There is nothing quite like a well-planned wedding – the stirring speeches, the vulnerability in the vows, the adoration of the audience. Witnessing the outpouring of love that comes from watching two people begin a new life together is electrifying. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Now, imagine actually performing the ceremony yourself instead of simply watching from the audience. Thanks to the advent of online ministries, this is now entirely possible!
Rather than joining a foreign organization, we would encourage you to join an American marriage ministry like the Universal Life Church. With the ULC you can legally officiate marriages across the country! An online ordination through the ULC can add intimacy to the unions of your friends and family by performing their weddings or earn some extra money on the side by performing weddings for your community. Many ministries require their ministers undergo years of study before entering into service and performing marriages. However, we make becoming an ordained minister as simple as filling out a brief online form. We believe that everyone, regardless of denomination or their specific religious beliefs, has the right to answer the call to serve as a minister.
Performing Marriages in America
In order to legally perform weddings, you must first be certified as a member of one of the many American marriage ministries recognized by the U.S. government. Although most traditional religious organizations provide paths to ordination, so do non-denominational, non-religious, pagan or other alternative online ministries. The Universal Life Church, an all-welcoming, non-denominational ministry offers a straightforward process for becoming legally recognized. Anyone – regardless of their individual beliefs – can become ordained online as a ULC minister and begin performing marriages.
When completing our online ordination form be sure to:
- Use your full legal name
- Capitalize properly
- Double check that your details are entered correctly
- Refrain from using false information on your application
Once you have become a registered member of the ministry, you will want to check your state and county laws regarding the solemnization of marriages. For information on the legal requirements for individual states, check out our Wedding Laws map. From there, we also provide contact info for county clerk offices in your area.
Customizing a Wedding for the Couple
As an officiant for one of the largest American marriage ministries around, you will serve in a critical role on the big day. Every couple wants a wedding that they will remember fondly for decades to come; you should be mindful of how best to help them celebrate their union in a way that distinctly reflects their love. Personalizing the wedding ceremony for the betrothed adds elements of intimacy and uniqueness to their experience, so make sure to work with the couple and come up with a plan for the wedding that covers the ceremony schedule, any potential musical interludes or readings, the vows, and what the theme of the event will be.
Prior to the ceremony, you ought to read over the script several times by yourself to ensure you are comfortable with the order of proceedings. Communicate with members of the wedding party so that they know their roles and can perform them successfully when called upon. Remember that marriage ceremonies rarely go off without a hitch, so be prepared to improvise and remember to have fun!
Freedom of Religion & Alternative Ceremonies
The components of a marriage ceremony can vary wildly depending on what the couple’s beliefs are, how the ceremony will be structured, and how long it is expected to last. Religious couples will have different traditions depending on their faith backgrounds that may need to be strictly followed.
Non-religious couples, on the other hand, may wish customize the ceremony in a secular fashion. They might introduce a fun twist by holding a themed ceremony or add an alternative element into the proceedings – such as pouring two glasses of sand together to symbolize the union of their souls.
This might sound intimidating to those without much experience, but don’t let that feeling deter you. By joining one of the top American marriage ministries and becoming a ULC wedding officiant, you’ll benefit from access to an extensive member support network, an entire catalog of ministry supplies, and free training content to help hone your craft. Thousands of marriages are out there waiting to be officiated – what’s stopping you?