is in good standing with the denomination; by any member of the clergy who is not ordained but is engaged in the service of the religious body to which he or she belongs, and who resides in the state, after being licensed by the secretary of state; or by any minister residing out of the state, but having a pastoral charge completely or partially in this state. The requirements for performing a wedding are fairly standard, but we recommend checking out the three-step guide to conducting a ceremony. The performance of the marriage is not invalidated by the fact that you, the minister of the marriage, were not legally qualified to perform it if either person in the wedding believes that you were qualified.

Marriage Paperwork Required in New Hampshire

We recommend getting the Ordination Credentials online and then presenting it to the clerk of the country. The clerk or other record books of a religious society where the marriage is to be had and performed, will make a true registration of all marriages performed in the society, in a record book kept by you for that purpose, and then return the marriage certificate back to the clerk of the county, to be recorded.

New Hampshire Marriage Laws

 
457:31 Who May Solemnize. ? Marriage may be solemnized by a justice of the peace as commissioned in the state; by any minister of the gospel in the state who has been ordained according to the usage of his or her denomination, resides in the state, and is in regular standing with the denomination; by any clergyman who is not ordained but is engaged in the service of the religious body to which he or she belongs, resides in the state, after being licensed therefore by the secretary of state; within his or her parish, by any minister residing out of the state, but having a pastoral charge wholly or partly in this state;

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by State Legislature.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in New Hampshire you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

New Jersey Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in New Jersey

New Jersey wedding law is simple enough that it makes officiating a wedding in the state a relatively straightforward process. That said, certain counties have more stringent guidelines than others and it is important that any minister carefully research the guidelines for the specific area where the ceremony is set to take place well before the special day.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in New Jersey

In New Jersey any judge, any mayor, any county clerk, and any minister from any religious group is authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies. This wide net of authorized individuals captures those ministers who are ordained online with the Universal Life Church Monastery. However, some counties may require that you apply for a minister license or present to the county clerk proof of your ordination, which the ULC Monastery will happily provide in the form of a Letter of Good Standing. It is recommended that you keep proof of your ordination with your ordination credentials.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in New Jersey

There are no specific guidelines in New Jersey law dictating which format the wedding ceremony must take. The Universal Life Church Monastery offers a wide variety of training tools for ordained ministers to use in the planning and officiating of a wedding ceremony. New or curious ministers might consider researching how to perform different ceremonies in the Baker's Wedding Handbook that the ULC Monastery offers.

Marriage Paperwork Required in New Jersey

Depending on which New Jersey county the marriage is being registered in, there may be different documents required for minister licensing (as noted above). The couple should apply for their marriage license within 30 days of the ceremony in the county in which the bride resides. At least one witness over the age of 18 is required to acquire a marriage license. It is important to note that you may need more than one marriage license if you are going to have two ceremonies (i.e. a civil ceremony and a religious ceremony or two religious ceremonies).

New Jersey Marriage Laws

 

37:1-13 Authorization to solemnize marriages 37:1-13. Each judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, each judge of a federal district court, United States magistrate, judge of a municipal court, judge of the Superior Court, judge of a tax court, retired judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court, or judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court, the former County Court, the former County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, or the former County District Court who has resigned in good standing, surrogate of any county, county clerk and any mayor or the deputy mayor when authorized by the mayor, or chairman of any township committee or village president of this State, and every minister of every religion, are hereby authorized to solemnize marriage between such persons as may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation; and every religious society, institution or organization in this State may join together in marriage such persons according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization.

New Jersey marriage laws are governed by New Jersey Permanent Statute 31. Many of the requirements of New Jersey's wedding laws are similar to other states. In order to obtain a marriage license, you must have appropriate identification such as certified copies of birth certificates, passports or drivers' licenses. United States citizens will also need to furnish their Social Security numbers. If you are under the age of eighteen, you must have your parent's consent to the marriage in front of two witnesses. If you are under the age of sixteen, judicial consent is necessary. The fee for a marriage license is $28.

If you have been previously married, you must supply the county clerk with a copy of your divorce decree if it has been finalized in the last thirty days, or a copy of the death certificate of your former spouse if your spouse passed away in the last thirty days. The wedding officiant will be required to furnish his or her ordination papers to the county clerk as well as his or her current contact information. Covenant marriages and proxy marriages are not permitted according to New Jersey wedding laws though marriages between first cousins are permitted. The ULC Monastery strongly advises that its ministers check with the local county clerk where you intend to perform a marriage ceremony for any county-specific requirements.

There is no residency requirement to marry in New Jersey for the bride, groom or an online ordained minister; ULC Monastery ministers from outside New Jersey are thus free to perform ceremonies there. However, if either the bride or groom is a resident of New Jersey, the couple should obtain a marriage license in the county where the bride lives. If the bride is not a resident, according to New Jersey wedding laws the couple must apply for a marriage license in the county where the groom lives. If neither are residents of the state, obtaining a marriage license from the county clerk where the ceremony will be held is acceptable. Military personnel are considered to be residents in the county where they are posted. After the wedding license is issued, there is a three day waiting period. Re-marriages or renewal of vows are exempt from the three day waiting period.

New Jersey Permanent Statutes 37:1-13 governs the legal authorization to solemnize marriages and civil unions. The following is an a partial rendition of this statute as it pertains to wedding officiants: "Judges of a Federal District Court, United States magistrates, Judges of a Municipal Court, Judges of the Superior Court, Judges of a Tax Court, Retired judges of the Superior Court, Judge or the Superior or Tax Court who has resigned in good standing, any Mayor/Deputy Mayor or Chairman of any Township Committee, Village President of New Jersey, County Clerks, and every minister of every religion." Notice that any ordained minister of "every" religion may officiate weddings according to New Jersey laws; the Universal Life Church is thus shoe-horned into being legally recognized in New Jersey as a result. Wedding officiants must send marriage certificates to the New Jersey Department for Public Health in Trenton, New Jersey within thirty days of the ceremony.

New Jersey was one of the first states to legalize gay marriage in the form of domestic partnerships. Domestic partnerships give same-sex couples many of the same rights as heterosexual couples.

The Domestic Partnership Act was enacted in January of 2004 by the New Jersey Legislature. It provides inheritance, property rights and limited healthcare benefits between same-sex couples or couples who are sixty-two years old or older and living together as domestic partners. The two partners must document shared financial obligations by furnishing proof of a joint deed, mortgage, bank account or life insurance policy to the county clerk.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in New Jersey you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

New Mexico Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in New Mexico

You may perform the marriage once you are a Clergyman, Rabbi, an authorized representative of a religious organization, or a Indian tribe recognized by the state, without regard to the sect that you may belong to or the rites and customs you may practice.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in New Mexico

There are no specific requirements in this state to becoming a minister. To permanently become an ordain minister for free, please get ordained online. This will save you a trip to the county clerk’s office.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in New Mexico

Review the three-step guide to learn the basics for conducting a ceremony. Prior to a ceremony, the ordained minister, you, will require the couple contemplating marriage to produce a license that is signed and sealed by the clerk that issued the license. Nothing will excuse any person authorized by the laws of this state to perform the contract of marriage from being satisfied as to the qualifications of any person desiring to be married, in addition to the authority conferred by the license.

