Are You Putting Your Marriage At Risk Before You Are Even Married
While the laws in some states are very clear around the legality of online ordinations, North Carolina is perfectly muddy on the issue. The NC Supreme Court has rulled that marriage performed by Universal Life ordained ministers are legal if they were preformed prior to their ruling but did not address those done afterwards. There are also legal decisions in individual court cases that address the legality of on line ordinations , while the legislature has not addressed it in any fashion.
I am including the links to relevant court cases in this discussion at the bottom of this post. So you can read the legal documents. However, I would like to take just a moment and give you some perspective on this situation. No officiant performs a wedding with the idea that the marriage is going to end up in divorce court. We also realize that things happen in life and our wishes are not always the reality. Therefore, it is important that we help couples make informed decisions.
In other situations, couples can find that their marriage is ruled invalid. As long as things are going along great in the marriage, both parties assume they are married, behave as a married couple there is no concern or questions about the validity of the marriage. It is when something goes awry in the marriage that problems come up. When these problems arise, it often means that someone loses out on security and support they thought they had in place for many years.
How Do You Perform A Wedding In North Carolina
First thing’s first: contact the office issuing the marriage license. This will be one of the numerous Register of Deeds offices throughout the state. Let them know you are a minister officiating a wedding in the state and ask what documentation you’ll need to perform the wedding. Typically, submitting your minister license to local officials is prerequisite for officiating a wedding. Keep in mind, any documents they might ask you to present can be ordered from the Minister Store here on our website.
Select a county to see contact information for each office:
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.
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Step 2confirm 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. It’s not the end of the world, but it is inconvenient.
Discuss The Couple’s Overall Vision For The Ceremony
Sit down and walk through the ceremony outline with the couple, as each will want something different. With religious ceremonies, there’s a reasonably set pattern and format, but with secular weddings, the couples sometimes want to throw out the entire playbook. It’s key to talk to them upfront so you can understand their vision for the ceremony.
Once you’ve figured out all of the deadlines, write them down. Mark up a calendar to outline when you need to have your documents by, when fees need to be paid, and when you need to have the couple’s marriage license turned in.
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How To Become An Ordained Minister In North Carolina
If you haven’t already, you should get ordained online with the Universal Life Church. Ordination is free and can be completed in just a matter of minutes. Thousands of legally valid marriages are performed by ULC ministers around the world every year. Begin the process by clicking the big blue button below!
What To Look For In A North Carolina Wedding Venue
As you embark on your wedding venue search, there are a few key things to remember. Be sure to ask potential wedding venues what is included in each of their packages, and keep track of what additional vendors you may need to hire to make your vision come to life. Secondly, decide what your wedding style is and keep that in mind as you scout out your dream location. The state has a wide variety of reception venues to choose from, but a beautiful farm venue in central North Carolina offers a very different vibe than and sleek, urban museum location does. Lastly, if you’re planning to have a large number of out-of-town guests, be sure that your wedding location makes sense for travelers who might need to fly into the area and stay overnight.
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The Legal Obligations Of Marriage
On a personal level, the decision to marry is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. And for many persons, the marriage ceremony is embodied with great religious and spiritual meaning.
On a more fundamental level, marriage is also a legal contract governed by North Carolina state law. Marriage is governed by NC state law because of the long-held belief that the state has a strong public interest in promoting and protecting marriage and families. In that pursuit, North Carolina marriage laws define not only what constitutes a valid legal marriage, but also the obligations and rights that arise from the marriage contract.
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Please note these Wedding Officiants will also travel to Blowing Rock, Triplett, Deep Gap, Todd, Vilas, Zionville, Banner Elk, Trade, Sugar Grove, Valle Crucis, Crossnore, West Jefferson, Ferguson, Patterson, Collettsville, Purlear, Linville, Fleetwood, Elk Park, Creston, Montezuma, Glendale Springs, Warrensville, Pineola, Jefferson, Minneapolis, Mountain City, Newland, Lansing, Lenoir
What Do You Need To Perform A Wedding In North Carolina
Once you’ve determined what you need, simply log in to your account and order the materials from our online catalog. Although ministerial registration is generally not required in North Carolina, our ministers report that they are frequently asked to show proof of their ordination. Based on this feedback, we recommend ordering both an Ordination Kit and a Letter of Good Standing. Keep in mind that the couple may also like to see your ordination credentials! Please remember to place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.
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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.
Step 3fill Out The North Carolina Marriage License
Completing and signing the marriage license is your legal duty as the wedding officiant. Though this is a serious responsibiltiy, it is an easy task to fulfill.Completing the marriage license simply involves filling out your portion of the license and signing it with the couple. In North Carolina,two adult witnesses arerequired to sign the marriage license.If you have not filled out a marriage license before, you may be unsure how to fill out certain fields. We understand that you want to do everything correctly. Our covers all the fields that may appear on the marriage license you will be completing.Below we cover the four most common questions we get from our ministers regarding completing a marriage license. Keep in mind that marriage licenses in North Carolina may be formatted differently depending on which office issued the license. The license you will be completing may have any combination of these fields, or none at all.
For ceremony type, enter “Religious”. This is important. Even if you will be conducting a completely non-religious ceremony you still need to enter “Religious”. The reason for this is that the designation “Religious” and “Civil” mean something different to the North Carolina Government. Civil is a designation for government officials. Everything else is considered religious, even if you include no religious references in the wedding.
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What Are The Legal Requirements To Get Married In North Carolina
All of the qualifications for marriage in the state of North Carolina are pretty predictable: Both parties cannot be already married, must be legally competent, must be at least 18 years old, and cannot be closely related to each other. Minors aged 16 and 17 can also get married with written parental consent or a written affidavit from a legal guardian.
Finalize The Ceremony With The Couple
Even if you write the ceremony, it’s up to the couple to finalize the plan. Though some couples want to be somewhat surprised during the ceremony, it’s 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 don’t care about being surprised, have them read the whole thing. Be receptive and accommodate any changes they request .
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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, you’ll want to choose a venue that’s 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 we’ve rounded up some of the best options for you to choose from.
Determine If You Need To Register With The Court
Once you’ve 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 Clerk’s office to do so.
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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 state’s 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.
How Do You Officiate A Wedding
After all the paperwork is in order, you’re ready to perform the wedding! If you need any assistance in this task, don’t hesitate to explore the tools linked below. These carefully-tailored resources provide useful information and tips on all aspects of performing a wedding ceremony. Constructed with ULC wedding officiants in mind, they include everything you’ll need to plan the perfect ceremony.
Many ULC ministers have used these same resources for guidance when becoming professional officiants!
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How To Find North Carolina Wedding Vendors
Already found your dream venue? Then get ready to assemble a killer wedding vendor team. Searching on social media or hiring a wedding planner to guide you are two great ways to find great florists, photographers, DJs and more. You can also search the The Knot Marketplace, which offers a database full of top-tier local wedding experts.
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:|
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