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You Don’t Need a Degree to Officiate Weddings, Just a Few Key Skills

Published Monday, Aug. 29th, 2022

Become a wedding officiant! No degree required, just a lot of love and a few important skills



Looking for a fulfilling career that doesn’t require an expensive four year college degree? 


Or, have a Bachelor's degree already, but don’t want the boring desk job that comes with it?



Become a wedding officiant and help people say ‘I do!’ to a lifetime of love! 



You can become a wedding officiant with no degree and without enrolling in an expensive training program.


As an ordained wedding officiant, you’ll make a positive impact in the lives of real couples and real families in your community. It’s fun and rewarding – you’ll be helping couples celebrate the event of a lifetime while protecting the right of all couples to marry in whatever way they choose, regardless of their religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation. 


It only takes a few important skills and qualities to be successful. 



  • What skills do you need to officiate weddings? 


Do you love meeting new people? 


Do you believe that all couples have the right to get married, regardless of their race, gender, or sexual orientation?


Do you love visiting new places, dressing up on special occasions, celebrating other people’s happiness, and the rush that comes from speaking in front of a group of friends?


If you answered yes to these questions, you’ve already got the most important qualities needed to become a successful professional wedding officiant!


Other important skills include: strong organization and time management, attention to detail, punctuality, open-mindedness, patience, creativity, and a good sense of humor. 


If you love helping others and celebrating unique and diverse relationships, working as a wedding officiant might be the perfect career or side job for you. 



A young couple is married on beach in an outdoor wedding ceremony, they hold hands with the ocean in the distance behind them

One of the best perks of being a wedding officiant? Spending time in fun locations and in front of beautiful backdrops like this one! Many weddings are held outdoors at local beaches, parks, and historic sites. Others take place indoors in upscale venues, or at resorts, community centers, cafes and restaurants, and even inside family homes! 



  • How to become a wedding officiant 


If you love helping others, you’re well on your way to becoming a great wedding officiant. 


The next three steps are to: 


1. Get ordained online (ordained ministers can perform weddings in most states)


2. Register in your state (this is required in some states, but not all of them)


In detail: How to Get Certified to Marry Someone: Ordination, Certification, and Minister Licensing Explained


3. Develop the professional skills you’ll need to turn your passion into a successful business (we cover this below!)



  • Learn the professional skills you need to succeed 

There’s no expensive degree required, but you’ll need to develop a few professional skills in order to be prepared and do well. 


These skills can be learned in a few ways: 


  • ‘On the job’ working with couples
  • Mentorship 
  • Complete a certificate program online 


For the best results, many experienced officiants recommend a combination of all 3 methods: Certification, learning from others, and developing your strengths by working directly with couples. 


An online certificate program is often the easiest way to get started, but isn’t required. These convenient officiant training programs, like AMM’s Pro Wedding Officiant Certification Course, ensure you know all the basics and legal requirements to officiate from the very beginning and can help you avoid costly mistakes down the road.


(And AMM’s certification course only costs about as much as a couple of movie tickets, but will last you a lot longer.)


Visit our free Wedding Officiant Training pages for all the basics you’ll need to begin, including minister registration requirements and how to complete a marriage license.



Then read Articles for First Time Officiants on our blog to learn about topics like how to network with other wedding professionals, how to work best with couples, how to write a wedding ceremony script, what to wear to officiate your first ceremony, and more. 



Two older people are married in an outdoor wedding ceremony, performed by a wedding officiant

Wedding officiants are of all ages and from all backgrounds, just like the couples they marry! Some people become part-time officiants during retirement or while looking for a side job, others start officiating by being asked to marry friends and family, and still others set out to make it a fulltime career from the start. 



  • Why choose AMM for your ordination and training? 


American Marriage Ministries (AMM) specializes in free ordination, advocacy, and training for marriage ministers, regardless of their location, educational background, or income level. We provide a variety of free and low-cost materials to help you get started. 


We’re a non-profit, interfaith and non-denominational constitutional church – which means we ordain people of all faiths or no faith, from atheists to agnostics, Pagans to Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and everyone in between. 


All we ask is that our ministers agree to three core beliefs of marriage equality and freedom: 


  • All people, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, have the right to marry.
  • It is the right of every couple to choose who will solemnize their marriage.
  • All people have the right to solemnize marriage.


When it comes to marriage, AMM exists to fulfill a spiritual need that other institutions aren’t willing to, or aren’t able to provide: access to marriage for all, regardless of religion, sexuality, or other defining traits. As the role of mainstream churches dwindles in the modern era, couples are turning to those that they know and trust to bless their marriage – friends, relatives, and members of their communities… like you! 


There are no good reasons why a couple shouldn’t be able to choose who performs their marriage ceremony. AMM exists to facilitate this choice. 


Read more About Us here. 



  • Ready to get started? 


We think the role of wedding officiant is one of the best jobs and callings around. There’s no expensive barriers to entry and no college degree requirement to get started. Just the desire to celebrate marriage, support couples and families on their wedding day, and make a difference in your community! 



Get ordained online for free today and learn how to officiate weddings.


Visit the AMM Officiant Certification Course: a simple way to get started as a professional wedding officiant. 




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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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