The International Association of Professional Wedding Officiants (IAPWO) is a professional membership organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of the wedding officiant profession worldwide. With a strong focus on professional standards, industry outreach, and education, the IAPWO operates as a leading voice for professional wedding officiants both inside and outside the wedding and events industry.
The mission of the IAPWO is three-fold:
- To promote professional and ethical standards for wedding officiants.
- To increase awareness, respect, and recognition of professional wedding officiants and the wedding officiant profession worldwide.
- To provide benefits, educational content, community resources, and entrepreneurial knowledge to our members.
IAPWO Membership is available only for professional officiants, and any applicants must meet minimum eligibility requirements in order to apply for membership. Applicants must:
- Be eligible and/or authorized to perform legal marriages in their area, if possible
- Actively solicit bookings for wedding ceremonies from the general public
- Utilize a written, legal contract for their services
- Charge a professional fee for their services
- Agree to adhere to the Standards of Membership & Code of Ethics if accepted
Standards of Membership & Code of Ethics
In order to maintain membership in good standing, IAPWO members agree to abide by our Standards of Membership and Code of Ethics. 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.
Any violations of the Standards of Membership or Code of Ethics are taken very seriously and can result in censure, suspension, or expulsion of members. Any resulting disciplinary actions are binding upon the IAPWO member and are without recourse to the IAPWO, its officers, members, contractors, or staff.
Standards of Membership
IAPWO Members agree to:
- Conduct themselves and their businesses professionally and in a manner that is a credit to our Association and its members
- Adhere to the IAPWO Code of Ethics
- Provide background or other information about themselves or their businesses to assist the IAPWO in compiling accurate industry reports
- Cooperate with the Association’s efforts to increase understanding and recognition of our profession worldwide
- Use the IAPWO name and logo only as authorized
- Pay annual Association dues to maintain active membership
- Respond to all complaints forwarded by the IAPWO in a timely manner
Code of Ethics
IAPWO Members agree to:
- Perform marriage ceremonies in accordance with all local, state, and national laws
- Provide services to all couples, regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, age, disability, or country of national origin of any party
- Utilize a written, legal contract for all client services
- Establish and charge a professional rate for their services
- Accurately represent their services to clients honestly and fairly
- Honor all commitments made to clients, venues, and other wedding professionals
- Be on time for their weddings, and respectful of couples and their guests
- Perform all ceremonies without being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Foster an attitude of support, encouragement, and camaraderie among fellow officiants
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 8 states with a staff of more than 20 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!