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How Notaries Can Add 'Wedding Officiant' To Their List Of Services


Last updated: May 12, 2022. Currently, only Florida, Montana, Maine, Nevada, South Carolina and Tennessee authorize Notaries to perform weddings as part of their official duties. However, entrepreneurial Notaries in other states have found other ways to add “wedding officiant” to their growing list of client services.

Becoming an ordained minister or wedding officiant

Virginia Notary and small business owner John Cole became an ordained minister online. “Internet ordination is totally legal and recognized in most jurisdictions,” says Cole. He then registered as an ordained minister in the jurisdictions in which he wanted to perform the rites of marriage, automatically placing himself on an official list of ministers.

“You can then market your services in much the same way as you market your Notary services,” said Cole, who uses a professional website to advertise all of his services. “I specialize in last minute weddings with a price point of $150, all inclusive. I've performed about 150 weddings so far.”

Notaries who become ordained ministers can market their services through social media platforms, a professional website, business cards and brochures placed in strategic locations such as bridal conventions and boutiques, and even car decals, t-shirts or other “leave-behinds” such as magnets, pens, or desk calendars. You can also use your Notary business as a way to advertise. Cole’s first ever job as a wedding officiant came by way of a conversation during a routine notarization, when the signers inquired about Cole’s wedding services.

“Two weeks later I performed my first marriage ceremony,” says Cole. “It was a very nice home ceremony and an event that I will never forget. If you treat a family well at a signing, you open up the possibility of being the person that notarizes their life documents, their children's documents, and, in this case, joins the couple in marriage.”

Like Cole, California Notary Valerie Barrett discovered being a Notary allows her to offer additional client services. Barrett’s inspiration to become ordained came when a friend’s daughter got married. “The officiant totally dropped the ball,” says Barrett. “And I thought, why can’t I do it?” An ordained friend helped mentor her though the process, using an online organization that required coursework, mentorship, and completion of an online exam. Upon completion, Barrett received a license allowing her to perform wedding ceremonies in all 50 states.

“I sit down with my couples to ask questions, such as how they met and what is most important to them,” says Barrett, who then uses this information to write the couple’s vows and to personalize the ceremony. She then inquires whether they need a certified copy of their wedding license (which California requires if the couple wishes to receive a confidential marriage license), if they’ll be doing a legal name change, or if they’ll require any other documents or notarizations — all of which she can provide.

In California, a limited number of specially authorized Notaries in each county are authorized to issue confidential marriage certificates for weddings. Issuing a confidential marriage certificate is not the same as officiating at a wedding. California does not authorize its Notaries to perform marriage ceremonies as part of their commissioned duties.

“These are the last things most couples are thinking about,” says Barrett. Combining her Notary and officiant services allows her to offer clients a customized approach.

“I complete all the paperwork, get their signatures and pop it all in the mail,” says Barrett. “It’s my job to make sure it is done correctly. They trust me to do the job right.”

Check your state's laws regarding wedding officiants 

Notaries interested in becoming wedding officiants should begin by checking state wedding laws. For example, licensing requirements vary greatly from state to state. Contact the county clerk in the counties in which you want to perform weddings for more information. A simple Google search on “How to become ordained” yields numerous links and organizations, but be sure to vet each carefully to find out if they are reputable, what the fees and requirements are, and where, exactly, the ordination is recognized. Some ministries will ordain you for life; others require annual license renewals.

Though many of the online ordination sites are non-denominational, those actively involved in a church might also want to consult their clergy before pursuing ordination to see if it might affect your standing in the church.


Add your comment

Joann Ahlemeyer

16 Feb 2015

Looking for the online site you used to be ordained in all 50 states. Wondering if you could share that information. I am in Virginia

National Notary Association

17 Feb 2015

Hello, There are many organizations that offer ordination in different states. I'm sorry that we aren't familiar with the specific organization you are describing, but you may wish to try searching online for "Become a Wedding Officiant in Virginia" or "How do I perform weddings in Virginia." Good luck!

Katrice Jones

03 Mar 2015

This is great information I am a Wedding Officiant in the State of Ohio so I appreciate this article.


29 Jun 2015

To Joann Ahlemeyer I saw your question about the where to find the listing or website that offers the wedding officiant ordination in all 50 states. I was curious myself, so I googled it and here is a link to the site I came across that offers such ordinations.. Good luck.

Felicia E. Ammons

05 Aug 2015

I would like to have details how to become a Wedding Officiant. I would like to have all of the information how to ordain clients.

National Notary Association

07 Aug 2015

Hello. As mentioned above, Notaries interested in becoming wedding officiants should begin by checking state wedding laws. For example, licensing requirements vary greatly from state to state. Contact the county clerk in the counties in which you want to perform weddings for more information. A simple Google search on “How to become ordained” yields numerous links and organizations, but be sure to vet each carefully to find out if they are reputable, what the fees and requirements are, and where, exactly, the ordination is recognized. Some ministries will ordain you for life; others require annual license renewals.

