Can a Friend of the Couple be Ordained to Be the Minister?

by Jenny Bryde 27. July 2014 03:13

Good news!  Yes is the answer.  If you have a friend or family member in mind that you'd like to officiate your wedding, it is possible to make this happen.  From what I understand by looking at various ordaining programs, this is a relatively simple task, but the most important thing is to make sure that your state laws recognize that a person who is ordained for the purpose of marrying you is legitimate to sign off of your wedding.  There is a great article that was published by the New York Times about the consequences for couples if this is not handled correctly.  Click here to read the full article.  

From what I gather, Iowa and Illinois fall on the less restrictive end of the spectrum, but you will still want to help your friend as he or she completes their ordainment process to make sure everything is legit.  A valid ordainment program will have up to date information for all the states included in its information.  Again, it is the the consumer's (read: your) responsibility to read the fine print and to follow up with your local state or county people in the know to make sure everything is done correctly.

The cool part is that many ordainment programs are free!  Other than the time commitment and follow through, having a friend become ordained should not be an expense.  Hooray for wedding budgets, right?

Here are a couple of websites to check out.  These organizations offer online ordainment for free.  

Universal Life Church

American Marriage Ministries



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Jenny Bryde | Legalities

Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk...

by Jenny Bryde 15. August 2009 15:53

Today, my fiance and I had a very important conversation.  It was our first chance to sit down with our minister to discuss our wedding ceremony.  Our minister just happens to be my uncle, my father's only brother, and a wonderful person.  Asking my uncle to marry us was the first decision that we made as an engaged couple, and it just came naturally as deciding that I'd be wearing white and that we wanted a fall wedding.  We didn't even have to think about it.  Until now...

My fiance and I live together, and we do not attend a church.  I would describe us as "good people" but that doesn't tell a whole lot about our faith.  I knew that my uncle is certainly religious, and I was concerned that a lack of formal religion in our lives would be an issue.  In a way, I was kind of dreading this first sit down conversation with my uncle in the role of our minister.  

Today was a family reunion in Des Moines, so our big conversation with my uncle was drawing nearer.  After everyone ate three helpings of everything, and after my fiance and I lost miserably at Washers, it was time to face the music and have a most important discussion with my uncle about our ceremony.  

An hour later after the meeting was over, I felt so relieved and silly for being nervous about this event.  My fiance smiled and shook my uncle's hand, and I gave them both a big hug.  We are good.  We are great!

In a nutshell, we had a fantastic and realistic discussion about where we stand in our faith, formal or not, how we deal with challenges and triumphs as a couple, and overall advice that my uncle had for us as his first blessing of our upcoming wedding.  As a minister, he did encourage us to consider pursuing a more "regular" relationship with The Man Upstairs, but beyond that, we were never made to feel like we were doing something wrong or that my uncle was less than thrilled to be marrying us.  Rather, he is elated and honored that we asked him!  

I am curious, readers, how your first face to face conversation with your minister/judge/friend/whomever went.  Was this someone you've known for a long time?  Did/do you feel comfortable with this person?  Did/do you feel that you need to change things in your relationship based upon the conversations you've had with this person?  

I know that everyone faces a different scenerio when getting married, but I think I have to thank my lucky stars that we have a supportive and loving person to start our married life.  I wish that for all of you as well!

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Hi!  Welcome to the blog!  My name is Jenny, and I am a Quad Cities bride to be.  Our goal for this blog is to share information on all things wedding including local vendors, new trends, and amazing inspiration.  Let us know if there is something you'd like to see on here!  

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