Marriage Paperwork Required in New Mexico

You will be required to present your Ordination Credentials to the clerk of the country. They will also ask you for the signed marriage certificates.

New Mexico Marriage Laws

 
40-1-2. Clergymen or civil magistrates may solemnize; A. A person may solemnize the contract of matrimony by means of an ordained clergyman or authorized representative of a federally recognized Indian tribe, without regard to the sect to which he may belong or the rites and customs he may practice.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has no law banning or legalizing same-sex marriage.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in New Mexico you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

New York Wedding Laws

How to Become an Ordained Minister in New York

Become an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church and you can become a legally recognized wedding officiant in New York. Simply follow the instructions listed below.

How to Perform a Wedding in New York

1. The Universal Life Church Monastery's ordination is legally recognized by the State of New York. This means that our ministers are able to perform marriage ceremonies there without any difficulties. If you want to become a legally-recognized wedding officiant in New York, simply become ordained online through the ULC. Doing so only takes a couple of minutes and is done entirely online.

2. Before attempting to perform a ceremony, all New York ministers must contact the town clerk of the town they are planning on performing a wedding ceremony in to make sure that our ordination is accepted there. If the town clerk refuses to acknowledge the validity of our ordination, please let us know. If they do accept our ordination, ask the town clerk what forms of credentials and documentation you must have in your possession to file for a marriage license. Buy these ministry products from us from our church store. Make sure to leave three or more weeks between the wedding day and the day on which you make your order; failure to do so might cause your ministry products to arrive late.

3. We advise you keep your information in our ordination database as up to date as possible. This means that you need to let us know when your name, address, and e-mail changes. Failing to do so could jeopardize your ability to file for a marriage license with a New York town clerk if they decide to look into your ordination.

NYC Weddings: ULC ministers who are looking to officiate weddings in New York City need to buy a special package in order to do so; the standard ordination credential will not be enough to satisfy the NYC clerks' requirements! This package contains literally everything a person needs to register as a wedding officiant with New York City. Also, please note that all of the above applies to both native New Yorkers and those who are traveling to the Empire State from elsewhere.

Erie County Weddings: those who are looking to perform wedding ceremonies in Erie County should know that no registration whatsoever is required by ULC ministers in order to do so there. This new policy of the Erie County clerk's office is fundamentally different than the policies of other New York clerk's offices; the latter offices require that our ministers register with them before they perform weddings and will not let them file for a marriage license unless they do otherwise.

Need more information about how to perform a wedding ceremony or become a minister in New York? Have no fear, the ULC has several resources you can use to prepare for your first ceremony. The first is themonastery.org's Training section, which has wedding training, instructions on how to get your minister's license, marriage laws, and even information on how to start your own place of worship. Those looking for tips on how to officiate a wedding ceremony can visit the Ministers Network, a custom social network built by the ULC for the explicit purpose of giving our ministers a way share tips and advice on how to perform weddings (as well as to promote religious discourse amongst our ministers).

New York Marriage Laws

 

Definition: "The term "clergyman" and the term "minister" include a duly authorized pastor, rector, priest, rabbi, and a person having authority from, or in accordance with, the rules and regulations of the governing ecclesiastical body of the denomination or order, if any, to which the church belongs, or otherwise from the church or synagogue to preside over and direct the spiritual affairs of the church or synagogue." Excerpted from Article 3, Section 11, of the Domestic Relations code

For the City of New York: We include two letters with ordination packages shipped to New York that meet the City requirements. For more information see the following:

Who can perform a marriage ceremony? To be valid, a marriage ceremony must be performed by any of the individuals specified in Section 11 of the New York State Domestic Relations Law which includes:

  • a member of the clergy or minister who is not authorized by a governing church body
    but who has been chosen by a spiritual group to preside over their spiritual affairs

  • other officiants as specified by Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law

Officiant Registration: Registration is conducted on Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Section 11-b of the Domestic Relations Law requires that all persons authorized by law to perform marriages register with the City Clerk's office before performing wedding ceremonies within New York City. Therefore, if you intend to perform a marriage ceremony within New York City you must register. If your activities are outside of New York City the registration requirement does not apply to you. There is a $15 charge, payable in money order only, for registration.

A clergyman or minister of any religion, or by the senior leader, or any of the other leaders, of The Society for Ethical Culture in the city of New York, having its principal office in the borough of Manhattan, or by the leader of The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, having its principal office in the borough of Brooklyn of the city of New York, or of the Westchester Ethical Society, having its principal office in Westchester county, or of the Ethical Culture Society of Long Island, having its principal office in Nassau county, or of the Riverdale-Yonkers Ethical Society having its principal office in Bronx county, or by the leader of any other Ethical Culture Society affiliated with the American Ethical Union. The term "clergyman" or "minister" when used in this article, shall include those defined in section two of the religious corporations law. The word "magistrate, " when so used, includes any person referred to in the second or third subdivision.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by State Legislature.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in New York you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as an ordination credential, wallet credential, or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

ULC The Monastery's foreign corporation state filings

Read the full Law on the official site »

North Carolina Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in North Carolina

Officiating a wedding in North Carolina is relatively simple, though there will likely be some paperwork to complete and due diligence to perform to ensure that the marriage is declared legal and valid. Under North Carolina wedding law, Universal Life Church ministers have been expressly granted authorization to solemnize wedding ceremonies.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in North Carolina

Marriages in North Carolina may be officiated by magistrates, ministers authorized by a church, or an ordained minister of any religious denomination. Furthermore, in 1981, an addition to the law was made specifically validating the authority of Universal Life Church ministers to perform marriages so long as all of the lawful requirements are met. Anybody can quickly and easily become an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church Monastery by utilizing our online ordination platform. Doing so will endow you with all of the rights and privileges extended to any other minister within the state of North Carolina.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in North Carolina

The state of North Carolina does not set forth extremely rigid guidelines for how a marriage ceremony must be performed. Rather, it simply establishes that at some point during the ceremony either the couple must acknowledge that they are freely accepting one another as husband and wife in a serious manner and this must happen in the presence of one of the authority figures established above who is authorized by the state to conduct the marriage. A prudent minister might be wise to review some of the tools made available elsewhere on this website and through our catalog to ensure that she or he is fully prepared for the ceremony.

Marriage Paperwork Required in North Carolina

Aside from the state's marriage license requirements - which may change depending on which country the ceremony is occurring in, the state of North Carolina may additionally require the officiant to present the ordination credentials to establish that they have been authorized by the church to conduct a wedding ceremony.

For more detailed information, review North Carolina's code for yourself.

North Carolina Marriage Laws

 
a. In the presence of an ordained minister of any religious denomination, a minister authorized by a church, or a magistrate; and b. With the consequent declaration by the minister or magistrate that the persons are husband and wife; or (2) In accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, or federally or State recognized Indian Nation or Tribe.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in North Carolina you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

North Dakota Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in North Dakota

You must be an Ordained ministers of the priests, gospel, and clergy, authorized by a recognized denomination; or by any individual who is authorized by the rituals and practices of a religious persuasion.

