So, Now You’re Ordained -How to Perform a Wedding Ceremony

Marriage Ceremony Best Practices

By guest writer: Paul Wilkenson


How to Perform a Wedding

OK, you have gotten ordained, whether it is the traditional way by going to seminary or that you’ve been ordained online as an interfaith minister with a reputable church like  Universal Love Church or Universal Life Church.

I’m Ordained And Have Been Hired to Officiate a Wedding, Now What?!

Now, you’re thinking at some point, maybe I’ll get to perform a marriage ceremony. Or, you’ve told your friends, hey, “I’m ordained” and I’ll perform your next wedding OK?! Of course, they agree, and you think – uh oh – now what?!

There is no need to fret, because rule #1 is people are coming to watch you perform. It’s all about the ones getting married. However, as the ordained minister you are expected (and paid oftentimes) to create a nice ceremony, that will be memorable and enjoyable.



First, Is It Legal?

The first thing to consider before performing a wedding ceremony is whether or not they ordination is legal in the state or city where you as the ordained minister plans to operate. Universal Life Church has a great list of states treat their ordainment online. Some states allow it and many do and some states do not. That goes really for any online ordination or for that matter any ordination at all. Local laws really dictate who can legally perform marriage ceremonies so that needs to be checked first.

Work Arounds

If you have checked to find out whether it’s legal for you to perform the marriage ceremony in the city and state where the wedding will be planned and found out that they will not accept your ordainment credentials then there are some workarounds. For example the celebrants can always get married legally and get there marriage license at the courthouse which is quick and easy. Then you can always perform the marriage ceremony for them as a symbolic and more formal event. This actually happens all the time where if two people who want to get married go abroad and get married internationally we’re of course the priest has no connection with local laws or marriage licenses. These celebrants would have had to have Journal gotten all the marriage license stuff taken care of locally before going off and having a ceremony with a priest or Priestess that may not in fact be legal. However sometimes the celebrants bring a local priest with them to International weddings.

Confidence Boost – It Will Be Better Than a Courthouse Wedding

Now what’s the legality of ordination has been established and everything plan accordingly it is time for a little confidence pierced for those who have never performed the ceremony before. Not as a disrespectful thing to courthouse Weddings But the attention you will put into a really nice formal or informal ceremony will be 100 times better than the courthouse wedding experience. And if you don’t believe it then why not see about attending one and you will see I will try and boring and in general not so secret they can feel. But understand the courthouse is really only interested in one thing and that is simply performing a function that feels more or less transactional.

Best Place to Get Married

Now we talk about where to get married. There are many people who just like to get married in a church and that is possible usually if you are a member of that church. And often if you’re a member of that church then you will go to the priest or minister of that church and expect them to perform the wedding. However if you don’t get to church and still want to get married in a church then you may have an idea of the person that you want to marry you and it is not the priest of that church. So in that case you may be expected to pay a rent fee for the church. Some churches will rent out their sanctuary for you to have a wedding in and some may have rules about it. Outside getting married in a church many people find it really nice to get married in a pasture next to an old barn or by a lake or by a river. Maybe some people like to go to a destination to get married like in Greece or by the Grand Canyon or maybe at a place where both of the partners enjoy this special time maybe it was a track in Antarctica or something and they want to go back there for sentimental reasons.

Outside Vs. Inside

But now we have two scenarios one is getting married inside and one is getting married outside and which one is the best choice. Getting married outside is a wonderful experience but you have to consider whether there are insects out whether the weather is going to cooperate whether other people feel comfortable being outside with allergies or any of that kind of stuff. Inside the weather doesn’t matter as much unless it’s a bad snow storm in January but then you may think about what the date is that you want to marry and whether that date had a good time of year where inclement weather is unlikely to affect your event.

Preparing & Counseling The Celebrants

Now ask it to them good stuff which is actually understanding more about how to operate as a minister. The first duty of a minister often times when the celebrants are a part of a church is to talk with the pastor of the church about getting married. The pastor may offer some sort of counseling for those who are considering getting married. That counseling can be as informal as just a simple blessing and good luck and as deep as maybe 20 or 30 hours are really getting to know each other through personality test and and asking some really important questions. So it’s important for the ordained minister to really take this into consideration. However remember if you are just being her to perform a wedding ceremony then the marriage counseling may not be within the area but you are hard to do. Maybe you offer it as an additional service and maybe you should those who want to get married how important it is so it’s up to you how are you pitch it.

Marriage Vows

Now we talked about marriage Pals. Marriage Pals can be as simple as a few sentences or as in-depth as the traditional script can get which is every 20 or 30 minutes long sometime. Sometimes with contemporary weddings those who are getting married want to incorporate into the ceremony a few words about memories with each other or other very memorable sentimental thanks. Taking the time to talk with the celebrants about what they would like in their valves is probably the most important responsibilities of the ordained minister. This is at the core of what their wedding hasn’t event is about. Sow take the time to make sure you have some valves and if those valves are totally approved by those getting married.

Wedding Event Planning

No one thing that kind of scares ordained ministers as how to plan everything. But wedding event planning is really quiet separate oftentimes then performing the ceremony. In any City it’s easy to look up wedding planners and there are many of them. So be sure to refer those getting married to a wedding planner.

Practice Practice Practice

As far as how to make the ceremony come off perfect there are always no guarantees but the more you practice and practice it right the better it will be. Including everyone in a formal rehearsal can be even better if that can be coordinated with the wedding planner.

A Gig, Yes, But a Sacred Gig

Ministers often see weddings as another gig, but remember that it is a sacred gig, that means a lot to those involved, and do the best you can.