Camille Walters

11 Aug 2015

Hello. I am a Notary and SigningAgent as well as a Marriage Officiant. You can contact Universal Life Church for the information. There are two, so mmake sure you are registering with the correct one Depending on your state they will provide you with the proper documents and or information for your respective state.

Peggy King

15 Mar 2016

I find it appalling that one would call oneself an Ordained Minister when the title of Marriage Officiant is most appropriate for those who obtain the legal (government-based legality) capacity to perform wedding ceremonies in an online setting. I am an Ordained Minister of the Gospel via ordination through an Ordained and Licensed Minister of the Gospel and the witness of many people. I am a born-again Christian who can proudly state I am an Ordained Minister, not a Marriage Officiant. While I believe a Notary Public should be able to perform such ceremonies, please call yourself what you are - a Marriage Officiant. You cannot buy an ordination! That is a gift from God.


29 May 2016

And fair enough. I do not think that any notary who has not been through the seminary should be calling him- or herself an "ordained minister", even if that is what the website calls you when you are done completing the application. "Wedding officiant" is much more appropriate both in terms of services performed and qualifications met. With regard to becoming certified to become an officiant in "all 50 states", anyone who has been "ordained" by any religious or pseudo-religious body can apparently officiate at a wedding in any state and have that union recognized by that state, though each state and each county within each state may/ will have its own local regulations with regard to waiting periods and ID requirements for those being married. But officiants, no: so long as some organization somewhere considers you a "minister", you are a minister. In California, the state doesn't even track who is registered to be a minister. So long as your license is paid for, signed, witnessed, and mailed in on time, you're seemingly good to go. What I would LIKE to see is what has happened when one of these pseudo religious marriages is challenged in a lawsuit on the grounds that the officiant wasn't really a registered "minister." Now, THAT would be interesting. Anyone know of such a case??


16 Oct 2017

Ha! I'm a new notary ...seeking to learn more and to get some experience behind me. The site, articles, and comments are insightful. So... seeking clarification. Notaries in California can add 'Wedding Officiant' to services --if ordained? INTERESTING.

Tammy Camerino

28 Feb 2018

I'm a notary in Florida and going to perform a wedding for friends, what paperwork do I need too have for their service?

National Notary Association

05 Mar 2018

Please see here for more information:


01 Mar 2018

Why is that "Ordained" Minister so judgmental. Who give anyone the authority to deem who may assign to themselves the title Ordained Minister without going through a a seminary? There are also ordained lay ministers, Online Ordination is JUST as accredited as any seminary.

Nona Mason

21 Aug 2018

Dianna I see where Peggy is coming from. I am a licensed minister and as such in Va cannot perform weddings. I think Peggy comes from the standpoint that an ordained minister actively does ministry. Being ordained to become an officiant to add another paid service to people is different. I guess 9ne is a job and the other is ministry, belief system, that sort of thing. I my not be explaining it correctly because it is not easy to explain, but I hope it makes sense.


24 Oct 2018

Can Pennsylvania Notary’s Officiate Weddings? I would love to Officiate

National Notary Association

24 Oct 2018

Hello. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania Notaries are not authorized to officiate weddings as part of their duties.


04 Feb 2019

Hi Can I become wedding officiant in California and how? I am interested

National Notary Association

06 Feb 2019

Hello. California Notaries are not authorized to officiate weddings as part of their duties. If you wish to become a wedding officiant in California, you may wish to read this FAQ from the CA Department of Health:

Lori Hamm

24 Apr 2019

Montana's new notary law (HB370) specifically allows notaries to officiate at weddings, effective Oct. 1.


14 May 2020

I need to find out I am a Public Notary and Sign Agent in Florida.I would like to know if I can perform Weddings ceremony and Marriage. Thank you.

National Notary Association

15 May 2020

Hello. Florida authorizes its Notaries to officiate weddings.

Brian Kelly

15 Jul 2020

I am a notary in CT. I gather from reading various articles on the internet that CT will allow an online ordinated minister to officiate for a wedding. Can you verify that my findings are correct? Also, which on line church is most recordizeable for getting ordinated on line for CT.

National Notary Association

17 Jul 2020

Hello. We are sorry, but we have not received any information here about CT authorizing online wedding officiants. Please note that since CT does not authorize Notaries to officiate weddings as part of their authorized duties, applying to become a wedding officiant in Connecticut is a separate process from obtaining a Notary commission. If you wish to apply to be ordained in order to perform religious wedding ceremonies, you will have to select a church or other religious organization that you deem best suited for you.

Jim Wilkerson

03 Aug 2020

Am I allowed to perform marraige ceremonies as an officiant in the state of Arizona?

National Notary Association

04 Aug 2020

Hello. No, Arizona Notaries are not authorized to officiate weddings as part of their official duties.

29 Aug 2020

Excellent information however I would like more options for the wedding ceremony speaking points.