 

How to Become an Ordained Minister in North Dakota

You may go to the county clerk’s office and register for a temporary license, but this is generally expensive and will not last long. The easiest way is to become ordained online through our organization.

 

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in North Dakota

You may not perform any marriage until the both parties to the marriage produce a license that is issued not more than 60 days before the date of the marriage. We recommend that you follow the three-step guide to conducting a wedding ceremony. This will best prepare you for the wedding.

Marriage Paperwork Required in North Dakota

You are required to present your Ordination Credentials to the country clerk. All ministers must also present the signed marriage certificate to the county clerk.

 

North Dakota Marriage Laws

 
14-03-09. Who may solemnize marriages. Marriages may be solemnized by all judges of courts of record; municipal judges; recorders, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official; ordained ministers of the gospel; priests; clergy licensed by recognized denominations pursuant to chapter 10-33; and by any person authorized by the rituals and practices of any religious persuasion.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in North Dakota you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Ohio Wedding Laws

Ohio Wedding Laws - How to Become an Ordained Minister in Ohio

Over 25,000 Ohioans have discovered how easy it can be to become an ordained minister and wedding officiant online through the Universal Life Church. Read the instructions below to learn how to get ordained online with the ULC and perform legally-recognized wedding ceremonies in Ohio.

Perform Wedding Ceremonies In Ohio

1. The first step to officiating a wedding ceremony is always to become ordained online through the Universal Life Church. If you are already ordained, contact us to make sure that we still have your ordination account on file. Our ordination gives you, as a ULC minister, the authority to solemnize marriages in Ohio.

2. Make sure your personal information stored in your ordination account is current and accurate. Have you moved since you got ordained? E-mail us with your new address. Gotten married yourself and now no longer use your maiden name? Let us know and we'll make the necessary revisions. Being proactive in keeping your personal information up to date will minimize the chances that your attempt to file for a marriage license will be a failure.

3. Finally, call the county clerks of the counties where you plan on performing marriage ceremonies and verify that they accept our ordination. If they do, also inquire about what forms of credentials and documentation they need to see from Universal Life Church ministers like yourself in order to grant them permission to file for a marriage license. All of these forms of ministerial identification can be found in the Ministry Products section.

Special note for Ohio residents: county clerks in Ohio always require ordination credentials with live signatures on them. Our standard ordination credentials do not bear live signatures. A special variety of credential that is hand-signed by the ULC Monastery's presiding chaplain Brother Martin can be found in the Ohio Credential Package.

Still have lingering questions about how to perform a marriage ceremony in Ohio? Consult the resources below to have them answered:

  • Minister Training: the ULC has compiled a number of training materials which will help you prepare to use your minister's license, teach you about the religions of the world, and even help you start your own congregation.
  • Ministers Network: a social network built and maintained by the ULC. It allows our ministers to swap stories and provide advice on the intricacies of performing wedding ceremonies as well as providing a forum for intense religious discourse.
  • Educational books: our bookstore contains many books which can help ULC ministers suggest vows, plan and execute flawless weddings.

Feel free to email us if the information given in the above links do not answer any of your questions.

Ohio Marriage Laws

 

See the Ohio Secretary of state website for further information. (external link)

3101.08. Who may solemnize. An ordained or licensed minister of any religious society or congregation within this state who is licensed to solemnize marriages, a judge of a county court in accordance with section 1907.18 of the Revised Code, a judge of a municipal court in accordance with section 1901.14 of the Revised Code, a probate judge in accordance with section 2101.27 of the Revised Code, the mayor of a municipal corporation in any county in which such municipal corporation wholly or partly lies, the superintendent of the state school for the deaf, or any religious society in conformity with the rules of its church, may join together as husband and wife any persons who are not prohibited by law from being joined in marriage.

In order to marry in the state of Ohio, an engaged couple must first obtain an Ohio marriage license. The county clerk where you plan to marry will issue the marriage license. The fee for an Ohio wedding license is $40. Most counties only accept cash though some also accept money orders. It is best to check with the county clerk where you are applying for your marriage license to determine what their policies are. Proxy, cousin and same-sex marriages are not permitted in Ohio. Ohio is one of the states that has passed the DOMA or Defense of Marriage Act prohibiting same sex couples from marrying and specifying that only one man and one wife may enter into matrimony. Common Law marriages entered into prior to October of 1991 are permitted as determined by Ohio marriage laws. Common law marriages entered into after this date are not permitted.

A valid government-issued identification card is necessary to apply for an Ohio wedding license. Valid identification includes a driver's license, passport, certified birth certificate or visa. You do not need to be a resident of Ohio in order to marry in Ohio. If you have been previously married, you must bring a certified copy of your divorce decree of a copy of your former spouse's death certificate. Both parties must go to the county clerk's office in person to apply for the marriage license and must have appropriate identification. An Ohio marriage license is valid for sixty days. There is no waiting period after the license is issued and no blood tests are required. If you are under the age of eighteen, you must obtain the consent of your parents to marry and furnish a copy of your birth certificate according to Ohio marriage laws.

If you are in the process of determining how to get married in Ohio, the wedding officiant you choose must fall into the legal category of individuals who are empowered to solemnize marriages in Ohio. As of April, 1991 and according to Ohio marriage laws as determined by Ohio statute 31.0.10, any minister of any congregation or religious community may officiate at Ohio weddings as long as the minister remains in good standing with his or her religious community or congregation. This means that ULC Monastery ministers are capable of legally officiating wedding ceremonies in the State of Ohio.

Ministers must apply for a license to officiate Ohio weddings from the secretary of state. This includes online ordained ministers as well. There is no residency requirement of a wedding officiant in order to officiate at Ohio weddings, so ministers who became legally ordained online from outside of Ohio are able to perform legally-recognized wedding ceremonies there.

A special note for ULC Monastery ministers who are looking to perform wedding ceremonies in Ohio: this state is one of two in the United States which requires a live signature on the ordination credentials Universal Life Church ministers present to county clerks when filing for a marriage license. The ULC Monastery has a special ordination credential prepared specifically for this purpose.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

Ohio Package

To perform a marriage in Ohio you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as the Ohio Ordination Credentials, wallet credential, and in most counties the letter of good standing from the church is required.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Oklahoma Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Oklahoma

All marriages must be contracted by a formal ceremony performed in the presence of at least 2 witnesses, and an ordained or authorized preacher, priest, minister of the Gospel, or other ecclesiastical dignitary of any denomination who has been ordained by a religious organization that has the legal authority to ordain.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Oklahoma

No person shall enter into or contract the marriage relation, nor shall any person perform or solemnize the ceremony of any marriage in this state without a license. Temporary licenses from the county are available, but the benefits are very limited. We suggest becoming ordained online to receive the full unlimited benefits of being an ordained minister, rabbi or other title of empowerment.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Oklahoma

The requirements for performing a wedding are fairly standard, but we recommend checking out the three-step guide to conducting a ceremony. The married couple shall endorse the marriage certificate with the names by which they are to be known from the time of the marriage, as evidenced on the marriage license.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Oklahoma

We recommend getting the Ordination Credentials online and then presenting it to the clerk of the county. The person performing or solemnizing the marriage ceremony shall, immediately upon the completion of the ceremony, endorse upon the license authorizing the marriage with your name and official or clerical designation, and the congregation or body of which your are recognized as a pastor, preacher, minister, priest, rabbi or dignitary.

