Who Can Perform A Wedding In North Carolina
Weddings in North Carolina must be conducted by a recognized officiant in order to be legally binding, according to the states Judicial Branch.
Under state law, any minister who is ordained in a religious denomination or authorized by a church can serve as a recognized officiant.
Marriages can also be performed in the recognized manner of any religious denomination that does not use officiants, or in the recognized manner of any federally or state-recognized Native American tribe, the Judicial Branch says.
Video: Carolina Weddings Show coming to Winston-Salem and Greensboro
For those looking for a secular ceremony, magistrates can also perform weddings.
Many magistrates, including in Mecklenburg County, set aside certain days and times when they are able to perform marriages at the courthouse or other court office, Judicial Branch spokesman Charles Keller, Jr. told the Observer. You should contact your countys magistrate office for more information.
If youre interested in having a loved one officiate your wedding and they plan to get ordained online, you should contact your county clerks office to make sure the program they are using is acceptable under North Carolina law.
Many wedding planning websites, such as The Knot, offer lists of wedding officiants available for hire. You can narrow your search based on the location of your big day and the type of ceremony youre looking for .
Use Our Amm Wedding Helper
If the process of planning, scripting, and performing a wedding is daunting, then you need our suite of tools.We have distilled years of experience into an easy-to-use platform with training materials, quizzes, a personalized ceremony script generator, and tips to prepare you for performing marriage, all accessible through your minister profile.That’s only the beginning. After the wedding, you can share your wedding on the with our nationwide network of ministers.
OFFICIANT GOVERNMENT REGISTRATION BY STATE
More Officiant Wedding Ceremony Resources
Beyond writing the wedding ceremony, there are also other important logistics to consider. These include transportation, lodging, dress, and other details that need to be orchestrated. Check out our page “” for more info on best practices to follow. Or tap the button below to learn more about officiating the wedding in North Carolina.
Don’t Miss: Wedding Venue Comparison Spreadsheet
How To Fill Out An North Carolina Marriage License
It is your responsibility as the wedding officiant to sign the marriage license on the wedding day. We have broken this duty down into four simple steps:
STEP 1 ASK THE COUPLE TO PRESENT THEIR MARRIAGE LICENSE
At some point on the wedding day, you need to ask the couple to present their marriage license. Generally this happens immediately following the ceremony while everyone heads out to the reception. Though this doesnt have to be the case, as the marriage license can be completed at any time on the wedding day before or after the ceremony.
STEP 2 CONFIRM THAT THE MARRIAGE LICENSE IS VALID
Before you start filling out the marriage license you need to confirm that it is currently valid. A marriage licenses validity is determined by three laws that specify the marriage license waiting period, expiration, and return. If you need further clarification on what these terms mean, there is a good explanation here. The information below outlines the waiting period, expiration, and return for North Carolina marriage licenses:
- REQUIRED WITNESSES: Two Adults
- EXPIRATION: 60 Days
- RETURN: Within 10 Days after the Wedding
In practice, verifying the validity of the marriage license is usually a formality. Most couples file for their marriage license a week or two before the ceremony date, in which case the marriage license, according to state law, is valid.
STEP 3 COMPLETE AND SIGN THE MARRIAGE LICENSE
How To Be Ordained
There are several online sites that allow you to be ordained quickly, and some even provide you with your certification immediately upon completion! Some are free, some are cheap, and some you just have to pay for the materials stating that youre a BRAND NEW MINISTER.
And while registering yourself with the state isnt required as of right now, you may need to show documentation proving you are a licensed marriage officiant. Its a good idea to contact the county clerk once you are ordained and ask them what they need to see from you, otherwise they might reject the marriage license!! Most websites have a letter of good standing or something similar.
Don’t Miss: Does Randy Fenoli Have A Partner
North Carolina Marriage Laws And Common Law Marriages
Common law marriages or marriages by consent are not recognized by North Carolina as valid legal marriages. There is one instance where North Carolina will recognize a common law marriage: if a couple entered into a common law marriage in another state which does recognize common law marriages, and if that couple moves to North Carolina.
