Information on How to Get Ordained and Register as a Minister
How to get ordained and perform a wedding or ceremony in Wisconsin.
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 Wisconsin, if you don't need the States Statues or ordination information for Wisconsin scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to other states.
Let's get started with the information for Wisconsin
If you are planning to get ordained in Wisconsin or you have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in Wisconsin, or simply need to to find a minister in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin and how perform a wedding ceremony in Wisconsin.
Step 1 - How to Become Ordained
How to get Ordained in Wisconsin and become a minister to perform weddings and marriage ceremonies in Wisconsin
Ordinations for Wisconsin are completely free and can normally be completed in less than a day. Thousands of people have registered and became licensed ministers in Wisconsin. Once you have completed the ordination process you are able perform marriages through Open Ministry in and for the state of Wisconsin!
Become Ordained for free and start your journey as an authorized minister in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin
Next, contact the office of your local marriage authority (typically your county clerk in Wisconsin). 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 Wisconsin. 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 Wisconsin
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 Wisconsin State Statutes for More Specific Requirements )
When registering in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin to get a Complete Minister Package for Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin
Once you have completed of the above, you are ready to perform the wedding! Be sure that the couple has picked up their Wisconsin state issued marriage license from the appropriate office. Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin and when the ceremony may be legally performed in Wisconsin. 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin can be a great and wonderful experience.
If you have any comments or issues as a wedding officiant in Wisconsin, or after you have been ordained, or would like to just asking for guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony in Wisconsin. We recommend that all new Wisconsin wedding ministers who have issues or concerns about the ceremony read over our helpful guides.
765.16 Marriage contract, how made; officiating person.
Marriage may be validly solemnized and contracted in this state only after a marriage license has been issued therefor, and only by the mutual declarations of the 2 parties to be joined in marriage that they take each other as husband and wife, made before an authorized officiating person and in the presence of at least 2 competent adult witnesses other than the officiating person. The following are authorized to be officiating persons:
(1) Any ordained member of the clergy of any religious denomination or society who continues to be an ordained member of the clergy.
(2) Any licentiate of a denominational body or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular member of the clergy of any church of the denomination to which the member of the clergy belongs, if not restrained from so doing by the discipline of the church or denomination.
(3) The 2 parties themselves, by mutual declarations that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect to which either of the parties may belong.
(4) Any judge of a court of record or a reserve judge appointed under s. 753.075.
(5) Any circuit court commissioner appointed under SCR 75.02 (1) or supplemental court commissioner appointed under s. 757.675 (1).
(6) Any municipal court judge
The Family - Chapter 765: Marriage
History: 1977 c. 323; 1979 c. 32 ss. 48, 92 (4); 1979 c. 176, 259; Stats. 1979 s. 765.16; 1981 c. 20 s. 2200; 1985 a. 29; 1991 a. 315; 1999 a. 85; 2001 a. 61.