Become an officiant

How to Become an Officiant for Your Friend’s Wedding

In September 6, 2018

Asking a friend or close family member to officiate your wedding is a great way to put a personal spin on the ceremony. If you already have someone in mind who can officiate your wedding, great! You’re already a step ahead. Part of this process, which we will go through below, will be asking that person if they’re willing to be such an integral part of your wedding. We’re sure someone close to you would be honored and thrilled to help make your special day even more unique and memorable, however, they may not know how to become an officiant. Luckily, the process isn’t difficult, and most of it can be done online.

How to Become an Officiant

  • Step #1 – Choose a credible organization
    • Universal Life Church is a common choice, and for good reason! The process is quick and easy, and you can become an ordained minister instantly. The ULC website is also a wealth of information for new officiants looking for tips, training, and resources.
  • Step #2 – Register with the county clerk (if needed)
    • You can check each state’s laws here to ensure your friend’s wedding will be recognized legally. While most states will allow a friend or family member to officiate your wedding as long as they are ordained, other states may not recognize the union unless it’s performed by a minister that’s an active member of an established church.
  • Step #3 – Write a script and practice
    • How talented are you at public speaking? If it comes naturally to you, this part may be easy. If writing a script with what you’d like to say will help, then definitely do it. Script or not, practice the flow of your speech well before the wedding to ensure it sounds natural. Being nervous is normal, but often it’s much easier to curb the butterflies if you plan what you’d like to say ahead of time.
  • Step #4 – Decide on if you will give a gift
    • Every situation is different, but often a friend officiating a wedding will not be paid for doing so. This will save the couple a few hundred dollars, which often means that you should not feel obligated to get them a gift. Officiating the wedding can be seen as a gift in and of itself.
  • Step #5 – Fill out the marriage license
    • One of your most important duties as an officiant will be to sign the marriage license and ensure it is correctly filled out. You can find more information about filling out the marriage license here.
  • Step #6 – Have fun!
    • And most importantly, don’t forget to have fun with this! It’s a great honor to officiate your friend or family’s wedding. Let your personality shine through as you help the soon-to-be married couple navigate into the next chapter of their lives. We’ve included a video below of a funny officiant to help inspire you before the big day!

That’s all there is to it. We wish you and the happy couple all the best. If you’re looking for help with marriage or birth certificates, be sure to visit the VitalChek site. We’d love to hear about your experiences with officiating a wedding. You can share your stories with us on Facebook or Twitter. Cheers!

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