Why the ULC Offers These Wedding Officiant Training Tools
The Universal Life Church ordination does not have any training requirements and, as such, our ministers are generally not ready to perform wedding ceremonies as soon as they receive one. This means that some degree of learning typically has to occur before a ULC minister has developed the requisite skills to officiate a wedding to their - and the couple's - satisfaction.
The books below do an excellent job preparing ULC ministers for the role of wedding officiant. The Universal Life Church staff has heard dozens of stories where ministers with no prior experience with public speaking pick up tips from one or more of the books listed below and are able to officiate a wedding ceremony so well on their first time that they bring the couple and some of the crowd to tears from the beauty of it all.
If you have been asked to perform a wedding and are unsure about your abilities, do yourself, the couple and the audience a favor by using one of these wedding officiant guides to prepare yourself!
ULC Wedding Officiant Books - An Overview
The four books listed below are among the most popular wedding officiant guides offered by the ULC Ministries. Our ministers, from young college students solemnizing the marriages of their roommates to octogenarians officiating their granddaughter's weddings, have used these books to perform highly memorable and touching weddings - and you can, too!
Each of these books are amongst the best in their respective categories; these categories include vows, ceremonies and complete wedding planning.
The excerpts included below each book's description were taken from them.
A Wedding Ceremony to Remember - Marty Younkin
Unlike many other wedding officiant guides, this book is divided into a diverse array of wedding ceremony types; these include traditional religious, "second time around," quick and contemporary non-religious. Love, affection, commitment and (to a lesser extent) religion are the focus of the material presented in A Wedding Ceremony to Remember, and they are done in a way that evokes epic romance over cheesiness.
"May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon the fields."
Diane Warner's Complete Book of Wedding Vows - Diane Warner
Supposedly the largest collection of wedding vows ever assembled, this book is solely designed to help wedding officiants prepare the perfect vows for any kind of wedding they might perform. This practical guide has no single focus; traditional and contemporary vows, vows from cultures around the world and vows inspired by writers like Shakespeare are all included with it. In short, this book is a must-have if you are looking to craft beautiful vows for a wedding ceremony.
"My feet, dance because of you.My eyes, see because of you.My mind, think because of you.And I shall love because of you."
Eskimo wedding vow
The Two Shall Become One: A Wedding Manual - Jim Henry
Tips on wedding planning, pre-marital counseling, preparing wedding vows and officiating the ceremony can be found in this guide. This book focuses on the "classic" wedding in that religion, specifically Christianity, plays a large role in every type of the more than 20 sample ceremonies discussed in The Two Shall Become One.
"An old minister used to preface a marriage ceremony by saying, 'My friends, marriage is a curse to the many, a blessing to the few, and an uncertainty to all. Do you venture?' Believing that this couple considers to be a blessing; that they have prayed, prepared, and planned for it to be such; and that they are confident they have the blessing of God and family; it is my privilege to ask, 'Who gives this woman to be married to this man?'"
Excerpt from a sample wedding ceremony
The Knot Guide to Wedding Vows and Traditions - Carley Roney
This is perhaps the most "complete" of the wedding officiant guides listed here; it contains information on vow and ceremony planning, wedding rituals, toasting guides, and ideas for readings and music. The Knot Guide to Wedding Vows and Traditions is most appropriate for ministers who have been given a wider range of influence in planning the wedding ceremony. The book was written by the co-founder, chief editor and Chief Content Officer of The Knot, one of the largest wedding planning services on the internet.
"May you look back on the past with as much pleasure as you look upon the future."
Irish wedding toast
Find More at the Universal Life Church Bookstore
All of these books, and many, many more, can be found in the ULC Ministries's Ministry Products section. Our Bookstore contains scripture from the world's major religions like Christianity, Hinduism and Islam, legal guides and books about the world's many faith systems in addition to books meant to train Universal Life Church ministers like those described above.
Make sure to let us know if a handy wedding officiant guide you have used in the past is absent from our Bookstore! The ULC is always looking to add more training materials for its ministers, and your input will be much appreciated.