Oklahoma Marriage Laws

 
?43-7. Solemnization of marriages. A. All marriages must be contracted by a formal ceremony performed or solemnized in the presence of at least two adult, competent persons as witnesses, by a judge or retired judge of any court in this state, or an ordained or authorized preacher or minister of the Gospel, priest or other ecclesiastical dignitary of any denomination who has been duly ordained or authorized by the church to which he or she belongs to preach the Gospel, or a rabbi and who is at least eighteen (18) years of age. B. 1. The judge shall place his or her order of appointment on file with the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she resides. 2. The preacher, minister, priest, rabbi, or ecclesiastical dignitary who is a resident of this state shall have filed, in the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she resides, a copy of the credentials or authority from his or her church or synagogue authorizing him or her to solemnize marriages. 3. The preacher, minister, priest, rabbi, or ecclesiastical dignitary who is not a resident of this state, but has complied with the laws of the state of which he or she is a resident, shall have filed once, in the office of the court clerk of the county in which he or she intends to perform or solemnize a marriage, a copy of the credentials or authority from his or her church or synagogue authorizing him or her to solemnize marriages. 4. The filing by resident or nonresident preachers, ministers, priests, rabbis, ecclesiastical dignitaries or judges shall be effective in and for all counties of this state; provided, no fee shall be charged for such recording.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Oklahoma you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Oregon Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Oregon

It's important to research the details of marriage law in any state or county, as policies can change rather frequently. This is especially true for state of Oregon. Oregon’s wedding law is such that marriage requirements for both couples and officiants can vary greatly from community to community across the Western state.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Oregon

Judges, some public officials and all ordained clergy who are authorized by their religious organization to do so can officiate at weddings in Oregon. The Universal Life Church Monastery authorizes its ministers to perform weddings through online ordination. It is recommended that you keep proof of your ordination with your ordination credentials.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Oregon

In Oregon, different counties have different policies dictating how a wedding ceremony can legally be conducted. It is important for any ordained minister wishing to perform a wedding in the state to research the specific guidelines set forth by the county in which the ceremony will take place. However, it is important to note that in Oregon, all weddings must include two witnesses who are at least 18 years of age.

Premarital Counseling in Oregon

Some counties in Oregon require premarital counseling before a wedding can be performed. Which counties require this and what exactly constitutes premarital counseling frequently changes. Ordained clergy can administer premarital counseling in Oregon, though it should match the regulatory specifics of the county in which the marriage license will be issued. We provide a variety of resources for ministers who wish to take more active roles like this in their communities.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Oregon

The legal purpose of a wedding officiant in Oregon is to confirm the details of the marriage certificate and to preside over the witnesses of the ceremony. A completed, signed marriage certificate must be returned to the County Clerk's office that issued the marriage license. The deadline for this varies by county.

Oregon Marriage Laws

 
106.120 Who may solemnize marriage; fee; personal payment; records. (1) As used in this section, "judicial officer" means: (a) A judicial officer of this state as that term is defined in ORS 1.210 and includes but is not limited to a judge of a municipal court and a justice of the peace. (b) An active judge of a federal court. (c) An active United States magistrate judge. (2) Marriages may be solemnized by: (a) A judicial officer; (b) A county clerk; (c) Religious congregations or organizations as indicated in ORS 106.150 (2); or (d) A clergy person of any religious congregation or organization who is authorized by the congregation or organization to solemnize marriages.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Oregon you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Pennsylvania Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Pennsylvania

Unfortunately, the marriage laws in Pennsylvania’s books are quite antiquated and quite strict. It is often difficult for those ministers ordained with the Universal Life Church Monastery to receive a license from the state that will allow them to join couples in marriage.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Pennsylvania

Anyone may become a minister with the Universal Life Church by simply becoming ordained online. Ministers ordained by the ULC are able to officiate wedding ceremonies in 47 states – unfortunately Pennsylvania is not one of these. In order to be authorized to perform a marriage ceremony in Pennsylvania, one must register and present his or her credentials to their respective county clerk who will then decide whether or not this person is qualified to conduct a marriage ceremony under state law. Only one Pennsylvania county, Bucks County, has made a habit of authorizing ordained Universal Life Church Monastery ministers to officiate weddings, but they often require that the registering minister submit their ordination credentials.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Pennsylvania

Once an individual has been authorized by the state to solemnize a wedding ceremony, they face a much greater degree of freedom. Pennsylvania law does not dictate that a wedding ceremony must take place in a certain fashion – it only establishes that the precise moment at which the two couples are bound by matrimony is noted verbally by the officiant.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Pennsylvania

A couple marrying in Pennsylvania must apply for and receive a marriage license from a country official. Once they receive their application, they have 60 days to become married before the license expires. The individual who officiates the ceremony is responsible for signing a marriage certificate identifying that the couple was married lawfully before the marriage license had expired and delivering it to the appropriate office.

Pennsylvania Marriage Laws

 
? 1503. Persons qualified to solemnize marriages. (a) General rule.--The following are authorized to solemnize marriages between persons that produce a marriage license issued under this part: 1. A justice, judge or district justice of this Commonwealth. 2. A former or retired justice, judge or district justice of this Commonwealth who is serving as a senior judge or senior district justice as provided or prescribed by law. 3. An active or senior judge or full-time magistrate of the District Courts of the United States for the Eastern, Middle or Western District of Pennsylvania. 4. An active or senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit who is a resident of this Commonwealth. 5. A mayor of any city or borough of this Commonwealth. 6. A minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation. (b) Religious organizations.--Every religious society, religious institution or religious organization in this Commonwealth may join persons together in marriage when at least one of the persons is a member of the society, institution or organization, according to the rules and customs of the society, institution or organization. (c) Marriage license needed to officiate.--No person or religious organization qualified to perform marriages shall officiate at a marriage ceremony without the parties having obtained a marriage license issued under this part. [Source webmaster note: Marriage is a civil contract and does not require a particular form of ceremony for solemnization by a government or religious official. See Commonwealth ex. rel. McDermott v. McDermott, 236 Pa. Superior Ct. 541, 345 A.2d 914 (1975). However, marriage does require words uttered to establish at that precise time the relationship of husband and wife. Commonwealth v. Jones, 224 Pa. Superior Ct. 352, 307 A.2d 397 (1973).

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Pennsylvania you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Puerto Rico Marriage Laws

 

Puerto Rico is a US territory. As such there should be no problem registering as an officiant. For more information see the following from the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration website:

Excerpt from Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration

Judges, as well as priests and ministers, are authorized by law to perform wedding ceremonies both in and out of court. Certain prerequisites must be met before such a ceremony is performed. The General Court of Justice offers information about these administrative and legal requirements.

