Become a Wedding Celebrant Online

Wedding celebrant in church performing wedding for elderly couple

A wedding celebrant has a unique opportunity to shape one of the most memorable moments in people's lives. But what is a wedding celebrant, and how does one embark on this fulfilling journey?

This guide covers how to become a celebrant and how to learn about performing weddings, including options for celebrant training online.

What Is a Celebrant at a Wedding?

A wedding celebrant (also commonly called a “marriage officiant” or “wedding officiant”), is the person who presides over a wedding ceremony. They are responsible for conducting the ceremony and endorsing the couple's marriage license, thereby legally solidifying their union.

Unlike traditional religious affairs, a wedding conducted by a celebrant can be completely customized and personalized to reflect the beliefs, values, and personalities of the couple. This flexibility allows for ceremonies that range from the classic to the unconventional, allowing couples complete freedom in what their ceremony looks like.

How to Become a Wedding Celebrant

Becoming a wedding celebrant is simpler than you might realize. While the job requires a passion for love stories and a desire to play a pivotal role in one of life's most cherished occasions, getting legally qualified itself is fairly simple.

The fastest way to become a celebrant is by getting ordained online through the Universal Life Church – a certification that will grant you the legal authority to perform weddings across the United States.

The ULC is the world’s largest nondenominational online church, best known for providing free ordination via the internet. Applying for ordination takes just minutes, and can be done right here on our website! To begin the process, just click the button below:

Who Can Be a Wedding Celebrant?

Anyone who feels so-called can become ordained by the ULC to become a wedding celebrant, regardless of their personal beliefs, identity or any other characteristic that might disqualify them in other circumstances. As a result, many couples who are planning a wedding choose to have an ordained friend or family member perform their ceremony. Not only does this add a personal touch to the proceedings, it can also save on overall wedding costs.

What’s the Difference between a Wedding Celebrant and a Wedding Officiant?

While “officiants” and “celebrants” essentially fulfill the same role in wedding ceremonies, the terms vary geographically and culturally. In the United States, the term “wedding officiant” is more commonly used, whereas “celebrant” is the preferred term in the United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries.

More recently, the use of “celebrant” has been gaining traction in the U.S., reflecting a growing preference for secular or non-denominational weddings, as well as other types of ceremonies, such as commitments or vow renewals. Broadly speaking, “celebrant” can describe any ordained person conducting a ceremony.

Do You Need to Register as a Wedding Celebrant?

Before you jump into wedding speech writing mode, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements for wedding celebrants in your region. Each state (and often each county) has its own rules for people planning to officiate a wedding and what processes they must follow. To read more about the laws in your area, please visit our state wedding laws guide.

What Documents Do Celebrants Need?

Local marriage officials will frequently ask to see proof of ordination before you’ll be given the green light to proceed as a wedding celebrant. While these requirements can vary from place to place, we generally recommend that celebrants order a Classic Wedding Set, which includes an official copy of your ordination certificate, instructions for how to perform a wedding, and more. To see the full list of document packages and wedding supplies we offer, please visit our online catalog.

How to Perform a Wedding as a Celebrant

So those are the legal requirements, but what about the actual ceremony? First-time wedding celebrants may be in need of advice or pointers on how to perform a wedding. Well, fear not! Our free-to-access Wedding Training Center has in-depth insights on every aspect of performing a successful wedding, from filling out a marriage license to creating a unique and memorable wedding script. As you begin the wedding planning process, don’t hesitate to take advantage of these key resources on our website.

Why Become a Wedding Celebrant?

Becoming a wedding celebrant not only provides a remarkable opportunity to have first-row seats to happiness on a couple’s special day – it also allows you to be an integral part of the ceremony. If you’d been asked to perform a wedding, realize this is both an incredible honor and an important responsibility. And don’t forget: the first step is to get ordained!