Monday, December 10, 2018
Hey Fletch … What does the Bible say about who can perform a wedding? Are they any state or federal laws on it? I’m asking because I’ve been asked to do a friend’s wedding but I’m not ordained or a pastor.
DRF—The Bible is silent on who can perform a wedding and how the wedding should be carried out. There is no mandate that the wedding be performed in a church or by a religious official. Read the Scriptures and you will find just about nothing on the topic.
As for laws, this page lists various state requirements. For example, the article cites Utah: “Ministers of the gospel or priests of any denomination who are in regular communion with any religious society may perform marriages.”
States want those performing marriages to have some level of licensing, commissioning or ordination. Some states go further and require the individual to register with the state.
The old joke (that had plenty of truth in it) was that you could get “ordained” for $10 from a group that advertised in the back of Rolling Stone magazine.
Some churches have trained non-pastors to perform weddings. These “people of the church” are commissioned to do weddings. These churches show that you don’t have to be a pastor to perform a wedding. You just have to be licensed, commissioned or ordained by a religious group.
See if your church will train you to lead a great wedding. Ask them to commission you to perform the wedding. You may find this is a great ministry opportunity for you to share the truth of Jesus.