How to Become an Ordained Minister in Delaware

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 Delaware

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 Delaware state flower, the Peach Blossom

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in Delaware

Once you've determined what you need, simply log in to your account and order the materials from our online catalog. Based on the feedback we've received from our ministers in Delaware, we recommend ordering a Classic Wedding Kit. Although ministers are generally not required to register in Delaware, there's a possibility that the county clerk will ask you to present proof of your ordination. Keep in mind that the couple may also like to see your ordination credentials. Please remember to place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.

How to Get a Delaware 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 Delaware and its individual counties. For example, if the couple plans to get a Sussex County marriage license, you should double-check if there are any rules specific to Sussex County. In Delaware, the license is valid for 30 days. There is a mandatory 1-day waiting period between the time it is is picked up and when the ceremony can be legally performed. Finally, the signed marriage license must be returned to the issuing office after the ceremony. If the couple is headed off on their honeymoon, you might offer to return it for them.

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 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!

Delaware Marriage Laws

Delaware marriage law is governed by Title 13 of the state's General Statutes. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of Delaware, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

§ 106 Solemnization of marriages; production of license; penalty; registration of persons authorized to solemnize marriages.

(a)",A clergyperson or minister of any religion, current and former Judges of this State's Supreme Court, Superior Court, Family Court, Court of Chancery, Court of Common Pleas, Justice of the Peace Court, federal Judges, federal Magistrates, clerks of the peace of various counties and current and former judges from other jurisdictions with written authorization by the clerk of the peace from the county in Delaware where the ceremony is to be performed may solemnize marriages between persons who may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation. The Clerk of the Peace in each county for good cause being shown may:

(1)",Allow by written permit within that Clerk's respective county, any duly sworn member of another state's judiciary, to solemnize marriages in the State between persons who may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation.

(2)",Allow by written permit within that Clerk's respective county, the Clerk of the Peace from another county within the State to solemnize marriages in the State between persons who may lawfully enter into the matrimonial relation.

Within the limits of any incorporated municipality, the Mayor thereof may solemnize marriages between persons who may lawfully enter into matrimonial relation. Marriages shall be solemnized in the presence of at least 2 reputable witnesses who shall sign the certificate of marriage as prescribed by this chapter. Marriages may also be solemnized or contracted according to the forms and usages of any religious society. No marriage shall be solemnized or contracted without the production of a license issued pursuant to this chapter.

(b)",For purposes of this section, the words "resident of this State" shall include the son or daughter of a person who has been domiciled within the State for 1 year or more, notwithstanding the actual place of residence of the son or daughter immediately prior to the date of the marriage.

(c)",In the case of absence or disability of the duly elected Clerk of the Peace, the chief deputy or, if there is no chief deputy, a deputy employed in the office of the Clerk of the Peace, shall be authorized to solemnize marriages.

(d)",Whoever, not being authorized by this section, solemnizes a marriage, shall be fined $100, and in default of the payment of such fine shall be imprisoned not more than 30 days, and such marriage shall be void, unless it is in other respects lawful and is consummated with the full belief of either of the parties in its validity.

(e)",Other than as provided in this subsection, nothing in this section shall be construed to require any person (including any clergyperson or minister of any religion) authorized to solemnize a marriage to solemnize any marriage, and no such authorized person who fails or refuses for any reason to solemnize a marriage shall be subject to any fine or other penalty for such failure or refusal. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, a clerk of the peace who issues a marriage license, or a deputy thereof, shall be required to perform a solemnization of such marriage if requested by the applicants for such license.