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Saturday, July 24, 2010

What do you mean by officiant?

You can go online and anyone can become an officiant if they register through Universal Life Church to fulfill the legal qualifications to become ordained and choose whatever title you prefer from a selection of categories.  Many people do it just to be able to perform wedding ceremonies for friends or family.  You have to promise to honor all beliefs and comply with all state laws.  In Washing State, you have be ordained through some church.  It's about 10-minute process through ULC which has been around since 1959.  We could do any kind of ceremony, but we stick to weddings.

My husband and I have both gone through ULC to be able to officiate for weddings.  I enjoy helping people design their wedding ceremony.  Many people just want a very small wedding, have mixed beliefs in their families, don't want to go through months of counseling through a church so an officiant is a great solution to these situations.  Some people are widowed or divorced and don't want to go through all the pomp and ceremony that come with traditional weddings.  We have performed wedding ceremonies where there were hundreds of people, however.  Some people choose an officiant simply because they want to be able to customize their ceremony more than what they could in a regular church.  We let family members of friends of the bride and groom participate in any of the religious aspects to the wedding.  We choose to remain very neutral.

I won't speak to other states, but there are only two lines (never seen or met anyone who performed this type of ceremony) that are necessary in Washington State to make a couple legally married.   The, Do You?, Do You? (questions to make sure they aren't entering the marriage under duress), and then pronouncing them as husband and wife.  Really, that's all!  We would do those too, if people wanted it that way, but people like to personalize it.  We avoid ceremonies that take on the feel of a theatrical performance rather than a solemn occasion.  Speaking from experience, we were disappointed to get a review on not being theatrical enough.  Sorry, that is not why we do perform wedding ceremonies!  At that same wedding, people said it was a wonderful ceremony.  Go figure!

Some people choose an officiant to make it a legal marriage and then have a more elaborate wedding (sometimes even with an officiant) months or years later when they can afford a bigger wedding, when someone has returned from being overseas, or any number of reasons.

You won't believe this, but when we say that we can officiate, some people really think that we are qualified to officiate at sporting events!!   No!  That's a totally different game!!

You should always check into your own state's laws.

Wishing you the greatest of days!


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