Questions & Answers

About Becoming Ordained

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question regarding ordination or becoming legally ordained as a Wedding Officiant or ceremonial minister? Below, we've included a list of the most common questions we receive, but you can contact us at any time by clicking here.

Q: Who is First Nation, and what do you believe in?

A: Very simply, we believe in LOVE. We celebrate LOVE. We absolutely love LOVE!

We are First Nation Church and Ministry, a life celebration ministry built on a foundation of customs and traditions that date back nearly two-thousand years, and known throughout the world as The Official Church of Love.™

It doesn't matter if you are Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Unitarian, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, agnostic, or simply "spiritual without being religious" — regardless of your political views or religious beliefs (or lack thereof) — as long as you believe in love, you can serve as a ceremonial minister and perform weddings, funerals, baby-welcoming ceremonies, vow renewals or any event that celebrates life and love! We do not ask you to change or alter your beliefs in any way.

Q: What documents will I receive in my ordination package?

A: With complete ordination, you will receive a personalized ordination certificate, a letter of good standing with live signature (required in most jurisdictions, a minister's, and a guide to the marriage laws and procedures in your selected location.* Please click here to view sample ordination documents.

The basic-level (single ceremony) ordination packet includes an elegantly personalized ordination certificate and a comprehensive guide to the marriage laws and procedures in your selected location. (The basic package does not include a letter of good standing or credential card.)

In addition, all packages include a simple ceremony outline (include sample wedding vows), detailed information about your ordination (to familiarize yourself with your duties and responsibilities), as well as other information to make the process as simple and hassle-free as possible.

If your location requires additional forms that you must submit to a local agency, such as the Secretary of State or County Clerk, we will also include them in your packet.

* — If you hold complete ordination and plan to perform a ceremony in another location, please contact us and we will provide you with detailed information for that jurisdiction.

Q: I need a minister's license. What is the difference between being licensed as a minister and being ordained?

A: Ordination is the process of becoming legally qualified to perform ceremonies, including marriages and other rites. Upon becoming ordained, the church issues a minister's license, which is considered as valid proof of ordination. (Ordination is the process; the license is proof of ordination.)

Q: I can obtain a ministerial credential elsewhere online for free. Why should I pay for ordination through First Nation?

A: To be blunt, you get what you pay for. Many states simply do not recognize instant "online ordination" as being legally valid. And while a generic Internet "wedding minister credential" may be accepted in some (but not all) states, ordination as a ceremonial minister through First Nation Church and Ministry is valid and accepted in every local jurisdiction across the United States and around the world.

Ordination through First Nation includes our Worry-Free Wedding Guarantee™ and is backed by the strength of our member services team. Beyond that, the nominal administrative fee you pay averages out to less than $1.35 per month.

Please note that some locations, including Nevada, Louisiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Virginia, West Virginia, Hawaii, Oklahoma and New York City, have additional registration requirements that must be handled separately with local officials. You should familiarize yourself with your local regulations prior to requesting your credential through any service, or contact us directly for comprehensive assistance.

After you've performed your first marriage ceremony, you may be excited to do more and it's common to consider officiating weddings professionally. If this is the case, you may be interested in reading How To Become A Wedding Officiant by our friends at

Q: I'm concerned because I've never performed a marriage ceremony before. Any advice for a first-time Wedding Officiant?

A: The first and best piece of advice we can give you is to be prepared. If you handle the proceedings with dignity and professionalism, everything will turn out great.

We also encourage you to read our article entitled "Sage Advice For The First-Time Wedding Officiant," and hope you'll contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Q: I need to renew my ordination term. What do I do?

To renew your ordination term, please click here.

Not sure if it's time to renew? Check your documents — your ordination term is noted on your ordination certificate, your letter of good standing and your minister credential document.

Your license number is also listed on your ordination certificate. If it isn't handy, don't worry! Simply renew your ordination and leave the license number field blank, and we'll look it up for you.

If you were ordained in the past through First Nation but your ordination term has expired, don't worry! You do not have to start over — simply renew your ordination and pick up where you left off!

Q: I'm being told by my County Clerk that my wedding minister credentials are not valid. What should I do?

A: Please contact us immediately. Often, a local official may not recognize your credentials due to an internal policy. Internal policies are not laws and, as part of our Worry-Free Wedding Guarantee™ , we do everything possible to cut through any red tape you may run into. Please be assured that such hassles a rare circumstance, and you will generally not encounter any bureaucratic obstacles.

Please note that First Nation does not offer instant "online ordination," which is not recognized in most jurisdictions. Ordination through First Nation is granted in full compliance with local laws in all fifty states in the United States, as well as all U.S. territories.

Q: I understand that Virginia is very strict regarding who can perform marriage ceremonies there. What does First Nation have to say about this?

A: You are correct — Virginia does put up numerous hurdles for ceremonial ministers hoping to serve in the Commonwealth. However, Virginia law also provides a significant workaround that perfectly covers situations such as this.

Code of Virginia § 20-31 ("Belief of parties in lawful marriage validates certain defects") states that "No marriage solemnized under a license issued in this Commonwealth by any person professing to be authorized to solemnize the same shall be deemed or adjudged to be void, nor shall the validity thereof be in any way affected on account of any want of authority in such person, or any defect, omission or imperfection in such license, if the marriage be in all other respects lawful, and be consummated with a full belief on the part of the persons so married, or either of them, that they have been lawfully joined in marriage."

What does this mean? Quite simply, if the ceremonial minister is legally and lawfully ordained (which First Nation ministers are, in accordance with Virginia law) and if the bridal couple accepts him or her as their officiant to solemnize their marriage license, then the marriage is completely legal in the eyes of the Commonwealth.

In addition, most Virginia clerks will allow you to post a $500 refundable bond that will allow you to perform a ceremony. (The fee is refunded in full after the marriage license is filed following the ceremony.) Check with your local clerk's office for more information.

Please click here to visit our Virginia ordination information page.