How to Become an Ordained Minister in South Carolina

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 South Carolina

Contact the office of the probate court in the county where the wedding will take place (unlike in most states, marriage licenses in South Carolina are issued by the probate courts). 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 South Carolina state flower, the Yellow Jessamine

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in South Carolina

Once you've determined what you need, simply log in to your account and order the materials from our online catalog. It's possible the probate judge will ask you to present proof of your ordination, and you don't want to be caught off-guard. Because ministers are sometimes required to register in the state of South Carolina, we advise ordering a Classic Wedding Kit and a Letter of Good Standing. Keep in mind that the couple may also want to see your credentials. Please try to place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.

How to Get a South Carolina Marriage License

Licenses are issued by the probate court offices, and will be picked up by the couple. As a minister, it's your responsibility to know how marriage licenses work in South Carolina and its individual counties. For example, if the couple plans to get a Charleston County marriage license, you should double-check if there are any rules specific to Charleston County.

In South Carolina, the license never expires, and there is a mandatory 1-day waiting period between the time it is picked up, and when the ceremony can be legally performed. Lastly, 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!

South Carolina Marriage Laws

Marriage laws in South Carolina are primarily directed by Chapter 1 of Title 20 of the state code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of South Carolina, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

SECTION 20-1-20. Persons who may perform marriage ceremony.

Only ministers of the Gospel, Jewish rabbis, officers authorized to administer oaths in this State, and the chief or spiritual leader of a Native American Indian entity recognized by the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs pursuant to Section 1-31-40 are authorized to administer a marriage ceremony in this State.