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Tag: wedding minister

State of the Union: Serving As A Marriage Officiant In Rhode Island

This article is part of a series for ministers on performing marriage ceremonies in the United States and elsewhere. In this article, we focus on the magnificent state of Rhode Island and its rules and regulations.

Rhode Island has some of the most breath-taking scenery and some of the most picturesque places to have a wedding ceremony anywhere in the world. If you are legally ordained as a ceremonial minister, it’s also a very uncomplicated place to perform marriages.

Rhode Island Great SealAccording to Rhode Island law, everyone who is or has been the minister of any society professing to meet for religious purposes, or incorporated for the promotion of such purposes, and holding stated and regular services, and who has been ordained according to the customs and usages of such society may perform marriages.

Sounds complicated? It’s really not. If you are in good standing with the church, you can perform the ceremony. Rhode Island does not require ceremonial ministers to register with any agency in the state, but — as with most jurisdictions — you are required to present your active credentials to any legal authority, as well as the bridal couple, upon their request.

In addition, Rhode Island does not restrict non-resident ministers from serving in the state, as long as your ordination is in good standing.

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Renewing Your Ordination Term: The Why and The How

Another question that we on the WedMinTeam at FNC are often asked is (1) why do I have to renew my ordination term as a wedding officiant, and (2) how do I renew my ordination term?

The simple answer to 1 (the “why”) is that ordination isn’t for life. While some churches (and we all know who we’re talking about here) offer “lifetime ordination,” no real church or religious order grants unconditional ordination as a ceremonial minister for eternity.

What happens if you change your mind about your beliefs or your calling twelve years from now? Should we still consider you ordained? What about your personal information in our incredibly secure and private database? Should we continue maintaining it twenty years from now?

(The answer to these questions: no.)

According to our legal team, it makes sense from a legal standpoint to put a term limit on ordination. It precludes a bevy of potential problems from happening in the future.

The even simpler answer to 2 (the “how”) is for you to click here to go directly to our ordination renewal information page.

Once there, you’ll be asked to enter your name, your license number (if you have it; if you don’t, no problem) and the preferred length of your extended ordination term. Yes, it’s that simple.

Our ministers occasionally ask about how long their terms are, because it’s not on their documents. Actually, it is: look on the bottom-left corner of your ordination certificate, or in the body of your letter of good standing.

And if that doesn’t work, contact us and we’ll let you know! (You can email us directly using the handy form at the bottom of this article.)

Oh, and if your ordination expired a while back and you were busy doing other things and forgot to renew, you do not have to start over from scratch. Drop us a line and we’ll walk you through the simple reactivation process.

Want to to send us a message? Here you go…

 

The wonderful image accompanying this post was taken by Chris Moncus. To view Chris’ work and to book him for your ceremony, please visit ChrisMoncusPhoto.com.

Making Beautiful Music … and Marriages, Too

We’ve heard and read countless stories over the years about wedding ministers that failed to show up for the ceremony. Not just late, but not at all!

For a bridal couple that has gone through months and months of planning for their perfect ceremony — having chosen the venue, the wedding dress, written their vows — and then not have the officiant show up to perform the ceremony can be tragic.

It’s always good to have a back-up plan in place, just in case. Of course, if the wedding is taking place at a church or chapel, then there is usually an assistant pastor or minister on hand to step in.

However, with more and more ceremonies taking place outside of churches these days, it takes some creativity to build a back-up plan. Remember, nearly every jurisdiction allows you to designate your officiant, whether it’s your favorite uncle, a close family friend or your old high school volleyball coach!

Become ordained as a wedding minister

Can your wedding DJ perform your marriage ceremony? Sure. And so could the wedding singer, if he’s ordained.

A great back-up plan is one that’s fairly obvious, but also often overlooked: your disc jockey. Your wedding DJ is a trained professional who probably has years and years of experience as a master of ceremonies, and has no problem getting up in front of an audience.

In addition to having the perfect mix of music to get your guests up and dancing, many wedding DJs are also ordained to serve as ceremonial ministers, and many of them have performed more marriage ceremonies than some ministers have!

It’s always a smart idea to have a back-up plan — hopefully, you won’t need anyone to step in to perform the ceremony, but now you have a potential pinch-hitter just in case!

By the way, if you are a wedding disc jockey and you aren’t legally ordained to perform marriage ceremonies, the process is quick, easy and affordable. Begin the ordination process right now!

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