How to Become an Ordained Minister in Maryland

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 Maryland

Contact the Circuit Court 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 Maryland state flower, the Black-Eyed Susan

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in Maryland

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 Maryland, we recommend ordering a Classic Wedding Kit. Although ministers are generally not required to register in Maryland, there's always 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 Maryland Marriage License

Licenses are issued by the Circuit Court 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 Maryland and its individual counties. For example, if the couple plans to get a Montgomery County marriage license, you should double-check if there are any rules specific to Montgomery County.

In the state of Maryland, the license is valid for 180 days. There is a mandatory 2-day waiting period between the time it is picked up, and when the ceremony can be legally performed. Finally, the signed marriage license must be returned to the issuing office before it expires.

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. Last thing: make sure the signed license gets resubmitted to the marriage office before the deadline!

Maryland Marriage Laws

Marriage laws in Maryland are primarily directed by Title 2 of the state code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of Maryland, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

(2) A marriage ceremony may be performed in this State by: (i) any official of a religious order or body authorized by the rules and customs of that order or body to perform a marriage ceremony; (ii) any clerk; (iii) any deputy clerk designated by the county administrative judge of the circuit court for the county; or (iv) a judge.