Let’s say that you’ve been asked to perform the marriage ceremony for your best friend or, perhaps, your favorite cousin. What’s the process you must go through to become an ordained minister and wedding officiant? Do you need to be trained to serve as a celebrant, or receive a special license?
You don’t have to be a priest or minister to become a wedding officiant!
Basically, the person performing a marriage ceremony must be legally ordained by a church or religious organization. Becoming ordained means that you are licensed to serve as an officiant (or celebrant, or ceremonial minister) and may perform weddings and other rites, such as funerals, baby blessings, and vow renewals.
Need to become ordained to perform marriage ceremonies? It’s fast and easy!
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You’re probably wondering how complicated the ordination process is, and how many years of education and on-the-job training you’ll have to undergo.
We’ll get those two questions out of the way immediately: the ordination process is actually quite simple, and there is no educational or training requirement — except one, which we’ll get to shortly.
What is ordination? Ordination simply means that the organization has verified who you are, made sure that you are of legal age to perform a marriage ceremony (in most states, it’s either 16 or 18 years old) and that you are capable of performing the wedding and witnessing the bridal couple’s signatures on their marriage license, which you are ordinarily required to return to the issuing agency (usually the County Clerk’s office) following the ceremony.