There is something special about helping two people in love start their lives together. Presiding over the ceremony is an honor. Many people attend seminary to become ministers, and this allows them to officiate weddings. That's not the only path to ordination, though. Obtaining a wedding officiant certificate may be easier than you imagine.
The Universal Life Church makes room for the beliefs of multiple denominations and faiths to uphold unity among those who seek spiritual communion. Therefore, the church trusts its members to discern their own readiness to be ministers. The only wedding officiant requirements you must meet to be ordained are to be at least 18 years of age and to answer the simple prompts on the application truthfully:
- Full legal name
- Active email address
- Country and state of residence
You may ask, "How much does it cost to become a wedding officiant?" When you are ordained by the ULC, there is no cost to make your status as a minister official. You can get ordained online for free by filling out the form on the website. Once you receive confirmation that your application has been accepted, you can purchase items from the online store that prove your credentials.
For most states, the credentials included in the classic wedding set are sufficient for proving your wedding officiant certification. Some areas have unique rules, though. For example, if you are performing a wedding in one of the five boroughs of New York City, you will need to officially register before the wedding takes place, and you will need the documentation included in the New York City wedding set. It's important to plan ahead so that you don't run into any problems when submitting the proper paperwork after the wedding.
Having permission to perform weddings is the first step, but where do you go from there? In addition to free, easy ordination, the ULC also offers resources for wedding officiants to ensure their success. You can access wedding officiant training online 24 hours a day, and it will take you through every necessary step of the process.
Start by learning how to officiate the perfect wedding. You can learn how to consult with each couple you serve to find out what's important to them and the rituals they want to include in their wedding. Look at sample wedding scripts for inspiration when writing the service. Find guidance on the factors to consider when deciding what to charge for your services, including the complexity of the service, your experience and any extra expectations the couple may have for your participation.
The marriage license is the document that is used to make the wedding legally binding. The couple must obtain the license on their own; the minister cannot do it for them. Therefore, the first topic you should cover in the consultation is the timeline for obtaining the license. Make sure that you know the current laws of the state where you will be performing the ceremony so that you can advise them correctly.
Once the ceremony has ended, you will complete the officiant portion of the marriage license. You will need the signatures of both people who are getting married as well as two witnesses who attended the service. Then you must return the completed form to the correct office in order to make the marriage legal.
Becoming a wedding officiant doesn't have to be complicated. You can obtain your ordination and learn everything you need to know to be successful on the ULC website. All you need to get started is your willingness to serve as the officiant on a couple's special day.