Get Ordained To Perform Wedding Ceremonies Across The US

State Marriage Laws

It is important for ULC ministers to learn state wedding laws if they want to officiate weddings.

48 US states recognize the Universal Life Church Ministries’s online ordination. This means that our ministers are able to perform legally-recognized wedding ceremonies in all of these states as soon as they get ordained. From Alaska to Florida and Maine to Hawaii, state governments have no problem allowing any ULC minister bearing the requisite ministerial documentation to officiate a wedding.

It is important to note that the only state marriage laws that apply to our ministers when and wherever they officiate weddings are the ones of the state where the marriage license is going to be filed. This means that a ULC minister from Kalamazoo, Michigan can perform weddings in Albany, New York because New York’s state marriage laws allows him to do so.

See the section below to determine if your state is one of the few that does not recognize our ordination.

How To be able to Officiate A Wedding

It’s fairly easy to get permission from county clerks to file for marriage licenses, provided that you are trying to do so in a state that recognizes our ordination (see above for more information on which states do — and do — not recognize it). Follow these three simple steps to prepare for the wedding and file for a marriage license.

Where You Can Officiate Weddings After You Get Ordained

First, approach the county clerk of the county where the marriage license is going to be filed for your upcoming wedding and tell them that you are going to perform a wedding as a Universal Life Church minister in their county and that you want to make sure they accept our ordination.

If they do accept our ordination, ask if you need to register as a wedding officiant before you perform the ceremony.

Finally, determine if the county clerk will need to see any forms of ministerial documentation or government-issued identification before they allow you to file for a marriage license. Any form of ministerial documentation that a ULC minister might need can be found in the Ministry Products section.

Problem States

Pennsylvania — State law technically does not allow ministers of the ULC to perform wedding ceremonies there, but the volume of successful attempts at filing for marriage licenses in the home state of the tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians we have ordained suggests otherwise. Furthermore, a recent ruling by a Bucks County court found that the ULC ordination should always be accepted in there, so anyone with our minister license can perform legally-recognized wedding ceremonies in at least one county of the Keystone State.

Virginia — By far the most difficult state to receive permission to perform weddings in, Virginia state marriage laws do not allow for ULC ministers to legally allowed to act as wedding officiants. The clerk’s office of Spotsylvania County generally does accept our ordination, fortunately, so our Virginian ministers have the option of filing marriage licenses there.