Post # 1
FH and I live in Virginia, but we both grew up near the NC state line, actually on both sides. We’re having our wedding at the Outer Banks because we have so many ties there and it means a lot to us (more than Fort Monroe, like my mother suggested, because we don’t spend that much time in Hampton unless we’re visiting for a D&D game). But, there’s a problem. NC is incredibly picky about who can get married (you think that Amendment One fiasco was bullshit…), and basically the law reads that officiants have to be ministers of a particular denomination. Ordinations by the Universal Life Church do not count. I’m an atheist, he’s generally apathetic to religion and neither one of us has been to church in years. I’d just go with a Humanist Celebrant, but there isn’t one anywhere near the Outer Banks. I want our marriage to be totally legal and recognized by both NC and VA. He has a dangerous job, so it really matters to both of us if something happens to him.
So while VA isn’t really any better about “letting non-religious people get married like everyone else” front, we can always go to the courthouse, get the legal stuff out of the way and not have to worry if our officiant in NC is legal. FH is okay with that idea. The reason I’m making this thread is because I may be wrong, I might be over-thinking this and I don’t actually have anything to worry about in NC.
Post # 3
I got married in NC and *my* understanding is also that NC doesn’t recognize the online ordinations through ULC. However, a friend of my husband got married on the Outer Banks last year and apparently her officiant was ordained through ULC. I wasn’t willing to risk it personally, as everything I’ve seen suggests they aren’t considered legit under NC law.
We got married by a minister but she did a totally non-religious ceremony – no God, no prayers, nothing spiritual, just the basics. Given that the only options for marriage in NC are in the courthouse with a magistrate or by an ordained celebrant, many ordained officiants will conduct non-religious ceremonies. Almost all that I considered had no issues doing this, despite all being ministers of various denominations. Check the websites of officiants you were considering in the OBX, as they usually specify what they can do for you.
Post # 4
You are reading the law right, so far as I understand– NC Supreme Court ruled that Universal Life Church ministers don’t count. They are also picky about who counts as a magistrate.
Your best bet might be to officially get married at the courthouse and have all paperwork filled out there, and have whoever you want read the ceremony. You can also find many a flexible minister for hire who will let you do whatever you want. My husband and I wrote our own ceremony and just found a minister who was okay with that — I didn’t have any strict objections to having a minister marry us, so long as it wasn’t a denomination I found morally objectionable. I did object to having any God/religious references in the ceremony (as did my husband), so that worked for us.
I also objected to swearing on the Bible to get our license — even though it was only under the table and not directly under our hands. But, there was no way out of that one . . .
Post # 5
@kittyfinn: What if you just hired a JOP (Justice of the Peace) that is valid for that county to marry you? Look for one that will marry you at your locations. If none are listed on the actual county website, call that county office to ask are there any JOP that can marry us on X date at Y location.
Post # 6
@sienna76: They don’t come out and do weddings, we’d have to go to the courthouse in NC anyway and it makes more sense to me to go to the courthouse here in VA. Otherwise I’d have zero problem with that.
Post # 7
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@kittyfinn: Definitely overthinking it. So long as you are a woman and he is a man, a legal marriage in VA will be a legal marriage in NC.
***Not making a political statement, just stating the facts.***
The only time there is an issue is when same sex couples marry in a state that allows it but live in or move to a state where it’s not allowed, then it would not be a valid marriage in the state that does not allow same sex marriage. This is the big issue with same sex marriages currently.
You on the other hand are fine because there is a federal law that says when a man and woman are married one state all of the other states are required to recognize your marriage.
Post # 8
As a former NC resident who got married in Vegas, I can assure you they WILL recognize legal out of state marriages. They don’t have a choice. Any marriage certificate from any state is good anywhere in the US. (Provided you’re a hetero couple)
Post # 10
If NC truly won’t recognize the ULC marriages as legal, and that is where you will be getting married, than you would not be married in VA either. The marriage would not have occured. Which is crap, but it’s the law.
However, any legal wedding, in any state, would be recognized by the others. So, you could have a legal ceremony in VA or NC.
So in that sense, I think it would be best to do a courthouse legal marriage in VA, and then have your actual marriage as planned in OBX.
Post # 11
@kittyfinn: There are no JOP (what about a judge?) in the entire county that perform weddings on location? As in the county clerk’s office confirmed this? That is a first I’ve heard of that!
Post # 12
I see it as you are paying someone to marry yall. If someone was paying me to marry then Id listen to what they wanted me to say or not say.
Post # 13
I feel for ya…
Based on the research I did for Mr TTR’s & my Elopement the differences for a “legal marriage” varies a lot from State to State, and for sure at time all the “hoops” ya gotta jump thru seem to be a huge pain in the butt !!
You might want to take a look at Officiants in the Myrtle Beach area (where we first thought we’d marry)…
As I recall when doing my reserach there were many of them that had on their Websites etc, that they were legal to perform Weddings in BOTH South & North Carolina… and were willing to travel. (Although there might be a travel fee)
Something to consider…
I found Officiants by GOOGLE – Wedding Officiants Myrtle Beach – and then read thru all the stuff that came up (many websites) and made a list of notes, and went from there on who appealed to me and then starting contacting folks.
Here is an example, of one such Officiant who travels to NC
Hope this helps,
Post # 14
Well, couldn’t you have your official ceremony at the court house by someone they provide and then have your own ceremony by someone you choose where your friends and family attend?
Post # 15
ugh, really? i didn’t read up on the rules yet. i should see how our officiant is ordained.. if they won’t acceot her ordainment, then we’ll probably get “married” in a courthouse at home before we go, and not tell anyone.
Post # 16
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
So I was resently MOH for an OBX wedding. The bride and groom went to the courthouse in OBX to do the legal ceremony, and then mr. LK performed the celebration ceremony at the wedding itself two days later. NC is very strict about who is and is not allowed to perform a ceremony, and the legally authorized officiants charge a lot because brides have no other option but to use one of them.
So my vote is to do your courthouse wedding at home in VA before your “official” wedding in NC, just to make sure that the marriage is legally valid. Since you are a male-female couple, all states will recognize a legal marriage from Virginia.