Michael Cerda

13 Oct 2020

Please check your state/county for the requirements to be a Notary Public. As well, check the requirements to perform Weddings. The requirements to become a minister differ from religion to religion. Being ordained is a procedure that is different with each religion. We can perform certain duties but marriage license comes from the county clerk. In Texas, we can perform same sex marriages as allowed by law.


25 Oct 2020

Can my friend notarize and preform my ceremony if she is a notary and ordained.

National Notary Association

26 Oct 2020

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state your Notary friend is commissioned in?


27 Oct 2020

I just wanted to add to the states I live in Alabama and since August 2019 Alabama no longer has marriage license we have a marriage certificate and all you need to be married in Alabama is fill out the form print it and have a notary notarize it and Bam your married ! So if you want a ceremony any one can perform you a ceremony you just need your certificate notarized.

18 Feb 2021

As a notary in south Carolina how do I become a wedding officiant? And were would I go to find training materials or some type of guidance to perform the wedding?

National Notary Association

24 Feb 2021

Hello. You can find information on how to perform a wedding ceremony as a SC Notary on page 8 of the South Carolina Notary Public Reference Manual. A link to a PDF of the Manual can be found here:

20 Feb 2021

Can I become a wedding officiant in TX and officiate weddings as well as be a public notary?

National Notary Association

25 Feb 2021

Hello. Texas Notaries are not authorized to officiate weddings as part of their authorized Notary duties. However, there is nothing prohibiting you from obtaining a separate authorization to officiate weddings apart from your Notary commission (for example, by applying to become an ordained minister).


25 Apr 2021

Hello, I live in Tennessee and wanted to know if I could be a wedding officiate. I currently just became a notary public and don't know what place to go through for training.

National Notary Association

26 Apr 2021

Hello. Tennessee Notaries are not authorized to officiate weddings as part of their Notary duties.

Michelle Grimes

26 Apr 2021

How can we provide the paperwork one would need for legally changing names in their state??

National Notary Association

26 Apr 2021

Hello Michelle. Just to clarify, are you asking how a Notary can change their name on the Notary commission, or if a Notary can provide paperwork to a customer who wishes to change their name? Also, can you please let us know what state you are contacting us from?

Melissa A Sanchez

26 Apr 2021

Hello I am a notary in Texas. Does anyone know if I can become a Marriage Officiant? Thanks in advance.

National Notary Association

29 Apr 2021

Hello. Texas Notaries are not authorized to officiate weddings as part of their official Notary duties.

Cam Garcia

29 May 2021

If you're a notary, and a wedding officiant, jus how do you call your business? I'm asking because I'm also an ordained minister with the United Life Church, way long before I became a notary, and I'm interested in how people do market both of their services.

Ian McBride

07 Jul 2021

Can an Illinois Notary perform a wedding ceremony in South Carolina?

National Notary Association

14 Jul 2021

Hello. No, Illinois Notaries are not authorized to perform weddings as part of their official duties.


10 Sep 2021

I'm in FL, I'm a Notary Public and a loan signing agent , I want to know for wedding officiant, what else do i have to do more to perform the task. Thank you

National Notary Association

17 Sep 2021

Hello. “Before any of the persons named in s. 741.07 shall solemnize any marriage, he or she shall require of the parties a marriage license issued according to the requirements of s. 741.01, and within 10 days after solemnizing the marriage he or she shall make a certificate thereof on the license, and shall transmit the same to the office of the county court judge or clerk of the circuit court from which it issued” (FS 741.08). The following information is provided by the Executive Officer of the Governor (website, “Completing the Marriage Record” under “Performing Marriage Ceremonies”): “The required information in [spaces 21-25 of the Certificate of Marriage] must be completed in black ink by the person performing the ceremony – the Notary Public. You will certify the date and location of the marriage, and add your signature, name, title, and address as the person performing the ceremony. Your notary seal must also be affixed in space 23b. Witnesses are optional, and if included, they should sign in black ink in spaces 24-25.” “After the Certificate is completed, you are required to return the Marriage Record to the official who issued it within 10 days after the ceremony. Most Clerks’ Offices provide written instructions and a self-addressed envelope to accommodate this task. After the Marriage Record is recorded, the Clerk's Office will mail a certified copy to the couple” (Executive Office of the Governor's website, “Completing the Marriage Record” under “Performing Marriage Ceremonies”)


23 Sep 2021

Can Pennsylvania Notaries perform weddings to date?

National Notary Association

28 Sep 2021

Hello. No, Pennsylvania Notaries are not authorized to officiate weddings as part of their official duties.

James H McRae

27 Dec 2021

I let my notary stamp lapse. How do I renew? State of Florida. Only used mainly for weddings.

National Notary Association

28 Dec 2021

Hello. You can find information on renewing a Florida commission here:

Ronda Tates

27 Dec 2021

I am ordained in Texas with Universal Life. Easy process.

Bryce Hall

04 Jan 2022

In Virginia, you are required to be a court-appointed Marriage Commissioner. Please verify with your local Courthouse.

19 Mar 2022

Thank you so much

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