Information on How to Get Ordained and Register as a Minister
How to get ordained and perform a wedding or ceremony in Rhode Island.
Since 2010, Open Ministry has been ordaining and helping people all over the world perform weddings, ceremony and other sacerdotal duties. This page focuses on requirements and information for Rhode Island, if you don't need the States Statues or ordination information for Rhode Island scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to other states.
Let's get started with the information for Rhode Island
If you are planning to get ordained in Rhode Island or you have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in Rhode Island, or simply need to to find a minister in Rhode Island to perform your wedding ceremony the information on this page will assist you. If you still have questions we invite you to visit our FAQ or contact us for more detailed information. We are here to help and support our ministers and congregation.
Registered Ministers with Open Ministry have successfully performed thousands of marriages in Rhode Island and around the world!
The Ordination and Officiant information is provided below in an easy five step layout which is designed help walk you through the most common steps on registering to become a minister for Rhode Island and how perform a wedding ceremony in Rhode Island.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to get Ordained in Rhode Island and become a minister to perform weddings and marriage ceremonies in Rhode Island
Ordinations for Rhode Island are completely free and can normally be completed in less than a day. Thousands of people have registered and became licensed ministers in Rhode Island. Once you have completed the ordination process you are able perform marriages through Open Ministry in and for the state of Rhode Island!
Become Ordained for free and start your journey as an authorized minister in Rhode Island with Open Ministry.
Get started today by clicking on the link below!
Step 2 - Contact The County Clerk
How to Register to Officiate a Marriage in Rhode Island
Next, contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk in Rhode Island). Let them know that you are a ordained minister with Open Ministry in California, and ask them what information the will require of you, to officiate a marriage in Rhode Island. Most clerks and governing agencies may require that you present them with a physical copy of your ordination record.
When speaking with the county clerk; it can be helpful to use the following phrases.
- What agency or department issues marriage licenses in your county and how may I contact them?
- I am an ordained minister with a church in California and I would like to register as a wedding Officiant in your county to perform and solemnize weddings.
- I have my Letter of Good Standing and/or Ordination Credential as proof of my ministry and ordination.
- What additional documentation is required for me to register as a wedding Officiant in your county or state?
Step 3 - Getting Licensed to Perform the Marriage
License to perform a wedding in Rhode Island
After you've contacted your marriage authority, you will want to visit our bookstore to get physical copies official credentials for presentation and your records. (See Rhode Island State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Rhode Island you may be asked to display proof of your ordination to the county clerk's before they will accept the marriage license as having been legally solemnized. We typically advise ministers of Rhode Island to get a Complete Minister Package for Rhode Island which includes your Letter of Good Standing (the live signed and notarized physical copy of your standing with our ministry).
Having your physical copies credentials provides peace-of-mind to couples and others that you intend to marry. Additionally, we recommend at least 4 weeks between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials and are able to register in time. Please note that every state and county can impose different requirements. This may include other nominal fees and additional paperwork that may need to be completed before the ceremony can take place.
It is important to note that some county clerks in Rhode Island may require wedding officiants to attach a statement which asserts some of the elements in the marriage license upon submission, including the following:
- The time and location at which the wedding took place
- The names and places of residence of all official witnesses
- The religious organization in which the officiant is ordained
- The printed name and address of the officiant
Please note that, when filling out a marriage license, that Rhode Island State may request you use the title "Minister" or "Reverend". The County Clerks may also require you enter your denomination, you can use "Non-Denominational". Failing to state a denomination may result in rejection and could require a duplicate marriage license.
Step 4 - How to Perform the Wedding
How to perform a wedding in Rhode Island
Once you have completed of the above, you are ready to perform the wedding! Be sure that the couple has picked up their Rhode Island state issued marriage license from the appropriate office. Rhode Island marriage licenses valid for a set number of days, and there may be a waiting period between when the couple receives the marriage license in Rhode Island and when the ceremony may be legally performed in Rhode Island. This information should be written on the license and followed to ensure the ceremony is recorded properly.
Please be aware that the signed license must be returned to the issuing office in Rhode Island before the time limit is reached. Check the marriage license for the exact dates. Once the the previous matters have been addressed, officiating a wedding in Rhode Island can be a great and wonderful experience.
If you have any comments or issues as a wedding officiant in Rhode Island, or after you have been ordained, or would like to just asking for guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony in Rhode Island. We recommend that all new Rhode Island wedding ministers who have issues or concerns about the ceremony read over our helpful guides.
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 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 and every former chief clerk of the district court, and every former 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 or 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 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.
Title 15: Domestic Relations - Chapter 15-3: Solemnization of Marriage
History of Section. (G.L. 1896, ch. 191, Â§ 8; C.P.A. 1905, Â§ 1228; G.L. 1909, ch. 243, Â§ 8; P.L. 1922, ch. 2207, Â§ 1; G.L. 1923, ch. 287, Â§ 8; P.L. 1932, ch. 1896, Â§ 1; P.L. 1933, ch. 2042, Â§ 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 415, Â§ 8; P.L. 1949, ch. 2290, Â§ 1; G.L. 1956, Â§ 15-3-5; P.L. 1974, ch. 290, Â§ 1; P.L. 1978, ch. 326, Â§ 1; P.L. 1979, ch. 327, Â§ 1; P.L. 1980, ch. 382, Â§ 1; P.L. 1981, ch. 363, Â§ 2; P.L. 1987, ch. 489, Â§ 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 561, Â§ 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 607, Â§ 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 139, Â§ 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 163, Â§ 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 132, Â§ 5; P.L. 1991, ch. 205, Â§ 4; P.L. 1994, ch. 103, Â§ 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 199, Â§ 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 249, Â§ 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 451, Â§ 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 70, Â§ 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 123, Â§ 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 6, Â§ 42; P.L. 2004, ch. 444, Â§ 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 174, Â§ 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 259, Â§ 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 85, Â§ 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 89, Â§ 1.)