How To Become A Nonreligious Wedding Officiant
Check the Secretary of States website to learn which laws are in effect in your state. The requirements for becoming an officiant vary from state to state. Some jurisdictions need officiants to be a professional minister who serves in a congregation, while others do not. Some states will impose a fee on anybody who performs a marriage ceremony in violation of the law.
Recommended Reading: Wedding Planning Excel Spreadsheets
Confirm That The North Carolina Marriage License Is Valid
Before you put pen to paper you should confirm that the marriage license is still valid. The validity of a marriage license is governed by three laws that determine the marriage license waiting period, expiration, and return. For more information on what these terms mean, check out our page, .In North Carolina, the marriage license waiting period, expiration, and return are as follows:
- REQUIRED WITNESSES: Two Adults
- EXPIRATION: 60 Days
- RETURN: 10 Days from the Wedding
There is no marriage license waiting period in North Carolina. This means that the couple can receive and complete their marriage license on the same day that they file for their marriage license. In other words, they can get married on the same day that they file for their marriage license.Marriage licenses in North Carolina do expire 60 daysafter being issued. This means that the wedding must take place within the window of time between when the marriage license is issued and when it expires. In other words, the wedding must take place within 60 daysof the couple filing for their marriage license.Your job as the wedding officiant is to confirm that it has not been more than 60 dayssince the marriage license was issued. Once satisfied with this, you can move on to the next step.If the marriage license is expired, then the couple will have to file for a new one. Its not the end of the world, but it is inconvenient.
How Do I Become A Wedding Officiant In Nc
To marry each other in front of an ordained minister and two witnesses, all you have to do is agree to do so and have the clergyman proclaim you legally wedded. Although it is possible for a friend or relative to go online and obtain a ordination to perform your ceremony in North Carolina, this is not always the case.
Don’t Miss: Do Kleinfeld Consultants Make Commission
Determine If You Need To Register With The Court
Once youve been ordained, the next step in the process is to make sure all the paperwork and other legal checkboxes, if any, are checked off. Some regions require that the officiant file credentials with the local court and others do not. For example, in California, it is not necessary to register, but in New York City, not only do officiants have to register, they have to appear in person at the City Clerks office to do so.
Recommended Reading: What Do You Put In Welcome Bags For Wedding Guests
Apply For A Marriage License
You have to pick up the marriage license in person, so be sure to choose an office you can get to. Whether it be in Raleigh, Charlotte or Asheville, it doesnt matter as long as it is in North Carolina and you can get to it in person to pick up the marriage license.
Apply no more than 60 days before your wedding date as marriage licenses are invalid after that.
Most Asheville couples, whether locals or out-of-towners, apply for a marriage license at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office and pick it up when they arrive for their wedding weekend. Be sure to check the hours!
Apply for a marriage license here.
Recommended Reading: Wedding Venue Comparison Excel
Step 4return The North Carolina Marriage License
After the marriage license is completed it must be returned to the County Registrar. This is usually the responsibility of the couple though some states require this to be done by the minister.Specific instructions on how to return the marriage license should be included with the marriage license when it is issued to the couple. If these instructions are not included with the marriage license, you can call the issuance office for further clarification.Regardless of who returns the marriage license or by what method, it is important to return the completed marriage license to its issuance office as soon as possible.North Carolina has a law specifying how soon the marriage license must be returned to the County Registrarafter it is completed. In North Carolina the completed marriage license must be returned within 10 days from the weddingto be in compliance with North Carolina Law.As long as the completed marriage license is returned within 10 days from the weddingthe marriage license will be filed and recorded in North Carolina.
North Carolina Marriage Laws And Same
Same-sex marriage in North Carolina has been legal since October 10, 2014, when a federal judge ruled that the states denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples was unconstitutional. North Carolina had previously denied marriage rights to same-sex couples by statute since 1996. A state constitutional amendment that was approved in 2012 reinforced that by defining marriage between a man and a woman as the only valid domestic legal union in the state and denying recognition to any similar legal status, such as civil unions.
