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My Friends Asked Me to Officiate their Wedding - What Should I Do?!

Published Thursday, Oct. 31st, 2019

Este articulo en español

A woman holds out a surprise gift box wrapped in a red ribbon, presenting a gift to her friend who is covering her eyes with her hands.

Were you asked to marry a friend or family member? Need to get ordained to perform a wedding ceremony but don't know where to start?


You're in the right place!




Here's a look at why it matters where you get ordained, and an overview of what your responsibilities are as a wedding minister.


En español : Mis amigos me pidieron que oficie su Boda- Que debo hacer?


Asking a friend or family member to officiate has become as common practice as choosing bridesmaids. More couples than ever before are asking someone they know to perform their wedding ceremony!


But even with millions of Americans getting ordained to perform weddings, most folks still don’t really know what ordination means. Too often, they say “yes” without understanding what they're signing up for. 


So let’s talk about what ordination really is, and what your responsibilities will be as a wedding minister! 


Before we get into the details, we want to remind you that we’ve made getting ordained free and easy for a reason -- it’s a rewarding and transformative experience that lets you celebrate love and build community, and one that should be available to everyone. Those are the things that matter most in life, and as they say, the best things in life are free. 



So, what is ordination? 


Ordination is a contract or agreement between a religious organization and an individual, that empowers said individual to lead religious services (in our case, weddings) on behalf of the organization.


Wikipedia says that ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart and elevated from the laity class to the clergy, who are thus then authorized to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. What that basically means is that through ordination, a religious organization gives certain people the authority to do special things in their name. For example, the Catholics ordain priests to lead congregations and mass. American Marriage Ministries ordains ministers to solemnize marriage. 


Other churches, temples, and places of worship ordain ministers to perform all sorts of religious ceremonies. Here at AMM, our liturgy (that’s the ceremony) is the wedding. When we ordain someone, we're saying, “We give this person the authority to perform weddings as one of our ministers.” 


We ordain people online. Methodists do it in a building. Pagans do it out in nature. It doesn’t matter where or how one is ordained. What matters is that it's a spiritual agreement between a religious organization and a person. 



Ordination, it's an agreement between a religous organization and a person that gives him or her certain rights.



What does a wedding minister do?


Ministers have all sorts of responsibilities, from teaching classes to organizing charities. But you have a job, social commitments, and other stuff that keeps you busy, so we make it much easier.


As a wedding minister, your job is pretty straight forward: You solemnize weddings. In theory, that’s pretty simple because all that’s really required is a statement of intent (that’s the “I do” part of a ceremony), saying, “I now pronounce you…” (that's the pronouncement part of the ceremony), and your signature on the marriage license


Of course, creating a memorable ceremony requires a little more effort than that, and we make sure you are well trained. But really, that’s it. All you need to do is get ordained, create a ceremony that the couple is excited about, and then head to the venue on the big day and perform. 


Being a wedding minister takes all the fun parts of being a minister and packages them into one fun, exciting day. 


(Did you know? Wedding ministers are sometimes called wedding officiants, marriage officiants, or celebrants, depending on where you live.) 



Taking all the fun parts of being a minister and packaging them into one fun, exciting day




Should you get ordained? 


(Our vote is yes!)


An agreement requires at least two parties to agree to something. Our hand is extended to all who sincerely wish to celebrate love and community by joining couples in marriage! The rest is up to you.


If performing marriage and helping couples in love on their wedding day speaks to you, our door is open. It doesn't matter what spiritual beliefs you hold (or don't hold), where you come from, or who you love. As long as you want to celebrate love and community by joining couples in marriage, then we're going to be a great fit!


We do things differently here at AMM. Unlike some churches, we give you the tools to translate your passion into success. Once you get ordained, we offer free training materials on our Wedding Officiant Training pages, and sell books that will guide you through the process of planning and delivering a ceremony. Ordination is just the beginning. 


American Marriage Ministries is 501(c)(3) Certified Non-Profit Charitable Organization, and we have a network of ministers in all 50 states and US territories.


We make sure that you're able to do justice to your calling, and that you can create memorable ceremonies that inspire others.


If you’re still reading, then you’re probably a great candidate for online ordination. So, here you go, click this link and let’s write the next chapter together! 



Updated June 4, 2021


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Our Signature Wedding Officiant Package includes everything you'll need to successfully officiate a wedding ceremony! 



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Lewis King
Lewis King

Staff Writer

Lewis loves exploring the space between power, discourse, and material reality where institutions like marriage are defined. He also wears other hats at AMM, like taking out the recycling and restocking the sparkling water.

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