To obtain this information you may contact the office of a judge directly. For a directory of judges visit http://www.ramajudicial.pr/misc/telefonos.htm. Select from amongst the municipalities listed (i.e. Aguadilla, Aibonito, Arecibo, etc) to see the judges in that region.

For general information about wedding ceremonies and requirements call the Demographic Registry at (787) 767-9120 Ext. 2401 or 3401 and/or Tribunal de San Juan at (787) 641-6363, extension 2011 or visit http://www.ramajudicial.pr/sistema/sanjuan.htm

For additional information please visit http://http://www.ramajudicial.pr/

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Puerto Rico you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

South Carolina Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in South Carolina

You must be a minister of the Jewish rabbis, Gospel, or any other religious organization including the ULC that is authorized to administer ordination in this State.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in South Carolina

You can either drive down to the county clerk and fill out a long form and wait for your state-only license, or you can become licensed nation wide by getting ordained online through us.

 

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in South Carolina

The requirements for performing a wedding are fairly standard, but we recommend checking out the three-step guide to conducting a ceremony. This will give you the best education on how to properly perform a wedding.

Marriage Paperwork Required in South Carolina

Next, you should get the Ordination Credentials so you can present it to the clerk of the country. You must also complete the marriage license and give a copy to the parties and the original must be returned to the county clerk of probate within 15 days after the marriage.

South Carolina Marriage Laws

 
SECTION 20-1-20. Persons who may perform marriage ceremony. Only ministers of the Gospel or accepted Jewish rabbis and officers authorized to administer oaths in this State are authorized to administer a marriage ceremony in this State.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws: N/A

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in South Carolina you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

South Dakota Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in South Dakota

Persons authorized to perform marriage ceremonies. Marriage may be performed by any person ordained by a religious organization that allows the legal authority to perform marriages.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in South Dakota

Time allowed after obtaining a temporary license for the performing of marriage is that the license issued shall become void and of no effect unless the marriage be performed within twenty days after the issued date. But to save money and be permanently ordained, we suggest getting ordained online.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in South Dakota

The requirements for performing a wedding are fairly standard, but we recommend checking out the three-step guide to conducting a ceremony. This will give you the best education on how to properly perform a wedding.

Marriage Paperwork Required in South Dakota

You will need to get your Ordination Credentials to present to the clerk of the country. You will need to return the completed marriage certificate to the county clerk after you the marriage and a copy of the certificate to the bride and groom.

South Dakota Marriage Laws

 
25-1-30. Persons authorized to solemnize marriages. Marriage may be solemnized by a justice of the Supreme Court, a judge of the circuit court, a magistrate, a mayor, either within or without the corporate limits of the municipality from which the mayor was elected, or any person authorized by a church to solemnize marriages.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in South Dakota you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Tennessee Marriage Laws

 
36-3-301. Persons who may solemnize marriages. (a) (1) All regular ministers, preachers, pastors, priests, rabbis and other spiritual leaders of every religious belief, more than eighteen (18) years of age, having the care of souls

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Tennessee you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Texas Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Texas

The state of Texas has a relatively simple set of marriage laws, though it is important that any ordained minister desiring to perform a Texas wedding ensure that they adhere to these policies in a prompt manner to ensure the legality of the marriage.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Texas

Texas allows state judges and magistrates to officiate weddings, along with ordained Christian ministers and Jewish rabbis. Officers of other religious organizations may also officiate weddings, but these people must be able to establish that they have been authorized by their respective organization to solemnize a marriage. Universal Life Church Monastery ministers who are ordained online do meet this requirement, with ULC Monastery’s assistance.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Texas

So long as a person is able to establish that they are authorized to perform a wedding ceremony, the state of Texas is largely unconcerned with the format of that ceremony. Though you often do not require witnesses to receive a marriage license in Texas, it is necessary that an authorized officiant be present at the ceremony to examine the validity of the marriage certificate and act as a witness to the wedding. An ordained minister with the Universal Life Church Monastery might find it helpful to view our three-step guide to conducting a wedding ceremony - a useful tool we have provided as part of our online seminary.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Texas

Ministers ordained online may be required to present proof that they have been authorized by their religious organization to officiate a wedding. This could include presentation of the ordination credentials. Depending on the county, you may also be required to submit a Letter of Good Standing to the county clerk before you will be able to officiate the wedding. After a couple has applied for and received a marriage license from their respective county clerk within Texas, it is important to note that they must conduct their marriage ceremony within 30 days, before the license expires. Marrying with an expired license in Texas carries with it the possibility of misdemeanor charges and associated fines.

Texas Marriage Laws

 

Today, many couples seek out a more personalized, non-denominational wedding ceremony. These non-denominational wedding ceremonies are increasingly popular among couples from different religious backgrounds and/or amongst couples who prefer a non-religious wedding ceremony. Many non-denominational ministers will be more than happy to incorporate elements into the wedding ceremony that have an intimate meaning to the couple, whether these elements are based on traditional religious practices or not. All states have their own set of wedding laws. In the state of Texas, the wedding laws are governed by the Texas Family Code.

Section 2.202 of the Texas Family Code establishes the state law regarding the performance of a wedding ceremony. There is no requirement that a wedding officiant be a resident of the state of Texas or of a certain age. An online-ordained minister is also able to perform weddings in the state of Texas. The following are the criterion as set forth in the Texas Family Code for wedding officiants:

  • A person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony
  • A Jewish rabbi
  • A licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest
  • A justice, magistrate or judge of any of the state, county or federal courts in the state of Texas.

Please note: wedding officiants must complete the marriage license and return it to the county clerk who issued it within thirty days of the marriage.

Texas wedding state law does not distinguish between a wedding officiant who has been ordained online or by a seminary school. A month or so before performing the wedding, it is prudent to check with the county clerk where you will be officiating the wedding ceremony to clarify if there are any other documents required by that particular county, such as a notarized letter stating that you are in good standing with the religious organization that ordained you. However, the various counties in Texas follow closely section 2.202 of the Texas Family Code. The state of Texas, as mentioned before, does not require a wedding officiant to be a state resident.

Officiating a wedding ceremony in Texas as an online-ordained minister is quite easy if you are authorized by a religious organization to perform marriage ceremonies and you are an officer of the religious organization. Otherwise, you must be an ordained Christian minister or Jewish rabbi. You will need your ordination certification to present to the county clerk. Do remember to file the marriage license in the Texas county where your performed the marriage within thirty days of the wedding.

Familiarity with section 2.202 of the Texas Family Code is important if you plan on regularly officiating wedding ceremonies in the state of Texas. It is also wise to double-check with the local county clerk where you will be officiating the wedding to make sure that the county does not need any additional documentation from you prior to the wedding. Most counties follow the Texas Family Code to the letter and other than a letter of good standing, you will only be required to present appropriate identification and your ordination certification.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by Constitutional Amendment and State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Texas you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Utah Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Utah

The state of Utah has some restrictions, depending on the county. It is always recommended that you check with the local county clerk for any special requirements. It is important that any ordained minister desiring to perform a Utah wedding ensure that they adhere to these policies in a prompt manner to ensure the legality of the marriage.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Utah

Utah allows ordained ministers from all religious organizations, including non-religious organizations. All ministers must be able to establish that they have been authorized by their respective organization to solemnize a marriage. Universal Life Church Monastery ministers who are ordained online meet these requirements.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Utah

Any religious society or religious assembly may perform the ceremony of marriage. The clerk or an official shall record and transmit to the county clerk of the county a certificate of the marriage. An ordained minister with the Universal Life Church Monastery might find it helpful to view our three-step guide to conducting a wedding ceremony - a useful tool we have provided as part of our online seminary.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Utah

Every minister must be either licensed or have the Ordination Credentials of the gospel to be able to perform marriages. Ministers must give a marriage certificate to the bride and groom upon request and must return a certificate to the county clerk.

