How to Become an Ordained Minister in Connecticut

If you haven't yet become ordained with the Universal Life Church, that is the first step. Anyone willing can become a legal minister of the ULC, one of the world's largest religious organizations. Online ordination is fast, easy, and completely free. Once you have your minister license, you'll be eligible to officiate a wedding. To become a minister, start by clicking the button below!

Become Ordained!

How to Officiate a Wedding in Connecticut

In Connecticut, ministers are required to register before they are eligible to legally solemnize marriages. To do this, contact the County Clerk's office in the county where the ceremony will take place. Introduce yourself as a minister officiating a wedding, and ask them what documents they will need from you. They may ask to see a number of things, and be aware that these requirements vary from county to county. Rest assured that any materials or documents you might need are available in the Church Supplies section of our website.

Select your county to view contact information for each office:

The Connecticut state flower, the Mountain Laurel

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in Connecticut

Once you've determined what you need, simply log in to your account and order the materials from our online catalog. Based on feedback we've received from our ministers in Connecticut, we recommend getting both a Classic Wedding Kit and a Letter of Good Standing. Also keep in mind that the couple may like to see your ordination credentials. As requested by the county clerks, please place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.

How to Get a Connecticut Marriage License

Licenses are issued by the County Clerk's office, and will be picked up by the couple. As a minister, it's your responsibility to understand how marriage licenses work in Connecticut and its individual counties. For example, if the couple plans to get a Fairfield County marriage license, you should double-check if there are any rules specific to Fairfield County. In the state of Connecticut, the license is valid for 65 days and there is no mandatory waiting period before the ceremony can take place. Finally, make sure the couple knows that the signed marriage license must be returned to the issuing office before the expiration date.

How to Perform a Wedding

Congratulations, you're ready to officiate the wedding! If you need any assistance in this important task, we encourage you to utilize the tools below. Together these exclusive resources include everything you'll need to craft the perfect wedding ceremony for any couple. Created with our ministers in mind, they offer tips and helpful information for all aspects of performing a ceremony. Fun fact: many ULC ministers have become professional officiants using these tools as a guide!

Finalizing the Marriage

After you perform the ceremony, you will sign the marriage license along with the couple and their two witnesses. Your title is 'minister', the ceremony type is 'religious', and the denomination is 'non-denominational'. You will not be required to provide a license number. You may also wish to give the couple a commemorative gift, like a marriage certificate to mark their special day. Last thing: make sure the signed license gets resubmitted to the marriage office before the deadline!

Connecticut Marriage Laws

Marriage laws in Connecticut are primarily directed by Chapter 815 of the state code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of Connecticut, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

Sec. 46b-22. (Formerly Sec. 46-3). Who may join persons in marriage. Penalty for unauthorized performance.

(a) Persons authorized to solemnize marriages in this state include (1) all judges and retired judges, either elected or appointed, including federal judges and judges of other states who may legally join persons in marriage in their jurisdictions, (2) family support magistrates, state referees and justices of the peace who are appointed in Connecticut, and (3) all ordained or licensed members of the clergy, belonging to this state or any other state, as long as they continue in the work of the ministry. All marriages solemnized according to the forms and usages of any religious denomination in this state, including marriages witnessed by a duly constituted Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is, are valid. All marriages attempted to be celebrated by any other person are void.

(b) No public official legally authorized to issue marriage licenses may join persons in marriage under authority of a license issued by himself, or his assistant or deputy; nor may any such assistant or deputy join persons in marriage under authority of a license issued by such public official.

(c) Any person violating any provision of this section shall be fined not more than fifty dollars.

(1949 Rev., S. 7306; 1951, S. 3001d; 1967, P.A. 129, S. 1; P.A. 78-230, S. 4, 54; P.A. 79-37, S. 1, 2; P.A. 87-316, S. 3; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-4, S. 27, 58; P.A. 06-196, S. 276; P.A. 07-79, S. 5.) History: 1967 act specified validity of marriages witnessed by Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is; P.A. 78-230 divided section into Subsecs., deleted reference to county and reordered and rephrased provisions in Subsec. (a) and substituted "may" for "shall" in Subsec. (b); P.A. 79-37 authorized retired judges and state referees to perform marriages; Sec. 46-3 transferred to Sec. 46b-22 in 1979; P.A. 87-316 applied provisions to family support magistrates; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-4 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision re federal judges and judges of other states who may legally join persons in marriage in their jurisdictions, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 06-196 made a technical change in Subsec. (a), effective June 7, 2006; P.A. 07-79 amended Subsec. (a) to add Subdiv. designators (1) to (3), revise provisions re persons authorized to solemnize marriages within the state and make technical changes.

Annotations to former section 46-3:

Minister who solemnizes marriage must be "settled in the work of the ministry". 2 R. 382. Ordained deacon performing usual duties of minister held to be authorized. 4 C. 134. A clergyman in performing marriage ceremony is a public officer and his acts in that capacity prima facie evidence of his character. Id., 219. Proof of celebration of marriage raises a presumption of its validity. 85 C. 186; 93 C. 47. In absence of proof of authority of justice of peace, marriage void. 129 C. 432. Our law does not recognize common law marriages. Id. Marriage, deficient for want of due solemnization, voidable. 163 C. 588.