How to get Ordained in Delaware to Officiate
Written and reviewed by the wedding law liaison team at the Universal Life Church.
Welcome to the Delaware marriage laws guide! Officiating a wedding is an incredible honor, but it also comes with plenty of responsibility - which is why we've created this page to provide guidance to couples and ministers alike. To help make sure everything goes smoothly on the big day, we've created a step-by-step guide that will explain how to become a wedding minister, how to marry someone, and how to make sure the ceremony is legal in Alabama.
Here are the basic steps one must follow to officiate a wedding:
Getting Ordained in Delaware
Becoming a marriage officiant with the Universal Life Church is even easier than most people anticipate. Our online ordination process is simple, fast, and entirely free. Once you have your minister license in hand, officiating a wedding is right around the corner! In fact, legally licensed ministers of the ULC perform countless marriages in Delaware each year. Click the button below to get started.
How Do You Perform a Wedding in Delaware
Your first move will be to contact the county clerk's office in the county where the wedding will be held. Introduce yourself as a minister and ask what documents you'll need to present as proof of ordination. Keep in mind, these requirements can vary based on your locality, so it is best to get clarification before proceeding. Any materials or documents you might need are available via the Minister Store here on our site.
Select a county to see contact information for each office:
Delaware Wedding Officiant Requirements
Once you've spoken with local marriage officials, simply visit our website, sign in to your account, and order the necessary supplies. In general, ministers are not required to register in Delaware. That being said, it's not uncommon for the county clerk to ask for proof of your ordination before giving the "go-ahead" to perform marriage ceremonies. Plus, it gives the couple peace of mind to know that their wedding minister has all the official documents, like your ordination certificate, on hand. Cognizant of this information, most of our ministers in Delaware choose to order the Classic Wedding Set.
How to Get a Delaware Marriage License
In Delaware, marriage licenses are issued by the county clerk's office. While it's the couple's job to get the license, the minister should understand the rules governing marriage licenses in Delaware and its individual counties. For example, let's say the couple is planning to get a New Castle County marriage license. The minister should double-check if there are any specific rules regarding marriage licenses in this locality that the couple might not be aware of.
In Delaware, all marriage licenses are good for 30 days before expiring. There is a mandatory 1-day waiting period - meaning that after they receive the license, the couple must wait at least 24 hours before ceremony can be legally performed. After the ceremony has been completed, the license must be returned before the expiration date.
Delaware's Top Wedding Venue
Middletown Memorial Hall
How Do You Officiate a Wedding?
Once all the paperwork is in order, you're ready to perform the wedding! If you need any guidance in this area, don't hesitate to utilize the tools found below. These carefully-tailored resources provide helpful tips and information on all aspects of performing a wedding ceremony. Constructed with our wedding officiants in mind, they contain everything you'll need to plan the perfect ceremony.
Many ULC ministers have used these resources for guidance when becoming professional officiants!
Signing the Marriage License in Delaware
Final step: make sure to sign the marriage license and have the couple and one witness sign it as well. There are also a couple important fields to fill out. Your official title will be "Minister"; for ceremony type, put "Religious"; for denomination, write "Non-Denominational".
If prompted to list an address of ministry, list your personal ministry or home address. Do not put the address of ULC headquarters. Lastly, make sure the paperwork gets submitted prior to the deadline!
Delaware Marriage Laws
Delaware marriage laws are governed by Section 106 of the state code. This section explains who is legally authorized to officiate weddings in the State of Delaware. Of course, among those with authorization are ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church. The relevant section is displayed below:
§ 107. Marriage licenses; obtaining and delivery. (a) Persons intending to be married within this State shall obtain a marriage license at least 24 hours prior to the time of the ceremony.
(b) The license must be delivered to the person who is to officiate before the marriage can be lawfully performed. If the marriage is to be performed by or before any religious society, the license shall be delivered to the religious society or any officer thereof who is duly qualified according to § 106 of this title.
View the Delaware Statutes on the official government state website.