How and Why Elopement Photographers Should become ordained to officiate elopements


Okay so here is the thing. I’ve been booking Elopements all over California and even out of state and hopefully out of the country soon. The more I book the harder it was for me to find officiants to … You know marry the couple!!! And as much as I would like to say i came up with this idea on my own. I DID NOT!. It was another photographer who suggested it to me in a facebook group Im apart of with other destination elopement photographers.

So the solution to my problem was to just get ordained. Now … “how that works if you are the photographer?” you may be thinking. Well, with elopements in all honesty the photos with the officiant aren’t typically my favorite ones. Truth be told they are just there to make it legal and official right?

So If Im the ordained officiant as their photographer their elopement looks some like this…..

The couple saying sweet personalized vows to each-other. Me behind the camera will put it down for a second talk about the meaning of the rings hand them the rings, step back, pick up my camera and guide them through the official ring ceremony portion. Now this part can be personalized as well. I mean Elopements aren’t usually about tradition anyways….. amiright? Then from behind the camera I can very easily pronounce them as husband and wife and scream out you may kiss your Bride!!!!! …. Or Groom!!!!

Sounds easy enough right? Well it is. It’s even easier to get ordained. Did you know that?

Here is a link to the Universal Life Church which is where i got myself ordained. Seriously I just added my legal name, birthdate, address, email and pushed a button and whalaaaa. It was official. I paid for my certificate and some other literature for $39.00. Now there is one more step that you have to do. Depending on your State laws is what you need to do next. For Californians like myself, you just need to take in that certificate that Universal Life Church sends you to your local County Clerks office to make you an official legal ordained minister in their system. So when you send in those marriage licenses you are in their database.

Yup thats it guys. The website also has so much more information and learning tools.