Information on How to Get Ordained and Register as a Minister
How to get ordained and perform a wedding or ceremony in Washington.
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 Washington, if you don't need the States Statues or ordination information for Washington scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to other states.
Let's get started with the information for Washington
If you are planning to get ordained in Washington or you have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in Washington, or simply need to to find a minister in Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington and how perform a wedding ceremony in Washington.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to get Ordained in Washington and become a minister to perform weddings and marriage ceremonies in Washington
Ordinations for Washington are completely free and can normally be completed in less than a day. Thousands of people have registered and became licensed ministers in Washington. Once you have completed the ordination process you are able perform marriages through Open Ministry in and for the state of Washington!
Become Ordained for free and start your journey as an authorized minister in Washington 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 Washington
Next, contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk in Washington). 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 Washington. 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 Washington
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 Washington State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Washington 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 Washington to get a Complete Minister Package for Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington
Once you have completed of the above, you are ready to perform the wedding! Be sure that the couple has picked up their Washington state issued marriage license from the appropriate office. Washington 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 Washington and when the ceremony may be legally performed in Washington. 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 Washington 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 Washington can be a great and wonderful experience.
If you have any comments or issues as a wedding officiant in Washington, or after you have been ordained, or would like to just asking for guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony in Washington. We recommend that all new Washington wedding ministers who have issues or concerns about the ceremony read over our helpful guides.
26.04.050 Who may solemnize
The following named officers and persons, active or retired, are hereby authorized to solemnize marriages, to wit: Justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of appeals, judges of the superior courts, supreme court commissioners, court of appeals commissioners, superior court commissioners, any regularly licensed or ordained minister or any priest of any church or religious denomination, and judges of courts of limited jurisdiction as defined in RCW 3.02.010.
Title 26: Domestic Relations - Chapter 4: Marriage
[2007 c 29 Â§ 1; 1987 c 291 Â§ 1; 1984 c 258 Â§ 95; 1983 c 186 Â§ 1; 1971 c 81 Â§ 69; 1913 c 35 Â§ 1; 1890 p 98 Â§ 1; 1883 p 43 Â§ 1; Code 1881 Â§ 2382; 1866 p 82 Â§ 4; 1854 p 404 Â§ 4; RRS Â§ 8441.]