March 9, 2024

How to Become an Ordined Minister in Michigan

There are many reasons why someone might decide to become an ordained minister. Maybe your sister is getting married and you want to officiate her ceremony or perhaps you feel a calling to serve others in some capacity. Whatever the reason, it is important to understand that officiating fully legal weddings requires knowledge of the law governing such ceremonies in the State (and sometimes county) where they are held.

Michigan is one of the states that grants clergy the power to officiate weddings. Specifically, the state's laws say that "Any person authorized by his or her religious organization to solemnize marriages may perform such marriages." Though the language might lead you to believe that this only applies to pastors from certain religions, this is incorrect. In reality, any ordained minister of the gospel so authorized can officiate a wedding ceremony in Michigan.

Regardless of the specific wording in the state's laws, it is highly recommended that all officiants keep official proof of their standing on hand at all times. This will come in handy if a couple or the county clerk asks to see your credentials before allowing you to officiate their marriage. To ensure that you have the necessary documentation, we recommend ordering our Classic Wedding Package which includes an ordination credential, letter of good standing, and Michigan Marriage Law Guide.

Please note that a wedding license must be picked up prior to the ceremony and that it will need to be returned to the issuing office within 10 days after the ceremony. It is also a good idea to have the couple sign the marriage certificate in the presence of an officiant in order for it to be considered legally binding.


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