Utah Marriage Laws

 
30-1-6. Who may solemnize marriages -- Certificate. (1) Marriages may be solemnized by the following persons only: (a) ministers, rabbis, or priests of any religious denomination who are: (i) in regular communion with any religious society; and (ii) 18 years of age or older;

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Utah you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Vermont Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Vermont

If you are not a judge or government official with legal authority to join people in marriage, then you need to become ordained and live in Vermont. You will need to satisfy the requirements shown below.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Vermont

The most efficient way to become ordained is through an online organization. You can get a temporary license from the county clerk, but this usually contains a fee. We recommend getting ordained online to save time and effort.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Vermont

You must have the couple give you the signed marriage certificate before the wedding takes place. You must then return the marriage certificate to the town clerk’s office where it was issued within 10 days after the wedding, so that the marriage can be acknowledge by the county. We recommend checking out our three-step guide to conducting a wedding ceremony to have the best preparation for the wedding.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Vermont

You will need your Ordination Credentials to present to the country clerk. Ministers must give a marriage certificate to the bride and groom upon request and must return a certificate to the county clerk.

Vermont Marriage Laws

 

Visit the state site, and check with the county clerk, (where the ceremony will be held), for further details.

5144. Persons authorized to solemnize marriage (a) Marriages may be solemnized by a supreme court justice, a superior judge, a judge of probate, an assistant judge, a justice of the peace, a magistrate, an individual who has registered as an officiant with the Vermont secretary of state pursuant to section 5144a of this title, a member of the clergy residing in this state and ordained or licensed, or otherwise regularly authorized thereunto by the published laws or discipline of the general conference, convention, or other authority of his or her faith or denomination, or by such a clergy person residing in an adjoining state or country, whose parish, church, temple, mosque, or other religious organization lies wholly or in part in this state, or by a member of the clergy residing in some other state of the United States or in the Dominion of Canada, provided he or she has first secured from the probate division of the superior court in the unit within which the marriage is to be solemnized a special authorization, authorizing him or her to certify the marriage if the probate judge determines that the circumstances make the special authorization desirable. Marriage among the Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia, and the Baha'i Faith may be solemnized in the manner heretofore used in such societies.

(b) This section does not require a member of the clergy authorized to solemnize a marriage as set forth in subsection (a) of this section, nor societies of Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia, or the Baha'i Faith to solemnize any marriage, and any refusal to do so shall not create any civil claim or cause of action. (Amended 1965, No. 194, 10, eff. Feb. 1, 1967; 1971, No. 22, eff. March 23, 1971; 1975, No. 1; 1979, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), 26; 1981, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.); 1999, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), 28; 2007, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), 1; 2009, No. 3, 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2009; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), 147.)

5144a. Temporary officiant for marriages

(a) By registering with the secretary of state, an individual may temporarily be authorized to solemnize a marriage in this state. When registering, the individual shall provide: (1) A completed registration form provided by the secretary of state. (2) A $100.00 fee.

(b) Upon registration as a temporary officiant, the individual shall be authorized to solemnize only the civil marriage designated on the registration form, and shall receive proof of that authority from the secretary of state. The individual's authority to solemnize that civil marriage shall expire at the same time as the corresponding license. (Added 2007, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), 2.)

5145. Civil marriage license required for solemnization

Persons authorized by section 5144 of this title to solemnize marriage shall require a civil marriage license of the parties, before solemnizing such marriage. The license shall afford full immunity to the person who solemnizes the marriage. (Amended 1965, No. 194, 10, eff. Feb. 1, 1967; 1969, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), 2; 1979, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), 15; 1987, No. 198 (Adj. Sess.); 1991, No. 198 (Adj. Sess.); 2009, No. 3, 12a, eff. Sept. 1, 2009.)

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by State Legislature.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Vermont you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Virginia Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Virginia

Virginia state law makes it difficult for a minister who is ordained online to officiate weddings. It is very common that Virginia’s county office will not accept the ordination of a Universal Life Church Monastery minister.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Virginia

In Virginia, any judge or retired judge is able to solemnize a marriage. In addition, a minister of any religious denomination can be afforded the right to solemnize a marriage, provided that they present a judge or clerk with proof of ordination or a minister’s license. Anybody can become ordained online by the Universal Life Church Monastery. However the language of the law in Virginia’s code makes it difficult for a ULC Monastery minister to satisfy the requirements of Virginia’s courts and county officials.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Virginia

Virginia does not make any specifications on how the actual marriage ceremony must be performed, only emphasizing that if the ceremony is not performed by an authorized individual the involved parties could be punished and the marriage could be nullified. Before attempting to solemnize any wedding, a minister should be in contact with an appropriate county official. Any Universal Life Church Monastery minister seeking additional guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony might find it helpful to turn to this handy collection of ceremony ideas for additional guidance.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Virginia

Virginia couples looking to get married can apply for and acquire a license from a clerk or deputy clerk in their county’s office. This license is valid for 60 days. A minister hoping to ordain a wedding must be licensed with the state of Virginia – officiating the wedding of a couple with proper authority can result in legal action.

Virginia Marriage Laws

 

The state of Virginia currently requests that you visit your County Clerk's office in person to inquire about becoming registered as a wedding officiant.

You will find a list of County Clerk's offices below. Please visit their websites for directions and hours.

? 20-23. Order authorizing ministers to perform ceremony. When a minister of any religious denomination shall produce before the circuit court of any county or city in this Commonwealth, or before the judge of such court or before the clerk of such court at any time, proof of his ordination and of his being in regular communion with the religious society of which he is a reputed member, or proof that he holds a local minister's license and is serving as a regularly appointed pastor in his denomination, such court, or the judge thereof, or the clerk of such court at any time, may make an order authorizing such minister to celebrate the rites of matrimony in this Commonwealth. Any order made under this section may be rescinded at any time by the court or by the judge thereof. (Code 1919, ?? 5079, 5080; 1962, c. 362; 1980, c. 154; 1981, c. 295.)

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Virginia you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

ULC The Monastery's foreign corporation state filings

Read the full Law on the official site »

Washington DC Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Washington D.C.

In Washington D.C., religious officiants of any religious society may be authorized to perform marriages.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Washington D.C.

