As the Universal Life Church Monastery mentioned recently on its Facebook page, talk show host Wendy Williams plans to take advantage of her online ordination in the Universal Life Church Monastery to perform weddings. Although it will not have been the first time a celebrity has become ordained online to perform the duty, it serves as yet another example how the practice is becoming more acceptable through media exposure. Of course, we at the ULC Monastery are excited to see what Williams has in store for her ceremonies.
The talk show host revealed her plans on Thursday, 11 April, when she announced on her show that Blake Shelton will serve as wedding officiant for American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson and her fiancé Brandon Blackstock. While discussing the growing trend of celebrities who get ordained online to marry their friends and family members, she surprised her audience by saying, “I think I will become ordained so I can perform marriage ceremonies”. (Some of these celebrities include Conan O’Brien, who decided to become an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church Monastery to perform a wedding for his costume designer and the designer’s fiancé live onstage during an airing of the Conan show in New York, and Fran Drescher, who became ordained to perform same-sex weddings at XL nightclub, also in New York.)
There is, however, a creative twist to Williams’s plans which her fellow celebrity ministers most likely have not taken advantage of. Rather than pick the lucky couples themselves, Williams invited her live audience members and viewers to sign up if they want her to perform a wedding ceremony for them. Soon after the announcement, an application appeared on the official Wendy Williams Show Web site for those interested in requesting Williams to serve as minister at their weddings. For now it remains unclear whether the weddings will take place on the show itself, but the studio’s location in Chelsea, Manhattan is only helping to bolster New York City’s reputation as a wedding destination.
Whatever platform Williams uses to perform her marriage celebrations, it is sure to be an unorthodox occasion, reflecting the view of the Universal Life Church Monastery that everybody—whether celebrity talk show host or traditionally trained minister—has the sacerdotal right to become an ordained minister to marry their friends, family, and even their fans. The ULC Monastery looks forward to seeing what Williams has in store for us, and wishes her a rewarding future as a minister ordained online, as well as a happy life together for the couples she marries.
Many still have mixed opinions on the trend of celebrities becoming ministers online. What do you think of the practice, and are these high-profile individuals changing the nature of ordination for better, or for worse?