If you’re getting married, or your son/daughter is planning a marriage, one of the most personal things you can do is to have a friend or loved one officiate the marriage. It will create a memory that everyone will share.
Something that a lot of people tell me is that they are surprised that I can perform marriages. It’s profoundly easier to be a licensed marriage officiant/minister than you’d think.
Arkansas, like many states, does not get into the murky waters of “who” ordains you as a minister. This fact also surprises most people.
If you’re interested, I recommend that you go to the Universal Life Church website. There are others, but this one is tremendously easy to navigate: https://www.ulc.org/ It is not expensive.
Here’s a link that will take you to the State of Arkansas’ information. https://www.ulc.org/wedding-laws/arkansas
Once you obtain credentials, all you have to do is take them to the county clerk and register them, usually for five dollars. Your credentials are permanently recorded; you’ll need the book and page number for each time you sign a marriage license.
Another misconception is about how complicated the ceremony has to be. Legally, both people marrying only have to be in the minister’s presence and sign the marriage license. The ceremony itself can be five seconds or five hours, involving anything you’d want to say in the middle.
If you’ve ever been interested in this, I recommend that you check it out.
Although I don’t claim to be a minister, legally I am. I almost got to perform a marriage ceremony a couple of weeks ago. It’s also fun to put people on the spot when they talk about getting married. “Oh yeah, well let’s go do this right now.”
Personally, I wish people wouldn’t spend so much getting married. The act itself can be highly personal and creative. Spend the money on a down payment on a house or take a trip and create memories. IF you truly love the idea of an elaborate wedding, go for it. And if you’d like to make it more personal, get licensed so that you can directly involved in your friend’s or loved ones’ ceremony.
Again, for anyone who has wondered how to go about being a marriage officiant, go ahead and do it. You won’t regret the very little bit of money and time it will take you.