The International Association of Professional Wedding Officiants (IAPWO) is a professional membership organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of professional officiants and celebrants worldwide. With a strong focus on professional standards, industry outreach, and education, IAPWO operates as the leading voice for professional wedding officiants and celebrants both inside and outside the special events industry.
Our mission is:
- To promote professional and ethical standards for wedding officiants and celebrants.
- To increase awareness, recognition, and respect for professional officiants and celebrants worldwide.
- To provide benefits, educational content, professional resources, and entrepreneurial knowledge to our members.
- To establish a positive, professional, inclusive community for officiants and celebrants through networking, idea sharing, and events.
Standards of Membership & Code of Ethics
IAPWO Membership is available only for professional officiants and celebrants, and all applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements outlined in the IAPWO Standards of Membership and agree to abide by the IAPWO Code of Ethics in order to apply for membership and maintain membership in good standing.
The purpose of the Standards of Membership and Code of Ethics is to establish and maintain the reputation of, and public confidence in, the integrity and professionalism of our association and its members. Reported violations are taken very seriously and can result in censure, suspension, or expulsion of IAPWO members. For more information about this process, please click here.
Standards of Membership
In order to be eligible for IAPWO membership, an officiant or celebrant must:
- Be eligible and/or authorized to perform legal marriage ceremonies in their area, if applicable
- Actively solicit bookings for marriage ceremonies from the general public
- Utilize a written, legal contract for all services
- Conduct themselves and their businesses professionally and in a manner that is a credit to the IAPWO and its members and partners
- Cooperate with IAPWO’s efforts to increase understanding and recognition of our profession worldwide
- Provide requested information to assist the IAPWO in compiling industry data and reports
- Agree to adhere to the IAPWO Code of Ethics and cooperate with IAPWO leadership to resolve reported violations
- Pay annual dues to maintain active membership
Code of Ethics
IAPWO Members agree to adhere to, and be bound by, the following articles as a condition of maintaining membership in good standing:
- ARTICLE I: Legal Compliance. IAPWO members must perform marriage ceremonies in compliance with all applicable local, state, and national laws, and operate their business legally according to the laws of their local jurisdiction. IAPWO members must refrain from personally engaging in any illegal activity in general, regardless of whether the activity occurs while representing their businesses or not.
- ARTICLE 2: Non-Discrimination. IAPWO members must provide equal access to their established services for all couples regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, age, disability, or country of national origin of any party. For more information on IAPWO’s non-discrimination policy, please click here.
- ARTICLE 3: Honesty. IAPWO members must accurately represent the content and scope of their services honestly and fairly, and refrain from making false claims to prospects, clients, venues, and other event professionals. This includes, but is not limited to, claims regarding qualifications and/or credentials, and only using copyrighted materials such as text or images with permission and proper credit.
- ARTICLE 4: Trustworthiness. IAPWO members must honor all commitments made to clients, venues, and other event professionals, and arrive on time and prepared for all contracted ceremonies. IAPWO members must operate their businesses in a manner that is a credit to the IAPWO and the special events industry by adopting good business practices that protect the public against fraud, and agree to take all reasonable steps to safeguard privileged information in a confidential manner.
- ARTICLE 5: Respect. IAPWO members must perform all services in a prepared, professional manner that is respectful of clients, their guests, and other event professionals. IAPWO members must conduct themselves in a professional manner and foster a positive attitude of respect, support, encouragement, and camaraderie between themselves and other event professionals, including and especially fellow officiants, regardless of IAPWO membership.
- ARTICLE 6: Representation. IAPWO members must refrain from making false or unauthorized statements as representatives of the IAPWO, agree to use the IAPWO name and logo only as authorized, and immediately cease use of the IAPWO name and logo upon termination of membership. IAPWO members must refrain from using IAPWO positions or platforms to espouse personal views that are out of alignment with the values, vision, and mission of the IAPWO or its partners.
Press & Media Inquiries
For press and media inquiries, please visit our Press & Media page.
Rev. Laura C. Cannon, President
Rev. Laura C. Cannon is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and coach with a deep passion for bridging the worlds of spirituality and business. She is the owner of Ceremony Officiants™, one of the largest and most successful wedding officiant companies in the country, serving 9 states with a staff of more than 30 officiants. In addition to officiating weddings, Laura is also a sought-after public speaker on the topics of business and spirituality, and is a professional member of the prestigious National Speaker’s Association (NSA).
Ordained as a nondenominational minister in 2003, she has been ministering and coaching individuals and couples for over a decade. Laura holds a B.S. from Towson University and an M.A. in Human Sciences (Psychology) from Hood College with a specialization in Thanatology and Grief Counseling. A lover of all things that blend the practical and the spiritual, Laura is also a 200hr RYT yoga instructor.
Bethel Nathan, Vice President
Bethel Nathan is a San Diego-based wedding officiant. She launched Ceremonies by Bethel in 2009, finding and enjoying a niche for non-religious and non-traditional couples, and quickly built a strong business and full calendar. In just six short years, Bethel went from a brand-new business to having done over 650 weddings and selling out each year for the past three years, as well as winning key industry awards for every year since her launch.
Combining her background working for both large and small companies, along with her passion and skillset, and strong support for marriage equality, Bethel found the right way to build a successful and award-winning business that fit her. And she now enjoys helping others across the country to do the same as a business coach and speaker.
Bethel lives in San Diego with her husband, Jason, and they enjoy traveling and scuba diving in exotic places whenever possible.
For more information about The International Association of Professional Wedding Officiants, please read the President’s Message. If you’d like to learn more about IAPWO membership benefits, visit the Benefits page or click here to join IAPWO today!