How to Become an Ordained Minister in Rhode Island

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 Rhode Island

Contact the City/Town Clerk's office. 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 Rhode Island state flower, the Violet

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in Rhode Island

A popular package amongst our ministers in Rhode Island is the Classic Wedding Kit. Although ministers are generally not required to register in the state of Rhode Island, it's possible the county clerk will ask you to present proof of your ordination. Keep in mind the couple may also request to see your credentials. Once you've determined what you need, simply log in to your account and order the materials from our online catalog. Please try to place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.

How to Get a Rhode Island Marriage License

As a minister, you should be aware of the existing marriage laws in Rhode Island. For example, if the couple plans to get a Providence County marriage license, you should double-check that they understand how marriage licenses work in Rhode Island. The license is valid for 90 days. There is no mandatory 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 by 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 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!

Rhode Island Marriage Laws

Marriage laws in Rhode Island are primarily directed by Chapter 3 of Title 15 of the state code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of Rhode Island, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

§ 15-3-5 Officials empowered to join persons in marriage. " Every ordained clergy or elder in good standing; every justice of the supreme court, superior court, family court, workers' compensation court, district court or traffic tribunal; the clerk of the supreme court; every clerk, administrative clerk, or general chief clerk of a superior court, family court, district court, or traffic tribunal; magistrates, special or general magistrates of the superior court, family court, traffic tribunal or district court; administrative clerks of the district court; administrators of the workers' compensation court; every former justice or judge and former administrator of these courts; every former chief clerk of the district court; every former clerk, administrative clerk, or general chief clerk of a superior court; the secretary of the senate; elected clerks of the general assembly;, any former secretary of the senate; any former elected clerk of the general assembly who retires after July 1, 2007; judges of the United States appointed pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution; bankruptcy judges appointed pursuant to Article I of the United States Constitution; and United States magistrate judges appointed pursuant to federal law, may join persons in marriage in any city or town in this state; and every justice and every former justice of the municipal courts of the cities and towns in this state and of the police court of the town of Johnston and the administrator of the Johnston municipal court, while he or she is serving as an administrator, and every probate judge and every former probate judge may join persons in marriage in any city or town in this state, and wardens of the town of New Shoreham may join persons in marriage in New Shoreham.