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How do I get a license to officiate a wedding in NJ?

Officiating a wedding in New Jersey can be a fulfilling experience, whether you’re doing it for a loved one or as a professional. But the big question is, do you need a license to officiate a wedding in NJ? In this article, we’re going to explore the process of getting licensed to officiate weddings in New Jersey.

Do You Need a License to Officiate a Wedding in New Jersey?

The short answer is no. In NJ, there is no specific license required to officiate a wedding ceremony. However, there are some requirements that you need to meet to legally perform a marriage ceremony in NJ.

Requirements to Officiate a Wedding in NJ

New Jersey law states that any individual who is ordained or licensed to officiate a wedding can legally perform a marriage ceremony in the state. However, before you can perform a marriage ceremony in NJ, you need to meet the following requirements:

Get Ordained or Licensed

To officiate a wedding in NJ, you must be a legally ordained minister or rabbi. The simplest way to get ordained is to go online and find a reputable organization that offers ordination. You can also contact your local religious organization or attend an accredited religious seminary.

Fill Out the Marriage License Application

The couple that you are marrying must obtain a valid NJ marriage license from their county clerk’s office. Additionally, you must ensure that all the required documents are submitted, and the marriage license is signed by the couple, witnesses, and officiant.

Perform the Wedding Ceremony

On the day of the wedding, the officiant must perform the ceremony and sign the marriage certificate. The officiant must ensure that all the legal requirements have been met, and the ceremony complies with NJ state laws.

How to Get Ordained to Officiate a Wedding in NJ

There are several ways to get ordained to perform a wedding ceremony in New Jersey, including:

Online Ordination

Many online ordination services offer fast and easy ordination. The process usually involves filling out an online form, paying a small fee, and receiving an ordination certificate via email. Some popular online ordination services include the Universal Life Church (ULC), American Marriage Ministries, and Open Ministry.

Religious Organization

If you’re part of a religious organization or attend a religious seminary, it’s important to check that it’s accredited and authorized to perform weddings in NJ. Additionally, your organization may include specific requirements to get ordained.

County Clerk’s Office

Some county clerk’s office offers one-day ordination services, which are typically free of charge. These services are usually available to couples who want a friend or family member to officiate their wedding ceremony. The process involves filling out a form and obtaining a temporary ordination certificate.


Obtaining a license to officiate a wedding ceremony in NJ is not difficult, making it a popular choice for those who want to perform weddings for family and friends or as part of their profession. As long as you are a legally ordained minister or rabbi, you can officiate a marriage ceremony in NJ. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with local laws and ensure all the legal requirements are met to avoid any legal issues or challenges to the marriage later on.


What does a wedding officiant do in New Jersey?

A wedding officiant in New Jersey is responsible for leading and solemnizing a couple’s marriage ceremony. The officiant is an essential part of the wedding ceremony and is responsible for ensuring that all legal and religious requirements are met, and the ceremony is conducted in a manner that best represents the wishes of the couple.

The officiant has two primary duties on the wedding day. The first duty is to conduct the wedding ceremony, which includes leading any prayers, readings, or songs. They also provide a welcoming address to the guests, introduce the couple, and officiate over the wedding vows and ring exchange. The officiant must tailor the ceremony to the couple’s wishes, whether it be a religious or non-religious wedding ceremony. Additionally, the officiant should provide guidance and advice to the couple regarding the wedding ceremony content.

In addition to leading the ceremony, the officiant also has a legal duty. They are required to complete and sign the marriage license. This process takes place after the ceremony is completed. The officiant must ensure that the license is signed by the couple, two witnesses, and themselves as the officiant. After the ceremony, the license must be filed with the proper authorities within a specified timeframe.

In New Jersey, as in most states, the couple is free to choose their officiant. The officiant can be a friend or family member, and there is no requirement for the officiant to be an ordained religious minister. However, the officiant must be authorized by the state to solemnize marriage in New Jersey by completing the appropriate application and paying the applicable fee.

The role of a wedding officiant in New Jersey is crucial to ensure that a couple’s wedding ceremony runs smoothly and in accordance with the couple’s wishes. They are responsible for guiding the couple through their wedding ceremony and completing the necessary legal formalities. As such, choosing an officiant should be a decision made with care and consideration and chosen by the couple.

How long does it take to get ordained in NJ?

In the state of New Jersey, the process of ordination is relatively easy and straightforward. If you’re interested in becoming an ordained minister and obtaining a license to perform weddings, you’ll be pleased to know that the entire process can be completed in just a few simple steps.

The primary step in getting ordained in NJ is to find a reputable online ministry site. There are several legitimate online ministries that offer ordination services for free or a small fee. These sites are specifically created to assist individuals who want to become ordained ministers and have the legal right to perform weddings, baptisms, and other religious ceremonies. You can search the internet or ask for recommendations from friends or family members who have already gone through the process.

Once you’ve found a site that seems suitable, you’ll need to fill out an application form, which contains basic information about yourself such as your name and address. Some ministry sites might require you to provide your birth date, phone number, and email address. In most cases, you’ll also be asked to choose the title you would like to use to be addressed during religious ceremonies such as Reverend or Minister.

After submitting your application, it will usually take only a few minutes to receive your ordination certificate. You’ll also receive an email confirmation indicating that you’ve been accepted as an ordained minister.

Once you’ve been ordained, you’re qualified to perform weddings and other religious ceremonies in the state of New Jersey. However, it’s essential to ensure that you follow all legal requirements, including completing and filing marriage licenses with the appropriate state registrar.

The process of getting ordained in New Jersey is quick and easy and can typically be completed in less than a day. By following the simple steps outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a licensed minister and performing weddings and other ceremonies for couples in your local community.

Who traditionally pays for the officiant?

In a traditional wedding, it is the groom’s responsibility to pay for the marriage license and officiant’s fees. The officiant is the person who presides over the wedding ceremony and ensures that all legal requirements are met. The fees for an officiant can vary depending on the type of ceremony and location, but it is generally expected that the groom will cover these costs.

In addition to the officiant’s fees, the groom is also responsible for purchasing the bride’s engagement and wedding rings, as well as a gift for her. He should also purchase boutonnieres and gifts for his groomsmen. This can be an expensive task for the groom, especially if he has a large bridal party.

It is important to note that modern weddings are more flexible when it comes to who pays for what. Couples can work together to split the costs of the wedding, or they may receive financial contributions from family members. In some cases, the couple may choose to forego traditional practices and pay for everything themselves.

The cost of the officiant and other wedding expenses will depend on the couple’s budget and preferences. It is important for the couple to have open communication about their finances and to work together to plan a wedding that is both meaningful and affordable.