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How Much Does it Cost to Get Ordained Online in New York to Officiate a Wedding?

Published Monday, Jul. 8th, 2024

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The wedding officiant and bride embrace and laugh happily on the wedding day.
Who is allowed to officiate a wedding in New York State, and how much does it cost to obtain these requirements? We cover minister ordination and registration below, so you can officiate weddings anywhere love leads you in New York! (Photo cropped: Kari Bjorn Photography)

Become a New York State wedding officiant! Which online ordination option is right for your budget? 


This will probably be a shorter article than you’re expecting… Because online ordination with American Marriage Ministries is always free in New York! 



American Marriage Ministries a non-profit, interfaith and non-denominational church that provides free ordination, advocacy, and training for our ministers to ensure that all people have the right to get married and to perform marriage. 

To date, we’ve ordained over one million ministers who have officiated weddings all across the United States… including over 62,000 ministers in New York and counting.




Close up of bride and groom holding hands at their New York wedding cermeony

Who can officiate a wedding in New York? YOU can! Choose online ordination through American Marriage Ministries to get started: Get ordained here.



Are there additional costs to officiate a wedding in New York? 


Yes : New York does require ministers in some areas to register with the state before performing a marriage ceremony – this means that once you’ve been ordained, you may need to purchase ministry credentials and register this proof of ordination with your local clerk’s office.


Registration requirements will depend on where in the state you want to perform weddings. Click the link below to learn more.



These credentials can be ordered from the AMM Store. If registration is not required, we still recommend that you order proof of your ordination for your records – to have on hand in case you need to verify your credentials. 




Product photo of AMM's standard minister ordination package, with an official ordination certificate, minister manual, letter of good standing, and other credentials

Above: AMM's Standard Minister Ordination Package comes with your official ordination certificate, a letter of good standing, an exclusive minister manual, a sample wedding ceremony script, and other materials to help you solemnize your first marriage ceremony like a professional. See the full package here.



Are there other free or low-cost options for online ordination in New York?


If you’re researching how and where to get ordained online in New York, and believe that all people have the right to get married and officiate weddings, AMM might be a great fit for you. But we know it’s important to consider all your options! 


Below, we compare the costs of several internet churches offering online ordination to help you choose the best match for your needs and beliefs. Some of these options are free, while others charge a fee. 



1. American Marriage Ministries: Free


As mentioned above, AMM offers free online ordination to people of all faiths and backgrounds, and is legally recognized in New York. AMM is an inclusive federally-recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit interfaith church. We believe that every couple has the constitutionally protected right to enter into the institution of marriage on their own terms, including the right to choose who performs their wedding ceremony.




2. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster : $59


It doesn’t cost anything to be a Pastafarian, but members who wish to become ordained through The Church of the FSM to perform weddings or other ceremonial rites will need to purchase an Official Ordination Pack. At the time of writing, this package costs $59 and can be purchased on the website. 


3. The Universal Life Church (ULC): Free


Originally formed in the early 1960s, ULC follows the doctrine, “Do that which is right.” Several offshoots of this church have formed over the years, including some that aren’t affiliated with the original Modesto church. Ordinations through The Universal Life Church are free.


4. Various online Christian churches: $100 or less


There are several online Christian ordination services that offer ordinations for free, or for a fee of $100 or less. It’s important to note that these organizations require ministers / pastors to adhere to specific religious views and practices (sign a Statement of Faith), and to the views of each individual church, in order to become ordained. A few low-cost Christian options include Minister Now ($25 at time of writing); Christian Harvest Church ($78 at time of writing); and the National Association of Christian Ministers.



In addition to the few listed here, there are many other organizations providing online ordination for free or for a fee. Research your options carefully to choose the best ordination for your needs, beliefs, and budget. 



The father of the bride walks the bride down the aisle while family and friends watch happily during an outdoor wedding in New York

Photo: Jakob Owens / Unsplash

Wedding officiants in New York have unique options to obtain their credentials to officiate: Online ordination and one-day officiant licensing. Keep reading below to see which choice is right for you. 


New York’s One-Day Officiant License vs Online Ordination


New York State offers a unique option for people who want to officiate only one wedding ceremony: A one-day officiant license. This license can be purchased for a fee. 


One-time licensure and online ordination both offer unique benefits, so it’s important to consider your specific circumstances, budget, and long-term goals when deciding between the two. 


In general, online ordination is probably a better choice for people who want to: Officiate more than one wedding in New York; serve as a professional officiant; officiate marriages in other states; and who feel called to celebrate the joys of marriage in their community as a minister. 


On the other hand, a one-day license might be a better choice for people who only want to officiate a single wedding within New York City, and to whom ordination doesn’t appeal.  


Click the link below to learn more and decide what option is best for you: 





Read Next: 




Read all New York Wedding Articles 


Brides kiss after their wedding ceremony in New York

Photo: Tallie Robinson / Unsplash

Planning a New York wedding? This short guide will help, from how to find the perfect officiant, to how to apply for and return the marriage license. 
Read the full article here. 



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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