How to Become an Ordained Minister in Florida

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 Florida

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 Florida state flower, the Orange Blossom

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in Florida

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 Florida, we highly recommend ordering a Classic Wedding Kit. Although ministers are generally not required to register in the state of Florida, there's a possibility 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 place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid any complications.

How to Get a Florida 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 know how marriage licenses work in Florida and its individual counties. For example, if the couple plans to get a Tampa marriage license, you should double-check if there are any rules specific to Hillsborough County. In Florida, the marriage license is valid for 60 days. There is a mandatory 3-day waiting period between the time it is picked up and when the ceremony can be legally performed (note: non-residents are exempt from this rule). Remember, the signed marriage license must be returned to the issuing office within 10 days of 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. 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, and witnesses are not required. You may also wish to give the couple a commemorative gift, like a marriage certificate to mark their special day. Don't forget that the signed license must be resubmitted to the marriage office before the deadline!

Florida Marriage Laws

Florida marriage law is governed by Title 43 of the state's Codified Statutes. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the state of Florida, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

741.07"Persons authorized to solemnize matrimony."

(1)"All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church, or other ordained clergy, and all judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state may solemnize the rights of matrimonial contract, under the regulations prescribed by law. Nothing in this section shall make invalid a marriage which was solemnized by any member of the clergy, or as otherwise provided by law prior to July 1, 1978.

(2)"Any marriage which may be had and solemnized among the people called "Quakers," or "Friends," in the manner and form used or practiced in their societies, according to their rites and ceremonies, shall be good and valid in law; and wherever the words "minister" and "elder" are used in this chapter, they shall be held to include all of the persons connected with the Society of Friends, or Quakers, who perform or have charge of the marriage ceremony according to their rites and ceremonies.