Ordained ministers of the gospel are allowed to perform marriages. Marriage licenses are addressed to the minister who will perform the ceremony. The minister must complete a marriage certificate for the bride and for the groom and return another certificate to the clerk of the District of Columbia Court of General Sessions within 10 days after the marriage. An individual can becoming authorized to officiate marriages in Washington D.C. by becoming ordained online with the Universal Life Church Monastery. It is recommended that you keep proof of your ordination with your ordination credentials.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Washington D.C.

There are no specific guidelines dictate which format the wedding ceremony must take. New or curious ministers might consider researching how to perform different ceremonies in the Baker's Wedding Handbook that the ULC Monastery offers.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Washington D.C.

A marriage license is a public record, in order to obtain a marriage license, provide: a completed license application; and payment of $45 ($35 for the license and $10 for the certificate – cash or money order) (the license fee will be waived if the applicants’ original Domestic Partnership Certificate is presented at the time of application) Note: After receipt of the application and payment, there is a mandatory waiting period of three full business days (DC Code §46-409). For example, if a party files an application on Monday, the license will not be issued until Friday. After the three days have passed, the marriage license will be ready for pick-up.

 

For more detailed information, review Washington D.C.’s code for yourself.

Washington DC Marriage Laws

 

The county clerk may require our Founding Documents for registration - you can view and print a PDF copy of those documents here.

Official Information:
For more information, you can call (202) 879-4850.

For the purpose of preserving the evidence of marriages in the District of Columbia, every minister of any religious society approved or ordained according to the ceremonies of his religious society, whether his residence is in the District of Columbia or elsewhere in the United States or the territories, may be authorized by any judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia. Marriages may also be performed by any judge or justice of any court of record; provided, that marriages of any religious society which does not by its own custom require the intervention of a minister for the celebration of marriages may be solemnized in the manner prescribed and practiced in any such religious society, the license in such case to be issued to, and returns to be made by, a person appointed by such religious society for that purpose. The Clerk of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or such deputy clerks of the Court as may, in writing, be designated by the Clerk and approved by the Chief Judge, may celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

Washington, DC legalized same-sex marriage.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Washington DC you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

ULC The Monastery's foreign corporation state filings

Read the full Law on the official site »

Washington Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Washington

Washington state does not have wedding laws which dictate that a wedding ceremony take any particular form, so ministers and couples have large amount of flexibility in planning exactly how they want the special day to look and feel. The Universal Life Church Monastery offers a variety of resources for ministers to help ordained officiants guide wedding ceremonies of all shapes and sizes. In order for a wedding ceremony to be legal in the state of Washington, two witnesses (other than the two individuals getting married) must be present and able to acknowledge the wedding as having taken place. Of course, the officiant must also be present. Under Washington state law, witnesses must be at least 12 years of age.

How to Officiate a Wedding in Washington

Weddings in Washington State are, legally speaking, among the simplest to officiate and legalize within the United States. There are very few extraordinary requirements or demands placed on either the individuals getting married or the individual who is officiating the wedding ceremony. In addition, both opposite-sex and same-sex couples can be legally married in Washington state and Washington's code specifies that clergy of any recognized religious organization can legally act as a certified wedding officiant, this includes the Universal Life Church Monastery. Don't let the high level of freedom fool you, though - be sure to contact your local county officials before the ceremony to ensure that you've got everything correct. Coincidentally, the Universal Life Church Monastery is based in Seattle, Washington.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Washington

Aside from judges and court commissioners, the state of Washington recognizes clergy from a wide variety of religions and spiritual organizations. The clergyperson must simply be licensed and ordained by his or her religious organization, as is possible with the Universal Life Church Monastery's online ordination platform. Being an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church carries with it some rights and responsibilities. The central tenet of the Universal Life Church Monastery is to "do that which is right", a singular commandment our ministers are expected to respect. An ordained minister has the ability to officiate marriages and preside over funerals, as well as to start their own ministry. The Universal Life Church Monastery has ordained several thousand ministers in Washington state. It is recommended that you keep proof of your ordination with your ordination credentials.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Washington

In Washington state, as in many states, a couple must submit to a three-day waiting period between requesting a marriage license and having their wedding ceremony in order for that ceremony to be considered valid under the law. Marriage license fees are determined by the county in which they are issued, and start at $35. Marriage licenses issued throughout the union by different states have varying expiration dates. In Washington, the ceremony must take place within 60 days of the date of issue of the marriage license. It is also important to note that in Washington marriage licenses do not necessarily act as official name-change documents for couples that wish to share a surname; changing your name is a separate legal procedure. Couples must register any new names with several different agencies, depending on county.

For more detailed information, review Washington State's code for yourself.

Washington Marriage Laws

 

Weddings in Washington State require a Washington State wedding license. In order to obtain a marriage license in Washington you must go to the local county clerk where you intend to marry and apply for a license. The first order of business is to provide the local county clerk with valid identification. Valid identification includes a current driver's license, a valid passport or a certified birth certificate. Both you and your betrothed must go to the county clerk's office together and present the county clerk with appropriate identification documents. In addition, there is a fee to obtain a Washington State marriage license of approximately $62. Most counties only accept cash. The fee will vary from county to county so it is best to confirm the exact amount of the fee with the county clerk in the county where you intend to marry. A Washington State marriage license is valid for sixty days.

If you have been previously married, you will need to have a finalized copy of the divorce decree or a copy of your previous spouse's death certificate to present to the county clerk. There is no residency requirement if you plan on obtaining a Washington State wedding license before you can hold the wedding. There is, however, a three day waiting period after the license has been issued before you can marry. No blood tests are required. If either of the engaged couple is between the ages of seventeen and eighteen, a parent will need to go with you to the county clerk's office to give consent for you to marry. If either of you is under seventeen years of age, you must obtain judicial consent to marry. Proxy marriages are not allowed in Washington State.

In order to act as a wedding officiant in weddings in Washington State, the wedding officiant must abide by Washington State statute RCW 3.02.010. This statute specifies that any regularly licensed or ordained priest or minister or any religious congregation, church or temple may perform weddings in Washington State. There is no residency requirement to perform marriages in Washington. Additionally, active or retired judges and justices of the peace may perform weddings in Washington State. Online-ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church Monastery are able to perform legally-recognized weddings in Washington. ULC and all other online ordained ministers must present appropriate ordination papers indicating he or she has been approved to perform marriages and must also present appropriate identification to the county clerk where the marriage is to be performed. Additionally, two certified copies of the marriage certificate must be forwarded to the county auditor within thirty days of the solemnization of the union.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Popular Vote.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Washington you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Wyoming Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in Wyoming

The state of Wyoming has relatively standard regulations for marriage laws. It is important that any ordained minister desiring to perform a Wyoming wedding ensure that they adhere to these policies in a prompt manner to ensure the legality of the marriage.

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Wyoming

Wyoming allows ordained ministers from all religious organizations. Ministers of non-religious organizations may also officiate weddings as well. All ministers must be able to establish that they have been authorized by their respective organization to solemnize a marriage. Universal Life Church Monastery ministers who are ordained online meet these requirements.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Wyoming

Any religious society or religious assembly may perform the ceremony of marriage. The clerk or an official shall record and transmit to the county clerk of the county a certificate of the marriage. An ordained minister with the Universal Life Church Monastery might find it helpful to view our three-step guide to conducting a wedding ceremony - a useful tool we have provided as part of our online seminary.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Wyoming

Every minister must be either licensed or have the Ordination Credentials of the gospel to be able to perform marriages. Ministers must give a marriage certificate to the bride and groom upon request and must return a certificate to the county clerk.

