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

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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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