Performing a wedding is an incredible honor! But it’s also a great responsibility, and the process
is slightly more complicated than walking up to the altar and pronouncing the couple married. If
you’ve been asked to officiate a wedding, it’s important to understand the full scope of your task
– from getting ordained to getting the marriage license signed. That’s why we’ve put together
this comprehensive guide to performing weddings!
The steps for officiating a wedding can vary depending on where the ceremony will take place,
as each state has its own way of doing things. Using the interactive interactive mapdropdown below, simply click on
any state to read a detailed step-by-step guide to officiating wedding ceremonies there.
Find Information For Specific Counties
For county-specific marriage law information, you can browse the list here:
Additional county information is unavailable at this time.
No matter where the wedding will take place, here are the common steps that everyone must
1. Become Ordained as a Minister
The very first step to take when officiating a wedding is to get ordained! Becoming a minister will
grant you the authority to perform legal wedding ceremonies across the United States. Best of
all? We make this process easy and quick to complete – the whole thing takes just a few minutes.
To get started, visit our ordination page and input some
basic details. Once you press submit, your ordination will be swiftly processed.
The ULC welcomes anyone to become ordained who feels so-called. The only requirements are
that you must be over 18 years of age and promise to abide by the Church’s two tenets: do that
which is right, and respect the freedom of others to worship however they choose. For more details,
you can look at our ordination guides, which has
thorough explanations about ordination for each state.
2. Contact the Relevant Marriage Authority Office
Prior to officiating a wedding, you may need to show official credentials prove you are a
minister. The office in charge of recording marriages – usually a county clerk – will sometimes
ask to see documentation such as your ordination credential or a letter of good standing. To
learn what specifically you’ll want to have on hand, contact that office directly. Any items you
might need are available via our exclusive minister store.
3. Officiate the Wedding Ceremony
Time to plan for the big day! Keep in mind that it’s common for the couple to request that you
write the ceremony script. Creating a full wedding ceremony script from scratch is a big task, so
if you’re feeling in over your head, don’t hesitate to consult our
Wedding Script Hub to get some help in writing
a beautiful script for the occasion. There's plenty of examples to choose from including a garden wedding,
a cute ceremony, and many more.
4. Make the Marriage Official
After you finish the wedding ceremony itself, the final (and arguably most important) step is to fill
out and sign the marriage license with the couple, then make sure it gets returned to the office
that issued it. To learn more about how a marriage license works and the other legal
requirements to finalize a union, please check out our Marriage
After the marriage license has been signed and submitted, the wedding will be officially in the
5. How to Get Married Internationally
Ministers ordained online by the Universal Life Church have also found success in some
international areas. You can view detailed explanations of international marriage laws for select