Internet ordained ministers: how to officiate your friend’s wedding (LEGALLY!)

Posted by
Ceremony 89 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
This is Offbeat Bride's Sr Editor Catherine at her wedding ceremony, which was ordained by her AMM-ordained childhood friend Chad Corbley. He was a great wedding officiant! Photo by Emma Mullins Photography

So you've been asked to ordain a friend's wedding… That's awesome! Congratulations! If you're wondering what comes next in the life of an internet ordained minister, I'm here to talk you through some of the steps for how to make sure you're legally able to ordain a wedding, no seminary school or masters of divinity required!

STEP 1: Make sure you're a licensed minister who's legally ordained by a solid organization with credentials

Maybe you've heard of places like Universal Life Church, but here's why you should know about American Marriage Ministries, too – depending on your belief systems, they might be just the right fit for you.

American Marriage Ministries is a legit 501(c)3 non-profit church and a charitable organization. That matters because many online ordination services are for-profit businesses with questionable values (and questionable legal standings!).

It's important to get ordained with a trustworthy (and ideally non-profit) organization because you don't want to have to worry about whether the organization that ordained you is actually legal. If you're wondering “Is it legal to get ordained online?” the answer is YES… but just make sure you get ordained by a legitimate organization working with a mission you believe in.

Seriously, it's a bummer to marry your friends and then, after you file the certificate and paperwork with the state, learn that you're not actually qualified to preside over the legal marriage. Who can legally marry people? If you're ordained with a legit org like AMM, YOU CAN.

(To answer your question: Yes, if you get ordained with American Marriage Ministries, the weddings you preside over are legal in all 50 US states! They know all about state laws and have great resources about wedding laws in your area.)

Plus, you want to align yourself with an organization that shares your values — stuff like being inclusive, and hardcore allies of the LGBTQ community. American Marriage Ministries believe that love should not be conformed to political, social, or financial standards. These things matter to us here at Offbeat Bride, and we're betting they matter to you too.

American Marriage minister alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Another AMM ordained minister doing her thang!

STEP 2: Get support

Another thing we love about American Marriage Ministries is that they have a whole team of researchers and lawyers to help guide you, making them excellent knowledge base for marriage-related laws and providing information to couples.

This means AMM isn't just a one-and-done ordination service, a place where you get your license and never use again… they have a community that will see you the whole way through the process, celebrating you and the people you're marrying. Plus, they make it easy to figure out how to write a marriage ceremony, they're a great resource with tons of guidance.

Plus, if you're curious about whether you can baptisms or funerals, they've got great instruction guides about that too!

So what are you waiting for?

It only takes about 5 minutes to get ordained online.

Offbeat Wed Vendor

This page features vendors from our curated Offbeat Wed Vendor Directory. They're awesome and we love them. If you're a vendor let's get you in here!

Meet our fave wedding vendors

Comments on Internet ordained ministers: how to officiate your friend’s wedding (LEGALLY!)

  1. My sister’s son wants me to join him and his fiancée in Holy Matrimony. In May of this year, 2020. What do I need to do so I can do it legally in California.
    Low or no cost if possible.

Comments are closed.