Wyoming Marriage Laws

 
20-1-106. Who may solemnize marriage; form of ceremony. (a) Every district or circuit court judge, district court commissioner, supreme court justice, magistrate and every licensed or ordained minister of the gospel, bishop, priest or rabbi, or other qualified person acting in accordance with the traditions or rites for the solemnization of marriage of any religion, denomination or religious society, may perform the ceremony of marriage in this state. (b) In the solemnization of marriage no particular form is required, except that the parties shall solemnly declare in the presence of the person performing the ceremony and at least two (2) attending witnesses that they take each other as husband and wife.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently bans same-sex marriage by State Law.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Wyoming you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Wisconsin Wedding Laws

How to Officiate a Wedding in Wisconsin

Officiating a wedding in Wisconsin used to be a difficult process, particularly for non-residents of the state. Wisconsin state law contains requirements for officiants who must ensure that they fully understand the requirements that the state of Wisconsin has before performing in a ministerial capacity. Recent changes to the laws have removed some of the complexity

How to Become an Ordained Minister in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, judges, commissioners, and members of the clergy of any religious organization have the ability to solemnize a wedding. The Universal Life Church Monastery can help you become ordained online using our online ordination platform. It is recommended that you keep proof of your ordination with your ordination credentials.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s guidelines dictating how to properly conduct a wedding ceremony are straightforward. During the ceremony, the two parties joining hands in matrimony must declare that they are freely taking each other as husband and wife. This declaration must take place in front of the authorized officiant, as well as at least two witnesses who are over the age of 18.

Marriage Paperwork Required in Wisconsin

The officiant must verify that the wedding license obtained by the couple is legal and valid. After the ceremony is complete, he or she must sign the wedding document, as the law specifies, in “black, unfading ink.” This document must be returned to an official in the office of the county in which the wedding was performed within three days of the ceremony.

Wisconsin Marriage Laws

 


765.16 Marriage contract, how made; officiating person. Marriage may be validly solemnized and contracted in this state only after a marriage license has been issued therefor, and only by the mutual declarations of the 2 parties to be joined in marriage that they take each other as husband and wife, made before an authorized officiating person and in the presence of at least 2 competent adult witnesses other than the officiating person. The following are authorized to be officiating persons: 765.16(1) (1) Any ordained member of the clergy of any religious denomination or society who continues to be an ordained member of the clergy. 765.16(2) (2) Any licentiate of a denominational body or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular member of the clergy of any church of the denomination to which the member of the clergy belongs, if not restrained from so doing by the discipline of the church or denomination. 765.16(3) (3) The 2 parties themselves, by mutual declarations that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect to which either of the parties may belong. 765.17 Nonresident officiating person; sponsorship. Any member of the clergy, licentiate or appointee named in s. 765.16 who is not a resident of this state may solemnize marriages in this state if he or she possesses at the time of the marriage a letter of sponsorship from a member of the clergy of the same religious denomination or society who has a church in this state under his or her ministry. 765.19 Delivery and filing of marriage document. The marriage document, legibly and completely filled out with unfading black ink, shall be returned by the officiating person, or, in the case of a marriage ceremony performed without an officiating person, then by the parties to the marriage contract, or either of them, to the register of deeds of the county in which the marriage was performed within 3 days after the date of the marriage.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Wisconsin you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.

ULC The Monastery's foreign corporation state filings

Read the full Law on the official site »

West Virginia Wedding Laws

How to Perform a Wedding in West Virginia

Any ordained minister who has received authorization to perform marriages in this state. The court in each city and county has appointed persons who are eligible to perform weddings.

 

How to Become an Ordained Minister in West Virginia

West Virginia allows ordained ministers from all religious organizations. Ministers of non-religious organizations may also officiate weddings as well. All ministers must be able to establish that they have been authorized by their respective organization to solemnize a marriage. Universal Life Church Monastery ministers who are ordained online meet these requirements.

How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony in West Virginia

Any religious society or religious assembly may perform the ceremony of marriage. The clerk or an official shall record and transmit to the county clerk of the county a certificate of the marriage. An ordained minister with the Universal Life Church Monastery might find it helpful to view our three-step guide to conducting a wedding ceremony - a useful tool we have provided as part of our online seminary.

Marriage Paperwork Required in West Virginia

Ministers must be at least 18 years of age. They must receive Ordination Credentials from a religious organization to be able to perform marriages. Ministers must give a marriage certificate to the bride and groom upon request and must return a certificate to the county clerk.

West Virginia Marriage Laws

 

Download The Application to be placed on the Statewide Registry of Persons Authorized to Perform Marriages in West Virginia.

?48-2-402. Qualifications of religious representative for celebrating marriages; registry of persons authorized to perform marriage ceremonies; special revenue fund. (a) Beginning the first day of September, two thousand one, the secretary of state shall, upon payment of the registration fee established by the secretary of state pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, make an order authorizing a person who is a religious representative to celebrate the rites of marriage in all the counties of the state, upon proof that the person: (1) Is eighteen years of age or older; (2) Is duly authorized to perform marriages by his or her church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization; and (3) Is in regular communion with the church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization of which he or she is a member. (b) The person shall give bond in the penalty of one thousand five hundred dollars, with surety approved by the commission. Any religious representative who gives proof before the county commission of his or her ordination or authorization by his or her respective church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization is exempt from giving the bond. (c) The secretary of state shall establish a central registry of persons authorized to celebrate marriages in this state. Every person authorized under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section to celebrate marriages shall be listed in this registry. Every county clerk shall, prior to the first day of October, two thousand one, transmit to the secretary of state the name of every person authorized to celebrate marriages by order issued in his or her county since one thousand nine hundred sixty and the secretary of state shall include these names in the registry. The completed registry and periodic updates shall be transmitted to every county clerk. (d) A fee not to exceed twenty-five dollars may be charged by the secretary of state for each registration received on or after the first day of September, two thousand one, and all money received shall be deposited in a special revenue revolving fund designated the "Marriage Celebrants Registration Fee Administration Fund" in the state treasury to be administered by the secretary of state. Expenses incurred by the secretary in the implementation and operation of the registry program shall be paid from the fund. (e) No marriage performed by a person authorized by law to celebrate marriages may be invalidated solely because the person was not listed in the registry provided for in this section. (f) The secretary of state shall promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section.

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by Court Decision.

West Virginia Package

To perform a marriage in West Virginia you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as the West Virginia ordination credentials, wallet credential, and in some counties the letter of good standing from the church is also required.

Read the full Law on the official site »

Rhode Island Marriage Laws

 

Gay Marriage and Same Sex Wedding Laws:

This state currently has legal same-sex marriage by State Legislature.

The Monastery Ordination Credential

To perform a marriage in Rhode Island you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as your ordination credentials, wallet credential, and or an updated letter of good standing from the church.