General Question

AstroChuck's avatar

What more do I need to marry people?

Asked by AstroChuck (37405points) July 5th, 2008

As a lark a few years ago I got an online ordination by the Universal Life Church ( Someone at work mentioned planning an outdoor wedding next spring. We started talking and it came up that I was ordained. She was open to the idea of me marrying her to her fiancé. But I don’t know what more I need to do. When my nephew was married, it was done by someone ordained by the ULC as well. If I had known at the time I would have talked to the “minister” about it. That was in the state of Washington. I am in California. Does anybody know if there is something else needed (other than the marriage license of the couple) from the state in order to perform marriages?

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10 Answers

jlm11f's avatar

i am ordained too (from ULC) and i remember when i got the confirmation email, they mentioned that not all states allow marriages administered by ordained ministers. so you are supposed to check the law for your state before marrying anyone. but since, you are in Cali, you should be set. I dug up my ordained minister confirmation email,

here’s an excerpt (i have bolded the important part): “Your request for ordination has been processed, and you are now an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church in Modesto, California! As a minister, you are authorized by the church to perform the rites and ceremonies of the church (except circumcision), including weddings, funerals, baptisms and blessings, subject to the laws of your country, state, or locality. Prior to conducting any civil ceremony (such as marriages), you should know and comply with the laws pertaining to your area of jurisdiction.

You are entitled to all privileges and courtesies normally offered to members of the clergy.”

So except for a marriage license, you should be fine. your name is supposed to be on an ordained ministers list somewhere so that should check out. also, you might want to find your own confirmation email, because i think you need the date of ordination listed on that. Since my email said this : “Please record the above date of ordination for your records, as you may need this information in the future to fill out the various forms of the clergy. ”

AstroChuck's avatar

I have the certificate I printed out that has the ordination date on it. Think that’s enough?

jlm11f's avatar

yep. should be.

marinelife's avatar

Here you go AstroChuck, the word from the state:

“What authorization do I need to perform a marriage in California?

In California, it is the ordination or investment by the denomination that gives each clergy member the authority to perform the marriage rite. Family Code, Sections 400–402 are the statutes pertaining to whom can solemnize a marriage in California.
What statutes do I need to know to perform a marriage in California?

The marriage officiant who performs the marriage ceremony must know the California laws regarding the performance of a marriage and the requirements for officiants. Family Code, Sections 420–425 are the statutes pertaining to the performance of a marriage in California. Please visit California Legislative Information for the full Family Code sections.”

gailcalled's avatar

If I were being married by someone who “As a lark a few years ago got an online ordination by the Universal Life Church,” I would certainly check with an attorney who knows the law of the state of CA. and a Minister who was ordained at a reputable seminary. Better safe than sorry, (sorry, AC, no insult meant.)

AstroChuck's avatar

Non taken. It is a legitimate church, however. The ordainment is real as others ordained online with the ULC have legally married people.
@Marina- Thanks. I can always count on you to find the right website.

marinelife's avatar

@AC For you, anything. Research R Us.

PandorasBlocks's avatar

I registered for ordination via the ULC several years ago on a whim, but when my father asked me to perform his wedding later I had to visit the county clerk to receive a one-day permission to actually officiate the ceremony [per California rules in 2005]. A small fee, a copy of the marriage certificate, and a valid ID was all I needed for the best view in the house: “by the power vested in me by the county of Mariposa…”

Knotmyday's avatar

Of all the ULC clergymen out there, do any of you head your own denomination?
I’m thinking of calling mine “The Church of the Open Mind.” Hope it’s not taken.

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