ULC ordination?
April 5, 2013 3:07 PM   Subscribe

Help us help our friend marry us!

We'd (MA residents) love for our close friend (PA resident) to officiate our New Hampshire wedding this summer. He's ready and willing to get ordained as a minister of the Universal Life Church, but there seem to be at least 3 websites associated with it:


Any personal experiences with any of these sites? In addition, the process seems fairly simple but we wonder if we're overlooking any important steps. The officiating friend will be out of town starting in June and possibly up until right before the wedding, will that cause any problems? Here's how we understand the sequence:

1) Friend gets ordained
2) Friend fills this out and sends it (+ copy of ordination and fee) to the Secretary of State.
2.5) Confirm it's been accepted?
3) Within 90 days of the wedding, we (couple) get a marriage license from the town city clerk
4) Get married, everyone signs the license
5) Within 10 days Friend goes back to the town city clerk, and registers the license.
6) Marriage certificate becomes available? Or is Friend responsible for acquiring this before the wedding as well?
posted by heyforfour to Law & Government (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You might want to have the friend get a one-day marriage designation.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:16 PM on April 5, 2013

Response by poster: The marriage is taking place in NH, so it's our understanding that all legal hullabaloo has to be conducted in NH, which doesn't seem to have one-day designations.
posted by heyforfour at 3:18 PM on April 5, 2013

#5: It's likely that the officiant does not have to register it in person - he can probably mail it in (according to this document he can).

#6, in most states the marriage certificate is mailed after the officiant registers the license. This is going to depend on the county clerk's office - you might want to check out their website if you haven't already. In fact, I might just give them a call on Monday and ask them to confirm the steps for getting a ULC officiant.
posted by muddgirl at 3:24 PM on April 5, 2013

Or city/town clerk in NH - basically whoever takes your application, issues you the license, and then later issues you the certificate should know the answer to these questions.
posted by muddgirl at 3:25 PM on April 5, 2013

I think the important step is that you are overlooking is that your friend may not be eligible to solemnize marriage. Here is the relevant information regarding whom solemnize marriage in New Hampshire. I do not think that your non-NH resident friend would meet the requirements. Your friend does not have a "pastoral charge wholly or partly in this state" as required by Section 457:31(II), New Hampshire Statutes. Alternatively, I also noted that the application that you linked provides that your local authorities may require "the submission of a copy of a valid commission or other indicia of authority to marry in the individual's state of residence as proof of existence of that authority." In other words, proof that your friend may solemnize marriages in Pennsylvania.

If you are determined to have a friend become ordained over the internet, it would be easier to have a NH resident do it. Or, just have a judge do it.

posted by Tanizaki at 3:37 PM on April 5, 2013

Easiest thing to do is hire a JP (findaJP.com is a good place to start) to do the legal stuff totally separate from the ceremony itself and then your friend can do whatever you want for the actual ceremony without having to worry about any of the legal questions. I do it all the time in CT and know it's the same basic process in NH.

(Disclaimer: I'm a CT JP and a member of JPUS, who runs findajp.com)
posted by teishu at 3:53 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Nthing that a call to the county clerk would probably yield answers to your questions.

I got ordained by the Church of Spiritual Humanism and officiated a friend's wedding. They came to our county (they currently live in another), applied for their license, I conducted the ceremony, we signed, and then I turned the license into the county clerk and all was good and legal. Before we did all that, my pal called our county clerk who listed out the steps we needed to take to make the whole thing legal so I think that's your best bet.
posted by youandiandaflame at 5:06 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was "ordained" with the Universal Life Church at themonastery.org a couple of years ago, and while it looks like a pre-packaged bundle of cruft to buy at twenty or so dollars, in fact it's a pre-packaged bundle of cruft to buy at twenty or so dollars. And sometimes, I get to call myself Reverend Sphinx.

That being said, I've legally officiated two marriages here in Minnesota, and am doing a third this summer. It's really a great feeling.

I had to witness the B&G signing the Marriage certificate/license, mail it to the County, and poof, marriage. Or maybe mawwage is more appropriate.
posted by Sphinx at 10:21 AM on April 6, 2013

Gah. Sorry for my reading comprehension failure.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:15 PM on April 6, 2013

« Older Android apps for a six-year-old?   |   Smooth Bourbon Suggestions Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.