Because I am a wedding minister myself, I don’t get to see other officiants as often as I would like. However, I do make it a practice to talk to other experienced and discerning wedding vendors (DJs, photographers, videographers, musicians) to learn their perceptions of officiants they have seen.

I ask this question: “How good are the wedding ministers you’ve seen?” The responses could be better (putting it politely).

In some cases we can't help. Some stories these professionals have shared -- from sheer officiating incompetence to inappropriate, impromptu remarks to hitting on wedding attendants to drunkenness -- are an embarrassment to our profession. There is no place for this in any ministry.

Thankfully, most men and women I've known in ministry are truly responsible, caring people who want to help people.

Wedding Ministers, Inc. is committed to helping wedding officiants succeed in ministry. This way everybody wins. Brides get more professional ministry. Couples experience more magical wedding ceremonies. Ministers enjoy the fruit of making a difference, not merely making an income. And we enjoy the small part we play in making weddings a better experience for everybody!

  Did you know..

... that authorization to officiating is open to virtually everybody?

One might assume that everybody who performs weddings has gone through some formal training program and, based on a passing basic standards, earns his or her credentials to officiate.

Actually that's not always the case. By law a person can perform weddings without:

  • any required knowledge.
  • any required training.
  • any competency requirements.
  • any experience necessary.

    Wedding Ministry is Attracting Many Good People

    Don’t get us wrong! There are many wonderful new officiants being drawn into this field -- people who truly love people, have ministry gifts and a desire to serve. We are excited about the quality of people entering this ministry.

    We also place priceless value on your wedding day experience. We know there are some officiants who out of necessity are learning by trial and error. Somebody's wedding becomes an officiant's practice lab.

    As you shop for someone to officiate your wedding, in many cases you really do not have any assurances this person is fully prepared or ready.

    Since there are no legal competency requirements or required examinations for wedding officiants like for doctors or attorneys or therapists or schoolteachers, we want to help them -- and you!

    WM Certified Officiants - Credentials you can TRUST.

    WM Certified officiants are trained professionals who have fulfilled the following requirements for WM Certification:

  • Completed the WM Professional Wedding Ministry Certification Program (or equivalent).
  • Demonstrated competence as a wedding ministry professional. This includes familiarity with a variety of wedding ceremonies and rituals, ceremony structure and design, officiating, basic personal ministry skills, legal responsibilities and more (see Training Comparison).


    Not every minister who applies for certification receives it automatically. WM Certification is competency-based. Officiants must demonstrate mastery of basic wedding ministry knowledge and skills to be identified by the WM Certification Seal of Trust.

    What This Means For You

    PEACE OF MIND from Your First Contact

    With a WM Certified officiant, you have the reassurance you are talking to wedding professional who has passed a comprehensive evaluation process or received specific instruction and personal, hands-on training and oversight from Rev. Dr. Charles W. Laird, president of Wedding Ministers, Inc. and WM Certification program director.

    Your WM Certified officiant is trained to listen for what you want, to discern both your spoken and unspoken desires for your ceremony, to understand where you are coming from, and to provide helpful suggestions, answers, and options. You feel helped, heard, and understood. You know you and your ceremony are in good hands. You feel reassured, taken care of, safe. Peace of mind.

    PEACE OF MIND on Your Wedding Day

    The wedding day is typically a day of heightened emotions and expectations. Your dreams of a perfect wedding day rest, in large part, upon the skill and experience of your wedding minister. It is NOT a given.

    When you are facing each other to share your wedding vows, it is a moment of profound intimacy. Unlike any other moment in your lifetime, your souls are exposed and vulnerable. It is an incredibly sacred moment.

    Your WM Certified officiant is thoroughly trained to discern the dynamics of this incomparable moment and channel all the built-up energy, emotions, and events into one, unforgetable symphony of Beauty and Love. Because you feel so safe with your WM Certified officiant, you can let go and embrace the moment with all your heart and soul, knowing you are in the hands of a caring professional. Peace of mind.