Do you have a question regarding ordination or becoming legally ordained and licensed as a Wedding Officiant or ceremonial minister to perform marriage ceremonies?
Below, we’ve included a list of the most common questions we receive about ordination, but you can contact us at any time by clicking here.
I need a minister's license. What is the difference between being licensed as a minister and being ordained?
A: Ordination is the process of becoming legally authorized by a church or religious organization to perform ceremonies, including marriages and other rites in compliance with state and local laws and regulations.
Upon granting ordination, the church will issue a minister's license, which is your valid proof of ordination. (Ordination is the process of being authorized; the minister's license is proof of ordination.)
I can obtain a ministerial credential elsewhere online for free. Why should I pay for ordination through First Nation?
A: Let's be perfectly clear here: there is no such thing as "free online ordination." You may have stumbled upon a website that offers to legally and instantly ordain you as a minister for free, but what happens after you click that button?
Immediately, you'll start getting spammed with offers to sell you the documents and credentials you will actually need to perform marriage ceremonies. You can always print out the "certificate" from their website, but if you want to have a full set of the documents you'll need to perform a ceremony, get ready to pay anywhere from $60 to $175.
We tell you up front how much it will cost for ordination, which legally authorizes you to perform marriage ceremonies:
Single Ceremony: $10.95
Five Year Unlimited License: $24.95
Ten Year Unlimited License: $39.95
Keep in mind that a few states don't permit single-ceremony licenses, so we don't offer that option in those states.
Also, with an unlimited limited license, you are permitted to perform as many ceremonies as you want, in your home state as well as elsewhere across the United States.
In any case, know that you get what you pay for. Many states simply do not recognize free instant "online ordination" as being legally valid. And while a generic Internet "wedding minister credential" may be accepted in some (but not all) states, ordination as a ceremonial minister through First Nation Church and Ministry is valid and accepted in every local jurisdiction across the United States and around the world.
Ordination through First Nation includes our Worry-Free Wedding Guarantee™ and is backed by the strength of our member services team. Beyond that, the nominal administrative fee you pay for certification averages out to less than 42 cents ($0.42) per month over the standard five-year ordination term.
Please note that some locations, including Nevada, Louisiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Virginia, West Virginia, Hawaii, Oklahoma and New York City, have additional registration requirements that must be handled separately with local officials. You should familiarize yourself with your local regulations prior to requesting your credential through any service, or contact us directly for comprehensive assistance.
A: With complete ordination, you will receive a personalized ordination certificate, letter of good standing with live signature (required in most jurisdictions), minister's ID card, and a guide to the marriage laws and procedures in your selected location.* Please click here to view sample ordination documents.
The basic-level (single ceremony) ordination packet includes an elegantly personalized ordination certificate and a comprehensive guide to the marriage laws and procedures in your selected location. (The single-ceremony package does not include a letter of good standing or credential card.)
In addition, all packages include a simple ceremony outline (include sample wedding vows), detailed information about your ordination (to familiarize yourself with your duties and responsibilities), as well as other information to make the process as simple and hassle-free as possible.
If your location requires additional forms that you must submit to a local agency, such as the Secretary of State or County Clerk, we will also include them in your packet.
* — If you hold complete ordination and plan to perform a ceremony in another location, please contact us and we will provide you with detailed information for that jurisdiction.
I'm concerned because I've never performed a marriage ceremony before. Any advice for a first-time Wedding Officiant?
A: The first and best piece of advice we can give you is to be prepared. If you handle the proceedings with dignity and professionalism, everything will turn out great.
We also encourage you to read our article entitled "Sage Advice For The First-Time Wedding Officiant," and hope you'll contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
A: Yes. Keep in mind that you are granted Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion under the Constitution of the United States -- no piece of paper other than that can restrict those rights!
However, all states have their own specific laws regarding who can (and who cannot) perform marriage ceremonies within their jurisdiction.
Becoming legally ordained and licensed provides you with the coverage you need in order to be in complete compliance with all state and local regulations.
A: First, don't worry. We've got you covered!
There's no need to start over or go back and make up for lost time — simply go to our renewal page, fill in your information and we'll take it from there.
(There are no penalty charges or additional late fees!)
Ready to become ordained to perform marriage ceremonies? Let’s go!
Have a question that wasn’t answered here? Need pro tips or advice on performing a wedding ceremony? Don’t delay – please contact us today!