Q:

What credentials do you need to legally perform a marriage ceremony?

A:

Quick Answer

Each state has its own requirements for who can legally perform a marriage ceremony, but most allow an ordained minister from any religious sect or denomination. The Christian National Church has an online ordination program that allows anyone with a commitment to register as a minister and has a list of each state with summarized requirements for performing ceremonies.

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Full Answer

Universal Life Church online only requires name, address and email address to become an ordained

minister able to perform legally-recognized wedding ceremonies, as well as baptisms and funerals. The site suggests that all ULC ministers check with the county clerk where the ceremony is to be performed before offering that service.

LeapofHumanity.com lists U.S. state laws regarding celebrants and officiants. Three states, plus Washington D.C., do not allow ministers with online ordination. Several states allow the privilege of performing marriage ceremonies only to ministers of a church or sect, while others also include judicial officials, mayors or justices of the peace.

In Colorado and other states, a couple may solemnize their own marriage, according to TheMonestery.org.

Under each state listed on the site are quick facts, including whether online ordination is allowed and whether registration is required. Other information covers becoming ordained, officiating, licensing, and performing a ceremony in that particular state. Each state site has a link to that state’s official site, which also gives registration and fee information.

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