How to Become an Ordained Minister in Vermont

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 Vermont

Contact the City/Town Clerk's office where the wedding 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 proof of your ordination, but be aware that these requirements vary from county to county. Typically, when documents are requested they will need to be original physical copies. It is also common for the couple to want to see your credentials as well. 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 Vermont state flower, the Red Clover

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in Vermont

Once you've determined what you need, simply log in to your account and order the materials from our online catalog. We usually advise our ministers in Vermont to get a Classic Wedding Kit, especially they'll be officiating their first ceremony. We recommend placing your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.

Please note: although ministers residing in Vermont are generally not required to register, any clergy person from another state must be granted permission by a Vermont probate judge to be able to solemnize a marriage. To ask permission, contact the probate court of the district where the marriage will take place.

How to Get a Vermont Marriage License

As a minister, you should be aware of the existing marriage laws in Vermont. For example, if the couple plans to get a Burlington County marriage license, you should double-check that they understand how marriage licenses work in Vermont. In this state, the license is valid for 60 days. There is no 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 10 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. Last thing: make sure the signed license gets resubmitted to the marriage office before the deadline!

Vermont Marriage Laws

Marriage laws in Vermont are primarily directed by Chapter 105 of Title 18 of state code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of Vermont, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

18 V.S.A. § 5144 (2014)

§ 5144. Persons authorized to solemnize marriage

(a) Marriages may be solemnized by a Supreme Court Justice, a Superior judge, a judge of Probate, an assistant judge, a justice of the peace, a magistrate, a Judicial Bureau hearing officer, an individual who has registered as an officiant with the Vermont Secretary of State pursuant to section 5144a of this title, a member of the clergy residing in this State and ordained or licensed, or otherwise regularly authorized thereto by the published laws or discipline of the general conference, convention, or other authority of his or her faith or denomination, or by such a clergy person residing in an adjoining state or country, whose parish, church, temple, mosque, or other religious organization lies wholly or in part in this State, or by a member of the clergy residing in some other state of the United States or in the Dominion of Canada, provided he or she has first secured from the Probate Division of the Superior Court in the unit within which the marriage is to be solemnized a special authorization, authorizing him or her to certify the marriage if the Probate judge determines that the circumstances make the special authorization desirable. Marriage among the Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia, and the Baha'i Faith may be solemnized in the manner heretofore used in such societies.

(b) This section does not require a member of the clergy authorized to solemnize a marriage as set forth in subsection (a) of this section, nor societies of Friends or Quakers, the Christadelphian Ecclesia, or the Baha'i Faith to solemnize any marriage, and any refusal to do so shall not create any civil claim or cause of action.

HISTORY: Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, eff. Feb. 1, 1967; 1971, No. 22, eff. March 23, 1971; 1975, No. 1; 1979, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 26; 1981, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.); 1999, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 28; 2007, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2009, No. 3, § 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2009; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 147; 2013, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 28, 2014.