How to Become an Ordained Minister in Ohio

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 Ohio

Contact the Ohio Secretary of State's office, introduce yourself as a minister, and explain that you're planning to officiate a wedding. In Ohio, ministers are required to register at the state level (not the county level). After becoming registered, ministers are able to travel anywhere in the state to perform ceremonies. For instance, if there is a minister in Cuyahoga County that wishes to perform weddings in Hamilton County, they would simply need to register at the state level.

View contact information for the Ohio Secretary of State's office:

The Ohio state flower, the Scarlet Carnation

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in Ohio

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 Ohio, we highly recommend getting a Classic Wedding Kit and a Letter of Good Standing to ensure a smooth registration process. Keep in mind that the couple may also like to see your credentials. Please place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.

How to Get a Ohio Marriage License

Marriage licenses are issued by the probate courts, and will be picked up by the couple. As a minister, you should be aware of the rules regarding marriage licenses in Ohio. For example, if the couple plans to get a Warren County marriage license, you should double-check that they understand several important details about Ohio marriage law. In Ohio, the marriage license is valid for 60 days. There is no mandatory waiting period between the time it is picked up, and when the ceremony can be legally performed. Lastly, make sure they're aware that the signed marriage license must be returned to the issuing office within 30 days of the ceremony.

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!

Ohio Marriage Laws

Marriage laws in Ohio are primarily directed by Title 31 of the state code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of Ohio, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

3101.08 Who may solemnize marriages. An ordained or licensed minister of any religious society or congregation within this state who is licensed to solemnize marriages, a judge of a county court in accordance with section 1907.18 of the Revised Code, a judge of a municipal court in accordance with section 1901.14 of the Revised Code, a probate judge in accordance with section 2101.27 of the Revised Code, the mayor of a municipal corporation in any county in which such municipal corporation wholly or partly lies, the superintendent of the state school for the deaf, or any religious society in conformity with the rules of its church, may join together as husband and wife any persons who are not prohibited by law from being joined in marriage.