How to Officiate a Wedding Ceremony (In 4 Simple Steps)


You know what I love? weddings. And if you or a family member has one coming up, this can make the ceremony even more special. Imagine something as personal as a wedding, and you've been asked to officiate. How should you prepare, and what will you be responsible for during and after the ceremony? This video will walk you through your responsibilities as a wedding officiant.

The first step is become ordained. We have made this as easy as possible for you. Simply Visit to begin your free online ordination. Complete the form using your full legal name and current address. Our online ministry welcomes people of all faiths and your status as a minister will be legal and valid as soon as you click submit. Next you will need to conduct some research on local marriage laws. Weddings performed by the Universal Life Church ministers have been recognized in all states except Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania. However the specific legal requirements to perform a wedding vary from state to state and even county to county. That's over 3000 different laws. To get the requirements for your wedding, contact the office where the couple will be filing their marriage license. Introduce yourself as a recently ordained minister and tell them you will be officiating an upcoming wedding. You will want to ask them 3 things:

First: does this county require its ministers to register?

Second: what documentation is required to sign a marriage license?

Third: what is the deadline for filing the marriage license?

We have all legal documents and wedding materials available for purchase from our online store. Don't be surprised if they don't ask to see anything at all. Some locations require nothing and simply being ordained is enough to perform a legal wedding ceremony. Now here's the part you've been waiting for. The wedding ceremony.

As a minister your biggest responsibility is to create the best experience possible for the couple and the guests. In order for the marriage to be legal, the wedding ceremony must include the declaration of intent. This is most commonly recognized as the do you take and I do exchange between you and the couple. Whether or not you also choose to invoke god as part of the vows, the marriage will still be legal. Planning the rest of the wedding ceremony is left to the wedding couple and yourself. If you are officiating a wedding ceremony for close friends of family, chances are you have already done much to prepare given your personal relationship with the couple, after all they asked you to perform their wedding for a reason. The beauty of a marriage officiated by a Universal Life Church minister is that the parties involved have the freedom to plan the ceremony of their dreams. And after the ceremony is over, all that is left is the paperwork. To complete the marriage license, have the couple sign it after the ceremony, you will also have to sign it along with two witnesses, and you will have to fill out some more information about yourself.

Name of church: universal life church

Denomination: non-denominational

Title: reverend, pastor, or minster

Address of the religious body that ordained you:

2720 1st ave. s. Seattle, WA 98134

Address of your ministry or business:

Your home address.

Once you complete the license, it is a good idea to make a photocopy for your records, then, give it back to the couple so they can submit it to the office where they picked it up. After the document has processed, the marriage is official, and your work is done. Our online ordinations have helped millions of ministers perform weddings around the world. By just completing a few steps, you too can perform a wedding that will create lasting memories. Now imagine how meaningful that could be for the bride and groom. The Universal Life Church has only two tenants: to promote freedom of religion, and to do that which is right.