Also Check: Wedding Excel Sheets
Anew The Experience Llc
ANEW the Experience LLC. is here to officiate your nuptials and bring peace of mind on your sacred and happy day. OurRead more attention to your details and joyful yet elegant presentation is designed to put you at ease and enjoy your day!We can be reached at 919-719-3905. Our address is 555 Fayetteville
How Can I Be A Good Wedding Officiant
Here are a few pointers to assist you in navigating the procedure.
Also Check: Wedding Planning Excel Sheet
How Do I As The Officiant Prepare For A Wedding In North Carolina
Chances are good this will be the first wedding you officiate. This undertaking may seem daunting, as is doing anything for the first time. Not to worry, you are in good hands and we are here to guide you through this process.By this point you should:
If you have not done so yet, we recommend that you do so immediately.
Finalize The Ceremony With The Couple
Even if you write the ceremony, its up to the couple to finalize the plan. Though some couples want to be somewhat surprised during the ceremony, its always a good idea to have them take a look at your introduction and any statements you might make about the meaning of marriage and their relationship. If they dont care about being surprised, have them read the whole thing. Be receptive and accommodate any changes they request .
Dont Miss: How To Measure For A Wedding Dress
Recommended Reading: What To Put In Wedding Gift Bags
What To Look For In A South Carolina Wedding Venue
Giving your guests a dose of Southern hospitality comes with nearly every venue in SC. No matter where you choose to get married, youll want to choose a venue thats right for you and has everything to offer to help you bring your big day to life. The good news is, your options are endless, and weve rounded up some of the best options for you to choose from.
Step 1record Your Wedding Using The Amm Wedding Helper
If you already used our to prepare for your wedding, you know what we’re talking about. Now that the wedding is over, this tool is also a great way to record the wedding and even share it with others. Here’s how it works:
a. ADD A PICTURE OF YOU OFFICIATING THE WEDDING
A picture is worth a thousand words, and one of you officiating the ceremony is proof that you were there joining the couple in marriage. After the ceremony, ask the photographer, or couple for ceremony pictures that include you . Then, upload it to your saved wedding. After the ceremony, get a copy of that picture so that you can upload it to your registered wedding.
b. ADD MORE PICTURES OF THE WEDDING
Why stop at one? The wedding post, uploaded to our wedding wall, is a snapshot of the wedding that you officiated. Upload pictures that show what made the wedding special. Candid photos of the couple, the couple and the officiant, traditions like handfasting and glass breaking, and the reception all tell a story.
- The Couple
- You Signing the Marriage License
c. WRITE SOMETHING ABOUT THE WEDDING
This is not something you do every day, even if you are a professional officiant. We would love to hear about what it felt like for you as the marriage officiant.How did the couple tell their story, what were the vibes like, did family and friends participate? Share the inspiration with other ministers and couples browsing AMM’s Wedding Wall .
d. PUBLISH THE WEDDING
Recommended Reading: F Wedding Hashtags
Are You Legally Married
actively willRecent Confirmations: 2020I am also doing premarital counseling for a couple, and the bride is a lawyer. She told me they chose me not only because I was on the preferred vendor list of their venue, but because she knew I was legally ordained. She said that when she was in law school they drummed it into their heads that when a couple came in for a divorce , and if they had not been married in a church, to check the credentials of the officiant, as internet ordination is NOT legal in NC. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Note: This article refers to the Universal Life Church Online, based in Modesto, California and NOT to the Universal Life Church World Headquarters of Carrabelle, FL. The latter is a Christian organization legally entitled to ordain for all states in the U.S.The Universal Life Church, or ULCNorth Carolina General Statute 51-1.1 states:Any marriages performed by ministers of the Universal Life Church prior to July 3, 1981, are validated, unless they have been invalidated by a court of competent jurisdiction, provided that all other requirements of law have been met and the marriages would have been valid if performed by an official authorized by law to perform wedding ceremonies. Universal Life ChurchNever be afraid to ask your Minister to show their paperwork!
|For more information, here is a well-researched article by another minister:|