Universal Life Church Case Law
Phone: (614) 715-9048 Fax: (614) 715-9049
Email: info@ulccaselaw.com
ULC Case Law
1629 K Street NW, Ste 300
Washington, D.C. 20006

How To Perform A Wedding

Perform a wedding as a ULC minister

It’s easy to perform a wedding if you are a ULC minister.

It is common for the average Universal Life Church minister to perform a wedding for friends, family members and, in some cases, strangers. ULC ministers are much different from those found in Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox churches in that they are far more open to performing “unconventional” wedding ceremonies. How many Lutheran preachers or Catholic priests do you know who have performed a wedding in a natural history museum, on the observation deck on the highest floor of a skyscraper, or on a mountain top? Therein lies the value of ULC wedding officiants.

The Universal Life Church also does not have restrictive policies that prohibit its ministers from solemnizing certain kinds of weddings. For example, most branches of the ULC will happily allow one of their ministers to perform a wedding for a gay couple; Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox wedding officiants generally cannot say the same.

So, if you want to perform a wedding ceremony that will be fun, highly personalized, and legally recognized by the government of your state, simply follow the steps listed below and the ULC will help you become a wedding officiant.

Get Ordained Online

Join the Universal Life Church to become a wedding minister

It’s quick, easy and free to get a Universal Life Church ordination that will allow you perform weddings.

It is virtually impossible to officiate a wedding in America unless you are an ordained minister through a church; the few exceptions to this rule are ship captains and officers in the Salvation Army, and even these classes of wedding officiant are only recognized in a handful of states.

One of the major benefits provided by a Universal Life Church ordination is that it allows people to solemnize marriages. The ULC is a real church and thus its ministers are real ministers; this means that anyone from anywhere in the world can become a legally-recognized wedding officiant in most of America within the space of a couple of minutes if they get ordained through the ULC.

Why you should get ordained online: It’s…

Quick: the entire ordination process should take you less than five minutes.

Easy: you merely need to provide your full legal name, e-mail address and mailing address.

Permanent: the ULC ordination lasts a lifetime – it does not have an expiration date nor renewal fees (though your ordination can be revoked if you decide you do not want it).

Free: it costs a whopping zero dollars and zero cents to become an ordained minister with the ULC (though it must charge for ministerial documentation out of necessity).

To actually complete the ordination process, simply visit themonastery.org and click on the yellow “Become a Minister” button in the upper left hand corner of the main page. You will then be prompted to fill out a form with your personal information. After pressing the “Submit Ordination Request” button, a confirmation e-mail should appear in your e-mail account’s inbox within minutes; if one does not appear there, it is likely that you entered your e-mail address incorrectly.

Read the Get Ordained section of this site for more information about the process of online ordination.

Contact the County Clerk

Call the county clerk of the county where the marriage license is going to be filed for the couple who has asked you to perform their wedding in order to make sure that the county clerk’s office will accept the Universal Life Church’s ordination. Chances are very good that the clerk will accept the ULC’s ordination as most of the country does (see the State Marriage Law Summary section below for more information about the legality of the Universal Life Church’s ordination across the country).

Next, make sure you inquire about any supplementary requirements the clerk’s office may have for wedding officiants or the couple; some counties require blood work, filing fees, or have specific marriage license filing windows established (i.e. policies that require our ministers to file for the marriage license a week before or after the wedding ceremony occurs). Failure to meet these requirements could easily result in your attempt to file for a marriage license being unsuccessful.

Order the Requisite Ministerial Documentation

Get a ULC minister license

The ULC minister license satisfies most county clerks’ documentation requirements.

Once you have confirmed that you are able to perform a wedding ceremony in the county in question, make sure to ask the county clerk about what forms of ministerial and government-issued documentation you will need to file for a marriage license with them. This stage is absolutely necessary; failure to present the right documentation could easily prevent you from filing for the marriage license.

Fortunately, many states do not require ULC ministers to present any forms of identification other than a drivers license or passport. Of the states that do want to see some form of minister license, most only need to see an ordination credential certificate or letter of good standing. On the other end of the scale, a handful of states and counties have very stringent documentation requirements that force Universal Life Church ministers to possess entire packets of paperwork.

Regardless of what the state or county in question requires of the ULC minister, you are sure to find what you need in the Ministry Products section of themonastery.org. Everything, from ordination credentials to affidavits of authority to letters of sponsorship can be found there. The ULC staff has even prepared packages for certain states and cities; Nevada, Wisconsin, and New York City all have their own region-specific materials.

State Marriage Law Summary

The vast majority of states within the United States accept the Universal Life Church’s ordination. In fact, only two states generally do not accept the Universal Life Church ordination; Pennsylvania and Virginia. One county in each of these states does generally accept our ordination, fortunately; the clerks in Spotsylvania County, VA and Bucks County, PA rarely reject online ordinations. This means that ULC ministers are able to perform legally-recognized weddings in most of the country.

Recent Posts

  • The Montana Department of Revenue is fighting a program whereby public money is used to pay for the education of students in religious schools. Montana Department of Revenue Challenges Tax Program 11/15/2017

      The Montana Department of Revenue has announced that it will continue to fight against a court ruling that money from a tax credit program can benefit religious schools. The most recent action in this case is that the Montana Department of Revenue has filed an appeal with the Montana Supreme Court. In 2015, a Read More

  • Transgender public school students in New Jersey will be protected from discrimination thanks to a new law signed by Governor Christie. New Jersey Passes Pro-Trans Law for the State’s Public Schools 11/10/2017

      A group of newly signed pro-trans bills includes a law that public schools in New Jersey will not be able to force transgender students to use bathrooms or locker rooms that conflict with their gender identities. Instead, public schools are required to offer reasonable alternative arrangements to make sure that students remain safe and Read More

  • Louisiana’s governor and attorney general are currently debating whether an executive order designed to protect LGBTQ rights violated constitutional issues. Louisiana Court Debates Executive Order Concerning LGBTQ Rights 10/31/2017

    Louisiana’s governor and attorney general are currently debating whether an executive order designed to protect LGBTQ rights in the state government violated constitutional issues. Louisiana’s Governor Edwards has requested an appeals court to reinstate a 2016 order by the governor banning discrimination in government and state contracts based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A Read More

  • The Justice Department is arguing that federal civil rights laws do not protect us from discrimination due to gender identity or sexual orientation. Case Filed in Second Circuit Regarding Gender Identity 10/26/2017

      In a recent action that has significant impact for individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, the Justice Department filed a brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit arguing that federal civil rights laws do not protect individuals from discrimination due to their gender identity or sexual Read More

  • A federal appeals court ruled the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act does not require a public school to offer religious education. Fourth Circuit Court Decides Issue About Religious Education in Maryland 10/20/2017

      A unanimous three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that a Maryland public school district does not have to pay for the religious education of a Jewish student. This case has defined important boundaries about the extent of education that public schools in Maryland are required to provide children. The Read More

  • Read More