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.
According 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.
If you aren’t currently ordained or if you are unsure of your ordination status, don’t take any chances. You may request ordination that is valid and accepted in Rhode Island by clicking here right now, or you can contact us directly for additional information by using the form at the end of this article.
Finally, make sure you take care of the most important step in the process: in Rhode Island, after the ceremony, it is the responsibility of the minister to endorse and return the marriage license to the town or city clerk in which the marriage was performed.
The law covering who is permitted to perform marriage ceremonies is Title 15 of the Rhode Island General Laws:
Title 15 — Domestic Relations Chapter 15-3 — Solemnization of Marriages § 15-3-5 Officials empowered to join persons in marriage. – Every ordained clergy or elder in good standing; every justice of the supreme court, superior court, family court, workers' compensation court, district court or traffic tribunal; the clerk of the supreme court; every clerk, administrative clerk, or general chief clerk of a superior court, family court, district court, or traffic tribunal; magistrates, special or general magistrates of the superior court, family court, traffic tribunal or district court; administrative clerks of the district court; administrators of the workers' compensation court; every former justice or judge and former administrator of these courts; every former chief clerk of the district court; every former clerk, administrative clerk, or general chief clerk of a superior court; the secretary of the senate; elected clerks of the general assembly; any former secretary of the senate; any former elected clerk of the general assembly who retires after July 1, 2007; judges of the United States appointed pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution; bankruptcy judges appointed pursuant to Article I of the United States Constitution; and United States magistrate judges appointed pursuant to federal law, may join persons in marriage in any city or town in this state; and every justice and every former justice of the municipal courts of the cities and towns in this state and of the police court of the town of Johnston and the administrator of the Johnston municipal court, while he or she is serving as an administrator, and every probate judge and every former probate judge may join persons in marriage in any city or town in this state, and wardens of the town of New Shoreham may join persons in marriage in New Shoreham.
Ready to be ordained to perform marriage ceremonies in Rhode Island? Click here now to begin the fast, simple process. Need more information about being ordained to perform a marriage ceremony in Rhode Island? Contact us now!